On-line version ISSN 0023-270X
LOUW, D. J.. Poetic seeing in visual arts and theology. Aesthetics as a spiritual and loving gaze within the human quest for meaning. Koers (Online) [online]. 2015, vol.80, n.1, pp. 1-13. ISSN 0023-270X. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/koers.v80i1.2207.
A human being is essentially homo aestheticus and not in the first place homo faber. In the light of this basic assumption, it is argued that, due to poetic seeing, interconnectedness between art1, spirituality and the human quest for meaning exists. It is virtually impossible to define art. However, in one way or another, art is connected to imagination, inspiration and creativity. Art probes into the realm of the unseen, thus the value of iconic seeing in visual arts. By means of art, objects are moved into imagination and connected to the 'idea' beyond the vision of phenomenological observation. Serious art probes into the dimension of the unseen; it makes the invisible, visible. Art deals inter alia with 'signals of transcendence' (Peter Berger)2 and opens up new avenues for religious thinking and spiritual experiences. Serious art can thus contribute to the healing dimension of spiritual wholeness. Art can even assist theology in the reframing of existing God-images. In this regard, the notions of a Compassionate God and God as Covenantal Partner for Life, become appropriate alternatives for the imperialistic pantokrator-images (omni-categories) of theism.
Keywords : homo aestheticus; visual arts; poetic seeing; meaning in suffering; aesthetics; imagination; theology and God-images; theopascitism.