Aesthetic Education in the Church

This series of essays was inspired by Maxine Greene‘s book, Variations on a Blue Guitar (a must read for all arts educators). As I was reading and reflecting on Green’s passion for the arts and aesthetic education’s practical value in the life of every living person, I could not stop thinking about how important the arts are to a vibrant church community as well. While I certainly don’t view aesthetic education as a means of salvation for humanity (like Greene seems to) I do believe that art is an important component of the Christian life and vital to understanding our faith.

I hope to one day use these five essays on Aesthetic Education in the Church as a single chapter of a larger book. But for now, here they are:

1. Foundational Perception

  • Aesthetic education is the key to a lifetime of learning. Omit this and you omit the primary purpose of the educational institution.

2. Learn to Learn

  • Art education teaches us how to perceive. The more we perceive, the more we learn. The better we learn how to perceive, the better we will learn to learn.

3. Loving God

  • Aesthetic education teaches the believer to learn about God. God’s creative work perceived through the lens of scripture will teach us about loving God.

4. Understanding Scripture

  • God guides us towards understanding scripture by connecting it to creation and then back to our hearts. Aesthetic education helps with this process.

5. See the Art in and Around You

  • Aesthetic education does not teach us to know, but to seek to know. To dwell on mystery. To ponder the various ways in which reality can be assembled.

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