Joseph Pearce, Aquinas College’s Writer-in-Residence and Director of the Center for Faith and Culture, presents his inaugural lecture on the Feast of St. Augustine on the topic of “The Evangelizing Power of Beauty: Converting the Culture.”
Evangelism is not an option for the Christian. It is a commandment. To love God and neighbour has to mean that we want to bring our neighbour to God. The three ways of evangelizing our neighbour are through the power of the good, the true and the beautiful. The way of the good is the way of love or virtue. The way of the true is the way of reason. The way of beauty is the way of Creation and creativity. These three ways are necessary but in an age of hedonism and relativism, our neighbours may misconstrue the meaning of love and reason. In such a culture, the way of beauty becomes an even more powerful way of evangelizing the culture. Illustrations of the evangelizing power of beauty will be given, including Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ, Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings.