Course Number: PHS 471

Course Number: SAI 371 / SAI 372


Course Title: Aesthetics in Sacred Art
Term: Fall 2017

Professor

Dr. Michela Beatrice Ferri Stucchi, Ph.D.

mferri@holyapostles.edu

1. COURSE DESCRIPTION

This course explores the various elements of Aesthetics in the field of the "Sacred Art”, related to the Christian world, in comparison with the secular Christian Arts of religious themes, and in comparison with the Art in general.

During this course students will learn the specifics of Christian theological, doctrinal, theosophical and philosophical thought foundations as they relate to Aesthetics in Sacred Arts, and will examine their evolution through the ages. Students will recognize and develop an appreciation for the uniqueness of the Aesthetics used in Christian Arts through their multiple facets, intended relation, and effect on the human senses both cognitively, symbolically and spiritually.

Online only.

2. ENVISIONED LEARNING OUTCOMES

1)        Students will demonstrate the ability to recognize the features of the field of study we call “Aesthetics of the Sacred Art”.

2)        Students will demonstrate the ability to understand what is that field of study called “Theological Aesthetics”.

3)        Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze an artwork in the context of the Aesthetics of the Sacred Art.


3. COURSE SCHEDULE

28 August 2017 – 08 December 2017

PART 1: INTRODUCTION. AESTHETICS OF THE SACRED

WEEK 1: AESTHETICS IN THE SACRED ART. INTRODUCTION

28/08 (MONDAY) – 01/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Readings:

https://www.britannica.com/topic/aesthetics

https://www.britannica.com/topic/aesthetics/Taste-criticism-and-judgment#toc11681

by Jem Sullivan

New Haven, CT: Knights of Columbus Supreme Council

Catholic Information Service, 2012, with imprimatur.

Part of the “New Evangelization Series” (Michelle K. Borras, Ph.D., general editor).

http://www.kofc.org/en/resources/cis/cis418.pdf

Religious Aesthetics. A Theological Study of Making and Meaning

by Frank Burch Brown

Princeton University Press, 1993

Chapter 1. “Introduction”, pp. 1-15

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

tell the class who you are and what you hope to gain from this course (300 words)


WEEK 2: AESTHETICS OF THE CHRISTIAN ART – PART 1

04/09 (MONDAY) – 08/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Frank Burch Brown

Chapter 2. “Can Aesthetics be Christian?”, pp. 16-46

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

WEEK 3: AESTHETICS OF THE CHRISTIAN ART – PART 2

11/09 (MONDAY) – 15/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Frank Burch Brown

Chapter 3. “Art, Religion, and the Aesthetic Milieu”, pp. 47-76

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.


WEEK 4: AESTHETICS TOWARDS THEOLOGY

18/09 (MONDAY) – 22/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Frank Burch Brown

Chapter 4. Artistic Makings and Religious Meanings, pp. 77-111

Chapter 8. Aesthetics from the standpoint of Theology – Conclusion, pp. 185-194

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.


PART 2: WHERE AESTHETICS MEETS THEOLOGY

WEEK 5: AESTHETICS MEETS THEOLOGY

25/09 (MONDAY) – 29/09 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Richard Viladesau

“The Notion of Theological Aesthetics”, pp. 6-11

“The Place of Theological Aesthetics in Theology”, pp. 35-38

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Create 10 slides about the main concepts of the theme: “Aesthetics meets Theology”

The last slide will be dedicated to the section: “Bibliography”.

The “Bibliography” will contain at least three titles.


WEEK 6: THE UNPICTURABILITY OF GOD

02/10 (MONDAY) – 06/10 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Richard Viladesau

“God in Thought and in Imagination: representing the Unimaginable”

pp. 39-71

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Compose a podcast, of 5 minutes, in which you explain the topic of the lesson

and in which you explain your position, your thought on it.

At the beginning of the Podcast, say: “Week 6 : The Unpicturability of God”.

WEEK 7: GOD AND THE BEAUTIFUL – PART 1

09/10 (MONDAY) – 13/10 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Richard Viladesau

Natural Theology  and Aesthetics. The Beautiful as an Approach to God?”

pp. 104-105

“The Ascent of the Mind to God in the Western Tradition”

pp. 105-120

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.


WEEK 8: GOD AND THE BEAUTIFUL – PART 2

16/10 (MONDAY) – 20/10 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Richard Viladesau

“A Transcendental Approach Through Beauty?”

pp. 120-140

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

WEEK 9: ART AND THE SACRED – PART 1

23/10 (MONDAY) – 27/10 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Richard Viladesau

“Dimension of the Question of Art and the Sacred”

pp. 143-162

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.


WEEK 10: ART AND THE SACRED – PART 2

30/10 (MONDAY) – 03/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Richard Viladesau

“The Sacred Word in Art and Music”

pp. 165-182

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

WEEK 11: ART AND THE SACRED – PART 3

06/11 (MONDAY) – 10/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

by Richard Viladesau

“Beauty and Art in the Perspective of the Cross”

pp. 189-198

pp. 203-214

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.


WEEK 12: THE BEAUTY OF THE CROSS

13/11 (MONDAY) – 17/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Reading:

Crucifixion

London: Phaidon Press, 2000

http://it.phaidon.com/store/art/crucifixion-9780714847962/

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Write a 2000 words paper about the theme of this lesson: “The Beauty of the Cross”.

Choose three of the Crucifixions presented in this book,

and elaborate a compared analysis of them.

The book written by father Richard Viladesau will be your guidance!


PART 3: THEOLOGIANS AND PHILOSOPHERS DISCUSS AESTHETICS

WEEK 13: AESTHETICS IN JACQUES MARITAIN (1882-1973)

20/11 (MONDAY) – 24/11 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Readings:

“Jacques Maritain: Aesthetics and philosophy of art”

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/maritain/#Aest

Incarnate Beauty: Maritain and the Aesthetic Experience of Contemporary Icons

by Katherine Anne Osenga – in “Beauty, art, and the polis”, edited by Alice Ramos

Washington, D.C. : American Maritain Association

Distributed by the Catholic University of America Press, c2000

Series: American Maritain Association publications

https://maritain.nd.edu/ama/Ramos/Ramos15.pdf

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

WEEK 14: THEOLOGICAL AESTHETICS OF HANS URS VON BALTHASAR (1905-1988)

27/11 (MONDAY) – 01/12 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Readings:

by Richard Viladesau

“From the Beauty of Theology to the Theology of Beauty:

The Theological Aesthetics of Hans Urs von Balthasar”

pp. 25-35

Hans Urs von Balthasar. Theologian of Beauty

by Joan L. Roccasalvo

The Way, 44/4 ( October, 2005 ), pp. 49-63

http://www.theway.org.uk/Back/444Roccasalvo.pdf

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.


WEEK 15: RECENT TEACHING OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON BEAUTY

04/12 (MONDAY) – 08/12 (FRIDAY)

Lecture:

Then, I will focus the attention on the relationship that Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul II, and then Pope Benedict XVI had with the Contemporary Art.

I will discuss the relationship between Roman Catholic Faith and Art in contemporary world.

Dr. Michela Ferri’s book dedicated to the relationship between Faith and Art in the Contemporary Age is going to be published in English, and contains her inquiries and her dialogues with Art Historians of the Roman Catholic Church and Artists that belong to the Roman Catholic Tradition.

The book is titled: “Contemporary Sacred Art. Italian Conversations”.

Readings:

  1. The Via Pulchritudinis, Privileged Pathway for Evangelisation and Dialogue.

Rome, Palazzo San Calisto, 27-28 March 2006

Pontifical Council for Culture

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/cultr/documents/rc_pc_cultr_doc_20060327_plenary-assembly_final-document_en.html

  1. Read these texts from the Vatican web site:

Pope Paul VI

http://w2.vatican.va/content/paul-vi/en/speeches/1965/documents/hf_p-vi_spe_19651208_epilogo-concilio-artisti.html

Pope John Paul II

http://w2.vatican.va/content/john-paul-ii/en/letters/1999/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_23041999_artists.html

Pope Benedict XVI

http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/speeches/2009/november/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20091121_artisti.html

Activities:

Reflect on the theme of this lesson.

Create 10 slides about the main concepts of the theme: “Sacred Art in Contemporary Age”

The last slide will be dedicated to the section: “Bibliography”.

The “Bibliography” will contain at least three titles.


4. COURSE REQUIREMENTS

The following tasks and assignments are designed for online learning – i.e., for learning that is both individually paced and a collaborative enterprise, as well as taking advantage of the resources available on the web. Assessment of learning and grade evaluation will be based upon the successful completion of these assignments.

2000 words paper        10%

Slide-show                10%

Podcast                10%

Discussion Post        20%

Quiz                        50%

2000 Words Paper

Write a 2000 words paper about the theme of this lesson: “The Beauty of the Cross”.

Choose three of the Crucifixions presented in this book, and elaborate a compared analysis of them.

The paper should be doubled-spaced, with 2 inch margins, and using a 12 point font Arial.

Please include in the last page a Bibliography!

Please include a separate title page for your paper with the following information:

Your Last Name, the Week Number, and due date of the paper.

(e.g. Brown, Robert, Week 1, September, 8, 2016.

Email all your papers to the following email address: mferri@holyapostles.edu)

Slide Show

Slide Shows are required as Assignment for the Week 05 and for the Week 15.

Create 10 slides about the main concepts of the theme: “Sacred Art in Contemporary Age”

The last slide will be dedicated to the section: “Bibliography”.

The “Bibliography” will contain at least three titles.

Podcast

Podcast is requied as Assignment for the Week 06.

Compose a podcast, of 5 minutes, in which you explain the topic of the lesson

and in which you explain your position, your thought on it.

Citations in Discussion Posts

For the purposes of the Discussions in Populi, please do provide a full footnote for sources at the end of your post. You will have to type a special character (^) at the beginning and end of your numbers to make a superscript in Populi, e.g. ^1^, ^2^, etcetera. Use the special characters for superscript also in your footnote.

Example Footnote

^1^ Vincent Balaguer, Understanding the Gospels (New York, Scepter Publishers, Inc., 2005), 5, [Hereafter UG].

Also, to bold, italicize, or underline words in Populi,

please refer to the “Formatting Guide” located below all discussion/comment fields in Populi.


5. REQUIRED READINGS and RESOURCES:

Richard Viladesau

Theological Aesthetics: God in Imagination, Beauty, and Art.

Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2012

ISBN-10: 0199959765

ISBN-13: 978-0199959761

Frank Burch Brown

Religious Aesthetics. A Theological Study of Making and Meaning

Princeton University Press, 1993

ISBN-10: 0691024723

ISBN-13: 978-0691024721

Crucifixion

London: Phaidon Press, 2000

ISBN-10: 0714847968

ISBN-13: 9780714847962

http://it.phaidon.com/store/art/crucifixion-9780714847962/

Michela Beatrice Ferri

Contemporary Sacred Art. Italian Conversations on Art and Faith

En Route Books and Media, 2017 (forthcoming)

Other texts will be shared by professor Michela Beatrice Ferri during the lessons.

They are:

6. SUGGESTED READINGS and RESOURCES:

Students are not required to purchase the following books.

They can read them just for their own interest.

  1. The Routledge Companion to Aesthetics

Edited by Berys Gaut and Dominic McIvers Lopes

Third edition, Routledge, 2013

ISBN-10: 0415782872

ISBN-13: 978-0415782876

http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415782876/

  1. Oxford Handbook of Religion and the Arts

Burch Brown, Frank

London – New York, Oxford University Press, 2012

ISBN-10: 0195176677

ISBN-13: 978-0195176674


7. EVALUATION

(Basis of evaluation with explanation regarding the nature of the assignment and the percentage of the grade assigned to each item below). Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at http://www.holyapostles.edu/owl).

GRADING SCALE:

A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below

Grading Rubric for the Major Papers and Discussion Board (DB) Postings

1 (F)

2 (D)

3 (C)

4 (B)

5 (A)

CONTENT

Absence of Understanding

Posting shows no awareness of the concepts addressed in the topic by shifting off-topic

Misunderstanding

Posting demonstrates a misunderstanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic through an inability to re-explain them

Adequate Understanding

Posting demonstrates an adequate understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic by a re-explanation of them

Solid understanding

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts addressed in the topic and uses that understanding effectively in the examples it provides

Insightful understanding

Posting demonstrates an understanding of the basic concepts of the topic through the use of examples and by making connections to other concepts

WRITING & EXPRESSION

Incomplete writing

Posting is only partially written or fails to address the topic

Writing difficult to understand, serious improvement needed

Posting touches only on the surface of the topic and proceeds to talk about something else; confusing organization or development; little elaboration of position; insufficient control of sentence structure and vocabulary; unacceptable number of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage

Acceptable writing, but could use some sharpening of skill

Posting is an uneven response to parts of the topic; somewhat conventional treatment;  satisfactory organization, but more development needed; adequate syntax and diction, but could use more vigor; overall control of grammar, mechanics, and usage, but some errors

Solid writing with something interesting to say

Posting is an adequate response to the topic; some depth and complexity in treatment; persuasive organization and development, with suitable reasons and examples;  level-appropriate syntax and diction;  mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage, with hardly any error

command-level writing, making a clear impression

Posting is a thorough response to the topic; thoughtful and insightful examination of issues; compelling organization and development ; superior syntax and diction; error-free grammar, mechanics, and usage

RESEARCH

Missing Research

Paper shows no evidence of research: citation of sources missing.

Inadequate research and/or documentation

Over-reliance on few sources; spotty documentation of facts in text; pattern of citation errors.

Weak research and/or documentation

Inadequate number or quality of sources; many facts not referenced; several errors in citation format.

Adequate research and documentation but needs improvement

Good choice of sources but could be improved with some additions or better selection; did not always cite sources.

Solid research and documentation

A number of relevant scholarly sources revealing solid research; sources appropriately referenced in paper; only a few minor citation errors.

COMMUNITY INTERACTION (50-word response)

Inadequate response

Response merely provides laudatory encouragement for original post, e.g., “Excellent post! You really have thought of something there.”

Poor response

Response misses the point of the original posting or merely summarizes original posting to which it responds.

Acceptable response

Response makes a contribution to the posting to which it responds.

Individually-conscious contributory response

Response makes a contribution to the posting to which it responds and fosters its development.

Community-conscious contributory response

Response makes a contribution to the learning community and fosters its development.

8. DISABILITIES ACCOMMODATIONS POLICY

Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at rmish@holyapostles.edu or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.

9. ACADEMIC HONESTY POLICY

Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously. Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.

10. ATTENDANCE POLICY

Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required to be in class 3 hours a week and prepare for class discussions 4.5 hours a week. Expect to devote at least 7 quality hours a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.

11. INCOMPLETE POLICY

Eligibility

Students who have completed little or no coursework are ineligible for an “Incomplete” in a course. An instructor may grant an incomplete to a student who:

An “I” for “Incomplete” is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the instructor.

Process

A student seeking an Incomplete should obtain the Incomplete form from the shared folder of the files tab in Populi or from the Associate Registrar’s office. The student will fill out the parts of the form pertaining to the student and submit the form to the instructor before the end of the semester.

If the instructor approves the Incomplete, the instructor fills out the section of the Incomplete form indicating what the student must do to finish the course and signs the form.

The instructor of an online class sends the approved form to the Assistant Registrar for online learning; the instructor of an on-campus class sends the form to the Associate Registrar for on-campus learning. The instructor also sends a copy of the completed Incomplete form to the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete (I) must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade  administratively turns into the grade of “F” for “Fail” if the course work is not completed by the end of the sixth week.

Other Results for Insufficiently Completing a Course

“W” for “Withdrawal” will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week.

Absent the granting of an “I” for Incomplete, “WF” for “Withdrawal/Fail” will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.

A student who does not complete sufficient coursework to pass a course and does not request a W or a WF will receive an F as the final course grade.

12. YOUR PROFESSOR

Michela Beatrice Ferri, Ph.D. in Philosophy, born in Italy and living in Italy, is a Roman Catholic professor and writer and teaches at the Holy Apostles College Seminary Distance Learning Program. Her BA thesis in Philosophy, discussed in 2005 at the Università degli Studi di Milano, is dedicated to Edmund Burke and to the birth of the Modern Sublime (“Burke e la genesi moderna del sublime”). Her MA thesis in Philosophy, discussed in 2007 at the Università degli Studi di Milano, is dedicated to the concepts of “time” and of “art” in the first reception of Phenomenology in Italy (“Tempo e arte nella fenomenologia italiana”).

In February 2012 she received her Doctorate in philosophy (Ph.D.) at the Università degli Studi di Milano, with a dissertation dedicated to the reception of Phenomenology in the United States of America. Her Ph.D. dissertation is the first work ever appeared in Italy, in Europe, and in North America focused on the history and on the analysis of the reception of Husserlian Phenomenology in the North America. She is the Editor of a volume titled: “The Reception of Phenomenology in North America” – projected on the basis of her dissertation – that will be published by “Springer” in 2018.

She is recognized as one of the leading experts in the field of Sacred Art and she is the Author of a volume dedicated to the dialogue between Catholic Faith and Art, devoted to an inquiry about Contemporary Sacred Art, titled “Sacro Contemporaneo. Dialoghi sull’arte”, published in 2016 by the Roman Catholic publishing house Áncora Editrice based in Milan, Italy. In this book, she presents dialogues that she have had with the major Roman Catholic art historians and with the most important Contemporary Artists operating in Italy. This book will be published in English by “En Route Books and Media” in 2017.

Michela Beatrice Ferri is also journalist. She works for several Roman Catholic journals, writing about Philosophy, Theology, History, Aesthetics, Sacred Art, History of Art and History of Architecture, Church, Jewish Studies.

Since 2009 she is married with Luca Stucchi, Catholic, Engineer and MS in Computer Science.

Dr. Michela Ferri is looking forward to have a wonderful Fall Semester with you !