|Abstrakt: ||The concept of beauty nowadays has become a disturbingly vague term. On the one
hand it is frequently used in everyday life, but on the other hand it is treated as belonging to the
theory of art and aesthetics. Therefore the term ‘beauty’ appears in various contexts and sets of
intentional meanings which results in large number of inaccuracies and misapprehensions. For
many people the concept of beauty has become an insignificant rhetorical term to such a degree
that some even question its further usefulness in science, art or theology.
Concurrently the question of beauty has become one of the most difficult to answer these
days. In this context another reference to the origins, to the earliest and innermost thoughts,
seems worthful. Because is not the contemporary search for art ethos a repeated question about
the ancient triad of the beautiful, the good and truth? And through this fact is it not the search
of ways to express the truth about the world, another human being and the origin of beauty in
art and through art?
The present dissertation is an attempt to bring out the reflection on theological
dimensions of beauty from the theological thought of Benedict XVI.
This thesis has been divided into three chapters. It begins with the analysis of the origins
of theological aesthetics of J. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. The presentation of the Author’s of
‘Spirit of Liturgy’ life, as well as his interest in art and philosophy portrays the influence of
beauty on J. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI life, thought and ordained ministry.
Thereafter, a connection he has noticed between reason (Logos) and beauty within theology, in
theological epistemology as well as in the whole phenomenon of Christian thought and
cognition has been presented. In order to understand a way of thinking and acting of a man it is
necessary to refer to his ‘roots’. Thus, the need to ‘go’ into the depths looking for connections,
influences and inspirations, to comprehend the J. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI message and the
thought of theology of beauty.
After describing the inspirations and origins in the first chapter, the second chapter
presents the root of theological aesthetics that Benedict XVI has developed in his works. It was
the greatest challenge for the author of this thesis since it required precise gathering of all the
most essential themes of theology of beauty presented in the writings of the Bavarian
theologian, themes that formed the most significant essence and the very heart of the research. Both these chapters form the basis for the third chapter which presents spiritual, pastoral
and evangelizational issues of theological aesthetics of Benedict XVI.
The dissertation shows that aesthetic categories are not accidental in the thought of J.
Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, they are also not strictly philosophical but they bind all the reflected
theological reality and finally lead to God. J. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI gives every person one
of the most convenient keys to the new evangelization, i.e. the fascinating Beauty of God.
However it is not subjective, superficial or trivial since in the canon of this Beauty a man has
been created and thereby every man yearns for it. It is also the Beauty of paradoxical contrast
of the Cross in which outer ugliness of passion conceals inner beauty of sacrificial love that is
incomparable to anything else. At the same time, according to Ratzinger, Beauty can help us
read Gospel anew, discover it as it was experienced in the days of Jesus. Beauty is a category
that does not become common because it is so strongly bonded with ‘delight’. Theology of
beauty of Ratzinger forms the basis for further reflection, becomes something in the way of
metatheology. It presents Epiphany in such a way that it brings out and emphasises its
Therefore theological aestethics of J. Ratzinger/Benedict XVI tells that beauty, not only
as metaphysical but also existential reality, allows for development of the light of truth and
finds complement in love. According to Ratzinger, the encounter with beauty does not leave a
man alone but it mobilizes one to open for the much vaster horizons, to ask oneself deep
questions about the meaning of one’s existence (beauty) in the world and the meaning of life
There is such a dimension of reality which is not discovered by reason but by heart – sensibility,
delight, contemplation. God is both Logos and Love (exactly ‘and’, not ‘either-or’) and as such
– The Utmost Beauty. And thereby He is our greatest yearning, Creator and Saviour.|