Features > How beauty can ignite the desire for truth

11 April 2018 | by Janet Soskice

How beauty can ignite the desire for truth

How beauty can ignite the desire for truth

Janet Soskice analyses how truth, like beauty, is both a 'given' and a 'work in progress'


Is truth in shorter supply than it used to be? How can it be recognised and where can it reliably be found? And if truth is difficult to find, is beauty any easier? In classical Christian teaching, God is not only beautiful but beauty itself, not only truthful but truth itself, not only good but goodness itself. What can this mean in a hectic world where “truth” is contested, “goodness” sounds priggish, and “beauty” is discussed mainly in terms of revolutionary new beauty products?

Even art students seem reluctant to speak of beauty today for fear of appearing gauche and naive. Do we, in the age of Instagram, hear the adage “beauty is only skin deep” not as a warning but as a stipulation – beauty is only appearance and appearance is all there is?


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