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The Way of Beauty: Liturgy, Education, and Inspiration for Family, School, and College Paperback – July 20, 2015

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 282 pages
  • Publisher: Angelico Press (July 20, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621381412
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621381419
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #528,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I'm not yet done with this book, but I wanted to make sure there was a positive review here to encourage others to take a look at it. Clayton has done his homework and presents a framework for understanding both beauty, and it's utterly profound importance. He makes it clear why certain old buildings endlessly charm new generations, how to "read" the numbers/proportions of paintings, etc. and makes a strong case for beauty as a light for the world. This book is brainy and will challenge anyone not in the habit of reading "high" writing, but it is also never intentionally hoity or erudite. This is a great book for the person in your life who loves architecture, art, the classics, or who knows that something is amiss in our materially-wealthy-yet-spiritually-impoverished culture.
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David Clayton, painter and iconographer, teacher and writer, and whirlwind of interesting ideas on all things aesthetic, has contributed some of my favorite articles to New Liturgical Movement over the years, be they on mathematical proportions in architecture and music, on what makes a work of art sacred rather than merely religious, on the many links between the liturgy and the fine arts, on the conditions for a rebirth of ecclesiastical art in our times, on the profound connection between education and liturgy (something that is, sad to say, understood by few), and on comparisons between different stylistic periods in art and how these differences affect the representation and perception. Just the other day he was writing about gardens -- appropriately for a man who seems, garden-like, to produce an abundance of intellectual flowers and fruits.

Clayton's compendium covers "the way of beauty" in so many rich ways, tying together not only the several fine arts themselves (in detailed assessments of how works of art actually function educationally and liturgically), but also the larger cultural context in which art is always situated and which it powerfully shapes in turn, the optimal environment for the arts to be practiced and their works contemplated, and the philosophical and theological roots of artistic endeavor as found across cultures and civilizations. The book is an extended meditation on the meaning of beauty, which has its exemplar in God, and how this beauty is expressed among us in number, weight, and measure, in form and matter, in signs and symbols, in complementary styles.

Although ambitious and detailed, the book is easy to read. It falls into distinct sections; indeed, one might say that it is four slim books published in one volume. Part One (pp.
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