TCL5130EN - Intercultural Perspectives of Theological Aesthetics

Course description

The many cultural understandings and expressions of beauty will be explored. The student will analyze the influence of philosophy, religion, and historical contexts on the understanding of aesthetics in different cultures and religious traditions, all the while developing his/her own theological aesthetics for missional engagement with cultures different than his own.

How this course benefits students

Some cultures have a greater, and certainly different, understanding of beauty and how it should be expressed. The missional student will encounter what he/she may initially deem to be offensive, crass, or vulgar, or moving, inspiring, and enchanting. This course will give the student the Biblical foundation for engaging and evaluating a variety of cultural aesthetic understandings.

Why this course is important

Theological aesthetics is grounded in the beauty of the character and creative nature of God. Expressions of beauty are an example of the diversity of God’s creation. This course will help the student understand, appreciate, and engage in cultural expressions of beauty from a Biblical perspective and with a missional heart.

Credit hours
3 hours
Subject area
Cultural Theology
Educational level
Learning type
Upcoming terms
* Schedule subject to change. Please contact the Registrar's office with schedule questions.
Dr. Aidan Kwame Ahaligah, Professor of Intercultural Theology

How this course relates to missional core values

Biblically based

The concept of beauty is grounded in the nature of God, who also created all things good. The course will examine beauty as is understood and sought out in Scripture.

Missionally driven

Aesthetics is not usually thought of as being missional; however, all cultures and peoples have concepts of beautry, which provide points of contact and relationship and bridges for the gospel story.

Contextually informed

The course will examine aesthetics in context; i.e. definition, understandings, applications, and practice.

Interculturally focused

The course will examine both supra-cultural theological aesthetics and beauty as found in various cultures.

Practically minded

The student will finish the course equipped with some practical resources to engage others missionally through theological aesthetics.

Experientially transformed

The student will explore and experience theological and contextual aesthetics.