In De Musica, Augustine described beauty as “a plank amid the waves of the sea.” From the perspective of process theology, the experience of beauty not only offers life-saving rescue from the storms of life, but also serves as a glimpse into the very nature of God and the world.
Writing this book during the coronavirus quarantine offers new meaning to the phrase, “waves of the sea,” as waves of the virus sweep across the globe, ravaging lives and livelihoods. This new catastrophe layered atop systemic racism, economic injustice, and the existential threat of climate change, catapults Augustine’s words into a new world on the brink of drowning. How can beauty be a plank against such waves? How is beauty relevant in such times as these? What part does beauty play in the transformation of our exhausted and beleaguered world? And how can beauty tend to our aching souls in these times of crises on every front?
These are some of the questions I address in this short theology of beauty, inspired by process theology, scripture, experience—and in loving companionship with poets, philosophers, artists, mystics, musicians, and the mother of all teachers: nature herself.
–From the Introduction to Beauty and Process Theology: A Journey of Transformation (Energion Press)