The current issue of Image (#75) is full of rich mini-essays on some of the key words we rely on when we speak about the intersection of faith and the arts. Among these words is beauty, which novelist Erin McGraw chooses to parse.
McGraw’s main point is that beauty is ever-fleeting. We want to get a grip on it; yet by its very (transcendent) nature, we can’t.
I see what she means, and I delight in her brilliant, breezy prose. But I think there’s something important about beauty that McGraw is leaving out.
As her “rough and ready definition of beauty” she offers: “some display of harmony, intelligence, and genius.” I’d go along with this definition as far as it goes—but I don’t think it goes far enough.
Specifically, it leaves out beauty’s moral dimension: goodness. [Read more...]