Awakening the senses...

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"Candid reflections from the author's own life anchor these pages, lending credence to his claim that 'a person is made whole through sensuous awakening to the beauty of the Lord.'" - Presbyterian Survey

"Austin is entertaining and imaginative ... inspiring to read and thought-provoking." - Environmental Ethics

"Austin delineates a philosophy of nature that is thoroughly biblical, carefully developed, and desperately relevant." - Reformed Review

Beauty of the Lord: Awakening the Senses. Richard Cartwright Austin. Published in 1988 by John Knox Press. Distributed by Creekside Press. ISBN 0-8042-0859-X. 225 pages softbound. $10.00, shipping included.

Let thy work appear unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children.

And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it.

Psalm 90:16,17

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From the book...

This book interprets beauty to join Christian theology with ecological awareness, thus providing a foundation for Christian experience of nature. (11)

The sense of beauty is central to human knowledge of God and the foundation of ethics, because the experience of beauty engages persons with their environment. (7)

Ugliness is not the opposite of beauty; it is the companion of tasting beauty in the world. The true opposite of beauty is a dullness or insensibility to the world around us. (28)

The natural world expresses God because it has emerged, creatively and deliberately, from the character of the Lord. The beauties of the earth are truly expressions of the beauty of God. (128)

Isolation from both God and nature increases our vulnerability to oppression from within society. The first victim of the modern age is a human culture turned in upon itself and weakened by its own introversion. (168,9)

The greatest beauty is in the act of beautifying — bringing others to fulfillment. (129)

God can be truly known only if God is the direct object of enjoyment. (106)

If we wish to see God clearly we must run the risks of wholeness. (118)

A person is made whole through sensuous awakening to the beauty of the Lord. (145)

The beauty of the Lord undergirds the existence of God. Beauty comes first; we begin with an appreciation of God’s character before we deal with the question of God’s existence. (133,156)

Beauty is fulfilled in being seen, known, and experienced. Therefore, God created a beautiful world and created many species with open eyes, ears, and nostrils to experience it. It is important to enter this communion, so that we and the earth may love each other and praise God together. (190)

Humanity still finds it easier to exterminate competing life than to learn how to live with nature. Since we do not accept death in our culture, we inflict it upon the world. (199)

The death of each creature is essential to the life of others. Death is a way we give life to each other within the biosphere. (196,7)

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