SUBTITLE: Re-imaging the beauty of worship
SUMMARY: This publication explores the role of art in religious experience, especially in reformed liturgy. The author subscribes to the view that aesthetics in theology is important. His main thesis is that faith is Spirit and imagination, revelation and creativity. God has a face, his goal is a new heaven and a new earth, and therefore whoever believes cannot do without images, without imagination.
Cilliers writes in the belief that worship, whether done individually or communally, is indeed beautiful. According to the Catechism of Westminster, it is the vocation of all human beings to know and enjoy God forever. Worship is and should be a beautiful experience, even and perhaps especially in the midst of a world that seems to be falling apart. Worship is to dance about
Chapter 1: Art and religion: Graceful dance partners?
1.1 Three phases
1.2 Three hinges
1.3 Four faces
Chapter 2: A rediscovery of aesthetics?
2.1 Recent developments
2.2 Clarification of concepts
2.2.1 Definitions of aesthetics
2.2.2 Definitions of art
2.3 Aesthetics and art within a practical theological framework
2.3.1 Practical theological paradigm shifts: from theory to techné to theopathy
2.3.2 Aesthetical theology as locus theologicus?
126.96.36.199 Aesthetical theology as expression of beauty
188.8.131.52 Aesthetical theology as creative imagination
184.108.40.206 Aesthetical theology as generation of meaning
2.4 The beauty of imagined meaning: profiling practical theological aesthetics
Chapter 3: Why aesthetics is important for liturgy
3.1 The inescapability of aesthetical expression
3.2 The rediscovery of our corporality
3.2.1 Embodiment: liturgical implications
220.127.116.11 Liturgical embodiment as immediate participation
18.104.22.168 Liturgical embodiment as multi-sensory, interpretative act
22.214.171.124 Liturgical embodiment as broken presence and celebrated absence
3.3 The upsurge of a culture of images
3.3.1 Kitsch: simulation of beauty, goodness and truth?
3.3.2 Liturgy and the lure of kitsch
126.96.36.199 Kitsch as simulated “beauty”
188.8.131.52 Kitsch as simulated “goodness”
184.108.40.206 Kitsch as simulated “truth”
3.3.3 Characteristics of kitsch?
3.4 The neuro-cognitive integration of imagination
3.5 The Bible as Book of Images
Chapter 4: Towards an aesthetical definition of liturgy
4.1 Non-functional functionality?
4.2 Liturgical implications?
4.3 Dancing with Deity
4.4 Dancing the difference
4.5 The rhythms of liturgy
4.5.1 Religion and culture: the search for meaning
4.5.2 Music: the expression of life in sound
4.5.3 Faith that seeks sound (fides quaerens sonum)
4.5.4 Echoes of life
Chapter 5: Aesthetical movements in liturgical context
5.1 Movements of an aesthetical liturgy
5.2.1 The art of observation
220.127.116.11 The liturgical aesthetics of fasting
18.104.22.168 The liturgical aesthetics of feasting
5.2.2 The art of interpretation
22.214.171.124 The anti-aesthetical beauty of kenosis
126.96.36.199 Aesthetical translocation as self-critique
188.8.131.52 Liturgical aesthetics as koinonia
184.108.40.206 Liturgical aesthetics as sapientia
5.2.3 The art of anticipation
220.127.116.11 Metaphorical language as windows to the Unseen
18.104.22.168 Anticipatory signs of the presence of Absence
22.214.171.124 Liturgy in liminality
126.96.36.199 The aesthetics of silence
5.2.4 The art of transformation
188.8.131.52 Aesthetical leitourgia as diakonia
184.108.40.206.1 Historical background
220.127.116.11.2 Cubistic symbolism
18.104.22.168.3 Public protest
22.214.171.124 Fides quaerens imaginem: the quest for liturgical reframing
126.96.36.199 The aesthetical dimension of reframing
188.8.131.52.1 Reframing as re-naming (or re-labelling
184.108.40.206.2. Reframing as re-figuring
220.127.116.11.3 Reframing as re-signification
18.104.22.168 Liturgical implications of reframing
22.214.171.124.1 Liturgical reframing as re-creatio
126.96.36.199.2 Liturgical reframing: not “more of the same”
188.8.131.52.3 Liturgical reframing as encounter with the “other”
184.108.40.206.4 Liturgical reframing as “wise foolishness”
Chapter 6: Last tango
After completing his theological studies at the University of Stellenbosch, Johan Cilliers completed his doctoral thesis at the University of Heidelberg. After serving in two congregations Cilliers started teaching at the University of Stellenbosch where he is responsible for Homiletics and Liturgy in the Department of Pratical Theology, as important components within the broader framework of the communication of the Gospel.
On the one hand, he concentrates on the development of a sound theology for preaching and, on the other, on the empirical research and the evaluation of sermons. Johan Cilliers is the author of many articles and books. He likes to live out his artistic talent on canvas – many of his paintings are on display at the chapel of the Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University.