The Nature of Beauty and Sacred Art: A lecture by David Clayton

David Clayton is a professor at Saint Thomas More College of the Liberal Arts in Merrimack, NH, where he has designed the Way of Beauty program which focuses on the link between Catholic culture and liturgy. I think this kind of talk is very important. I would like to see more people, more “average folks,” more in-the-pews people, that would think about these things, and speak up.

I am curious what others think. Do you think about these things? Do you care, or think they are important? I recognize that most folks are not into listening to lectures, but the connections between beauty (one of the transcendentals) and the Christian life, especially the liturgy and Cristian architecture, music, and other aspects of worship, seems really important.

A comment on the production: I am continually finding it troublesome that lectures on art and architecture seem to be video recorded by rank amateurs. Lighting is almost always bad, framing is generally poor, camera quality and movement indicate they are using cheaper equipment, and overall it always seems like recording lectures is, at best, an afterthought. I understand most of the time they cannot get professionals because of the cost (though more professionals should volunteer as a way of supporting the Church and tithing) but they can still do much better. In short, video of art lectures should be beautiful and well done, and they almost always are not, including this one. If the lectures rely heavily on PowerPoint (et al.) then get the presentation and add it directly to the video — don’t video the screen; at least use two cameras, one for the lecturer and one for the screen. Just as we Christians generally tend to lack the commitment anymore to build beautiful churches or commission beautiful liturgical music, we make lots of bad videos. Nonetheless, I do appreciate the content of these lectures. And I’m glad someone captured the lectures at least.

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