Natural Theology of Beauty

There is a strain of thought in which a theology of beauty comes under the banner of ‘natural theology’.  It is, as such, put alongside truth and goodness, as an underlying value of the world.  Beauty, however, is often seen to be the lesser partner of this three-way natural theology, with truth and goodness taking more prominent roles.  I would suggest that beauty has an equal role to play; it has the ability to move, just as do truth and goodness, and often has more occasion to do so.  It is often the case that one is grasped by beauty.  Of course, one might also be grasped by truth of goodness, but these instances seem to be less frequent than being grasped by beauty, though that is not to detract from truth or goodness either.  And in any case, who is to say that an experience of being grasped by beauty is not simultaneously an experience of being grasped by truth or goodness, whether one recognises it as such or not.  It could be that beauty is the vehicle for the revelation of truth and goodness, it being found often in more accessible forms than truth and goodness.

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