Tag Archives: Articles on Aesthetics

Calvin and Platonic aesthetics

Calvin and Platonic aesthetics

Yesterday, Scott Aniol showed that Martin Luther was influenced by Greek aesthetics, including that of Plato. In light of Dr. Aniol’s post, it is worth highlighting that Luther was not alone among the Reformers to be influenced by Plato’s thought on music. Calvin, in his preface to the Genevan Psalter, also cited Plato’s views: But… Continue Reading

The Influence of Greek Thought on Martin Luther’s Aesthetics

The Influence of Greek Thought on Martin Luther’s Aesthetics

When Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the door of the church at Wittenburg in 1517, he not only sparked a theological reformation in the Church, but he also led the way for reforms in the Church’s music. Luther’s primary objections were with the Roman Church’s theology, yet the church reforms he began had implications in… Continue Reading

The power of worship to sanctify the imagination

The power of worship to sanctify the imagination

I’m going to say more soon about James K. A. Smith’s book, Imagining the Kingdom–I don’t agree with all of how he frames the conversation, but his general thesis and applications are outstanding–but here’s a bit just to whet your appetite: Christian liturgical practices and spiritual disciplines are not just means of personal renewal; they remake… Continue Reading

Music has not always been considered neutral

Music has not always been considered neutral

Since I’m in the mood to highlight other important articles, I want to direct your attention to an important article that I linked to Wednesday by Mark Snoeberger about music. Snoeberger’s basic point is the the idea that aesthetics is unimportant for Christians and purely preferential is a novel idea that runs contrary to the… Continue Reading

On the suggestion that ‘holy hip hop’ is the new Baroque

On the suggestion that ‘holy hip hop’ is the new Baroque

Anthony Bradley recently submitted a commentary for World magazine publicizing ‘holy hip hop.’ He writes, “If you are looking for theologically saturated Christian music that has the greatest potential for widespread appeal, your best option may be Christian hip-hop.” The first sentence gives away a great deal. First, he missteps in the first clause, for… Continue Reading

What Others Are Saying About Worship in Song

What Others Are Saying About Worship in Song

Pre-order for 30% off | Book Website “Scott Aniol has contributed a reasoned, thoughtful, Scripture-infused, and theological approach to his subject. This book should prove to be a helpful volume to any serious worshiper.” Paul S. Jones, D.M. Organist and Music Director – Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia Author, Singing and Making Music: Issues in Church… Continue Reading

Taste is Black and White

Taste is Black and White

One particularly common misconception in the realm of aesthetics is that “we all have different tastes, and that’s OK,” and Christians are certainly not immune to this errant perspective. The error here lies once again in a careless use of terminology. If by “tastes” in such a perspective one means “preferences,” then I have no… Continue Reading

Apollo vs. Dionysus

Apollo vs. Dionysus

A music theorist whom I have found very helpful is Manfred Clynes. Clynes argues that music communicates through its natural connection with emotion. I can best explain Clynes’ theories at this point by quoting from “Music Hath Charms . . .” by Iaian D. Edgwater in Biocultural Approaches to the Emotions edited by Alexander Laban… Continue Reading