Catholic Teachers: How do you teach beauty?

raphael

Besides the Catechism, which may well be taught by a specialist teacher, priest or religious in your school, how do we teach beauty through our subject matter?

There are so many opportunities for us, across all subjects, to engage with the Truth. When I say Truth I point to its elements in reason, love and beauty. Each element is fundamentally dependent on the other.

So in teaching Truth, we can explore the beautiful and be confident that it has reason and love encapsulated within it.

As educators we can engage with beauty through a variety of means.

So when we engage with art either through visual art, history or religion we might look to Giotto, Raphael, Michelangelo, Fra Angelico.

In music we might look to William Byrd, Thomas Tallis, Anton Bruckner, Arvo Pärt.

In literature, we find beauty in Dante, Shakespeare, Hopkins, Tolkien, Waugh.

The fact is, we need to be careful in our source material we use to teach. Not all art is beautiful. Much of literature rejects reason. Modern music sings of idolatry rather than real love.

Arm yourself with a guide on how to navigate yourself through the cultural mire, so that what you present in class is Truth.

A favourite ‘field guide’ I use in literature is Joseph Pearce‘s Catholic Literary Giants. Book such as this is where I educate myself so that I know what represents Truth through literature. In fact without such a guide, I would not be able to write this article.

Other such guides are available for art and music.

When we do this consistently, we teach Christ: The Truth through the true, the good and the beautiful.

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