Also on the morning of Friday, December 11, the Anglo-American philosopher Roger Scruton elaborated the fourth of the "transcendentals" of classical philosophy, that of beauty, also as a way of access to God.
"In creating beauty, the artist gives glory to God's creation," he said. This is how it has been over the entire span of human history, even where - as in the abysses of the twentieth century - suffering and desolation reign.
And yet "the worship of ugliness and desecration is asserting itself today in an age of unprecedented prosperity. [...] Desecration is a sort of defense against the sacred, an attempt to destroy its claims. Our lives will be judged before sacred things; and in order to escape that judgment, we destroy the thing that seems to accuse us. And since beauty reminds us of the sacred - and is even a special form of it - beauty must also be desecrated."
The "positive way" of beauty is, nonetheless, embedded in the heart of man. "Why then do so many artists today refuse to walk this path? Perhaps because they know that it leads to God."
After Scruton spoke, Archbishop Gianfranco Ravasi, president of the pontifical council for culture, and Professor Antonio Paolucci, director of the Vatican Museums, illustrated the depictions of God in the figurative art of yesterday and today. Including concrete examples, including Raphael's frescoes in the Vatican, and in particular the "School of Athens" that www.chiesa, in presenting the event on "God today," had proposed as emblematic of the event itself.
In other parts of the conference, depictions of God were illustrated in music, fiction, poetry, cinema, television, with evocative performances, readings, and projections, commented on by artists and specialists.
For the future:
a reflection on "what God says about himself," meaning on divine revelation; and then a reflection on the liturgy, or the rites, places, times, languages in which man and the Christian relate to God.