Sublime communion and the costs of evolution

Journal article


Edwards, Denis. Sublime communion and the costs of evolution. Irish Theological Quarterly. 84(1), pp. 22-38. https://doi.org/10.1177/0021140018815853
AuthorsEdwards, Denis
Abstract

Both the crisis of life on our planet and major developments in the sciences demand a rethinking of the theological understanding of the human in relationship to the rest of the natural world. Since Pope Francis’s theology of sublime communion provides an important resource for this work, the first section of the article analyses what is said of this communion in Laudato Si’. In the second section, a critical theological issue is raised, one not dealt with in the encyclical, concerning the costs of evolution: the pain, predation, violence, death, and extinction built into the natural world. In the last two sections, it is proposed that the word sublime that Pope Francis uses is capable of embracing the harsh side of creation, through a brief survey of the distinction between beauty and the sublime in philosophical aesthetics, and then through an exploration of the use of the word sublime in the mystical theology of John of the Cross.

Keywordscommunion; costs of evolution; John of the Cross; Pope Francis; philosophical aesthetics; sublime
JournalIrish Theological Quarterly
Journal citation84 (1), pp. 22-38
PublisherSage Publications Ltd.
ISSN0021-1400
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/0021140018815853
Scopus EID2-s2.0-85059353019
Research or scholarlyResearch
Page range22-38
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
File Access Level
Controlled
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online25 Dec 2018
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Sep 2021
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