At Christ and Pop Culture, Jason Morehead writes about the Bibliotheca project and asks, what’s the point of making the Bible more beautiful?
Similar things could be said about Bibliotheca. All of that time, money, and effort could be put towards something more practical and necessary, like translating the Bible into a language that doesn’t have it yet or printing thousands of cheap copies to hand out for free.
Such statements may contain wisdom, but they also gloss over the ministry that aesthetics and beauty can have, i.e., creating transcendental experiences that shake us from this world’s mundanity and point towards God. A ministry of beauty may not be obvious or practical, but it’s not unimportant, and can serve a singular role. Rod Dreher has written about this topic often, and usually in relationship to a religious experience he had at Chartres Cathedral that challenged his agnosticism — an experience created, in part, by the cathedral’s architecture.