Category: Beauty/Aesthetics

Why Our Churches Should Be Beautiful

In the last few decades, American churches have gotten a new look—but don’t call it a facelift. Instead, think of it more as a toning-down, as church exteriors have ridden themselves of their steeples and other religious symbols, while their...

/ May 18, 2022

Learning to See with Norman Wirzba

Soon after we moved to Australia, my family hiked in a temperate rainforest in the Yarra Ranges, an hour-and-a-half from our house. Southern Victoria is home to several of these rainforests. They challenge my prior knowledge of rainforests as places...

/ May 11, 2022

The Ordinary Beauty of Flower Bouquets

“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing – to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from.” – Till We Have Faces As I type this I’m staring at a bouquet...

/ June 16, 2021

The Dogma of Minimalist Drama

In his comedy sketch about “Stuff,” George Carlin joked that the whole meaning of life can be described as “Trying to find a place to put your stuff!” After all, that’s what a house is: it’s a “place to keep...

/ August 17, 2020

Not for Bread Alone: Notes on Good Work

On a number of the shelves in my home sit baskets that I have made myself. I took up the craft out of a need for contrast in what is a largely abstract existence, mostly consisting of reading and computer...

/ August 14, 2020

Beauty Spots

…When old age shall this generation waste,                 Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say’st,          “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,—that is all                 Ye know on earth, and all ye need...

/ June 24, 2020

On Diligence

I was the sort of teenager who studied too much Latin. I was homeschooled, then, and lonely. We lived in Rome. I had no friends. I read books off my mother’s shelves for most subjects — textbooks, and Madame Bovary,...

/ June 12, 2020

Rise of the Scops: Wonder After the Pandemic

It was Virginia Woolf who wryly observed, “On or about December 1910, human character changed.”[1] I had no idea what this meant, until I stumbled into a fairy wood where a gilded volume by W.B. Yeats waited patiently for my...

/ April 7, 2020

Executive Orders Don’t Make Buildings Beautiful

A draft executive order has recently riled up the architectural community. Entitled “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again,” it points out the ugliness in a number of modern architectural movements and calls for a return to classical and other traditional styles...

/ February 21, 2020

Why Churches Need Artists

My church is accustomed to download a work of art corresponding to the sermon or the liturgical season and to print it on the bulletin. (This is something I love.) But, recently, we “discovered” a painter who had lived for...

/ February 11, 2020