|Author:||Brendan Thomas Sammon|
|Published:||October 26th 2017 by Cascade Books|
What if there is more to beauty than meets the eye? What if beauty named more than the human response to a thing's appearance, but instead named the very presence of God in the world? And what if beauty provided a power enabling human beings to think in novel and creative ways, to see with new eyes? This book explores the various ways in which the Christian theological tradition has provided responses to these questions. Taking its starting point from the view that beauty is above all a divine name, this book explores the consequences that such a starting point has not only for the human experience of beauty but also for the way in which beauty penetrates to the very heart of human nature, uplifting and inspiring human thought and action to ever new frontiers of existence. In its experience of beauty, so this book argues, the human spirit encounters the divine presence in unexpected and transformative ways, such that one may come to see that not only is God beautiful, but God is beauty itself! ""Both the historical and conceptual range are impressive, with Sammon able to move from Hebrew scripture and Plato to the contemporary period while showing remarkable comfort with a wide range of religious and philosophical reflection on beauty. For such a short book the coverage is comprehensive, with digests of Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and Bonaventure being especially compelling. The book displays real mastery of his subject, but it's the passion and lucidity of the writing are wonderful and will likely earn for it a large readership."" --Cyril O'Regan, Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame ""What does an alert and questioning undergraduate need to know about the Christian tradition of naming God beauty? How can a chastened understanding of the analogy of being contribute to the reawakening of Christians today to the epiphany of beauty? Crucial questions such as these are handled with erudition, clarity, and refreshing simplicity in Sammon's latest masterpiece . . . Called to Attraction is a great opportunity to elevate these discussions far beyond the mundane without losing your audience in the process, for the work tackles central questions concerning beauty's relevance to human existence forthrightly and with pedagogical finesse."" --Peter Casarella, Associate Professor, Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame ""Brendan Sammon's Called to Attraction is a concise and stimulating intellectual journey through the history of a single idea--the idea of beauty. Examining various conceptions of beauty from antiquity to the present, from Plato and Aristotle to Hans Urs von Balthasar, Sammon summons us to a deeper appreciation of what this word means, and how it might apply ultimately to God himself. At the heart of the book is an attempt to fathom beauty, wherever it appears, as a divine call and, as such, as an anagogical invitation to ever greater union with the one who is beauty itself--indeed, beauty incarnate. As one might hope from a book on this topic, Called to Attraction is written in an attractive style that calls for a wide readership."" --John Betz, Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame Brendan Thomas Sammon received his PhD from the Catholic University of America and is an assistant professor of systematic theology at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. He is the author of The God Who Is Beauty: Beauty as a Divine Name in Thomas Aquinas and Dionysius the Areopagite (Pickwick, 2013).