Friday, February 8, 2013

Walking on Water: Part 4

"All shall be well and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well. No matter what. That, I think, is the affirmation behind all art which can be called Christian. That is what brings cosmos out of chaos."

I remember a discussion we had in one of my college classes on the meaning of art. At first when the teacher asked us to share our definition of art, I thought it would be too complex to put into words. There are so many elements to art, so many things I could say. But after thinking for only a few minutes, I realized it's actually quite simple. For me, art is beauty. It's something created that is beautiful. That is art's most important feature, in my mind.

A lot of the people in the class disagreed with me, saying that beauty is subjective (and it is), so how can that be the common denominator?

But what is art, if not for transcendence and beauty? What is art, if not to "bring cosmos out of chaos"?

I've finished Madeleine L'Engle's book and can wholeheartedly recommend it. At times while reading it, it was hard to decide if L'Engle was talking about art or faith, faith or art. She writes about them as if they are one and the same--they are so intertwined in her eyes that it's hard for me to put into words exactly how L'Engle feels about their relationship and how they connect. But if I had to pick one passage, the one quoted above would be it. Art lifts us out of worldly chaos and into the peace of the cosmos, into a heavenly realm, where all shall be well.


  1. Definitely adding it to the list. I love the idea of intertwining faith and art. It's the art history minor in me crying out, I suppose. I love that quote, too... that is what brings cosmos out of chaos.

  2. Beauty is probably one of the first words I'd think of when trying to describe art too. That books sounds like something I'd like to read. Art and faith... I think it's almost impossible to separate the two.

  3. Oh you'd love it, as a writer, and an art history minor (so neat!). It's really inspiring.

  4. Do read it! I'm so glad you say beauty is the word you'd use too.


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