Hints for research issues
- Beauty as a transcendental. Applications of a classical theme in the 21st century. The foundation of beauty in finality: ethics and aesthetics. True beauty and illusory beauty: manipulation of the pulchrum.
- Beauty and self-transcendence. Transparency, openness and respect. Beauty as a path to God.
- Beauty and literature: from the Classical ideal to contemporary transformations.
- Aesthetic education in C. S. Lewis. The Essence of the Work of Art: in the footsteps of Romano Guardini. The emotional drift of ethics: modernity and the contemporary.
- The liberating power of beauty: from Romanticism to the experience of Victor Frankl in the concentration camps.
- Music, literature, plastic arts, poetry: a necessity for man, escapism from the world, or a deeper vision of reality?
- Beauty will save the world. The place of beauty in the powers of the contemporary world.
- Art and philosophy as deeper approximations of reality. Poets and philosophers in the Classical world.
Christianity, culture and society
- Urban life and the perception of beauty. Does the modern city and its rhythms allow its citizens to develop a love for the beautiful? Is the museum or gallery the best place to transmit the beauty of art? The natural world as an encounter with beauty.
- Technology and beauty. Can the artificial be beautiful? Does technology imitate nature or dominate it?
- The image of God in the history of Christianity: from Iconoclasm to figurative art. Is there an objective canon governing the representation of the divine? The Bible as a compendium of images and artistic inspiration.
- Religious experience and artistic creation. Artistic expression and the communication of experience. Is art capable of transmitting an experience?
- The challenge of mass culture. Is art something for the elite? The challenge of pop art. Do we all have the same talent? Who confers the status of ‘artist’?
- Does art need Christianity? Does Christianity need artists? Reflections on John Paul II’s Letter to Artists and Benedict XVI’s meeting with artists in the Sistine Chapel (November 2009).
- Beauty as a challenge for education. The dangers of a society insensitive to the beautiful. Where is aesthetic sense educated? The role of the family, the school and the state.
- Beauty and everyday life. Is beauty something extraordinary? Beauty and virtue: the beauty of a life without great events. The effort required for the beautiful. Life as a work of art.
- Sentiment, sensitivity, character and emotions. Is having a taste for beauty innate, or is it possible to acquire? Education in beauty as a moral quality.
- Do East and West have different ways of perceiving beauty? Is there a universal canon of beauty? Aesthetic relativism.
- The university and artistic obligation. The space that the university needs to make for the arts. Museums and art collections in the university.
- The vision of Christian art and its relation with beauty: Joseph Ratzinger’s The Spirit of the Liturgy and Romano Guardini’s The Essence of the Work of Art. The liturgy as an expression of mystery by means of beauty.
- The role of beauty in the new evangelization. Specific examples of the spread of Christianity through art.
- Beauty and celebration. The meaning of the feast and the banalization of the festive.
Science and medicine
- Beauty and order in nature: beauty as the inspiration for discoveries throughout the history of science.
- Is beauty an element of judgment in scientific theories? Specific cases: Copernicus, Einstein, Heisenberg.
- Wonder and aesthetic experience in the initiation of scientific research. The importance of curiosity, games, the imagination and intuition in scientific development. Study of specific cases.
- The mathematical nature of beauty and aesthetic sense in mathematics. An example: fractals.
- Mathematics in art. Study of different arts: painting, music… The beauty of numbers, and the role played by numbers in the search for beauty (the Classical canons).
- Beauty as psychological therapy. Harmony, equilibrium and health. Mental health and the appreciation of the beautiful in everyday life.
- Mental disorders provoked by the proliferation of violent images. The case of videogames.
- Scientific communication: making the inaccessible understandable and attractive.
- The art of positive communication. Initiatives and campaigns concerning: the culture of life, religious freedom, the family. Communicators as makers of beauty.
- The path leading to the perception of beauty: arguments, deductions, reasoning? Can we communicate taste for the beautiful to others? Can we prove the beauty of something?
- Cinema and artistic quality. Are experimental and independent cinema the salvation of cinema as an art form? Cinema: art or consumption? The process of completing a film script.
- The culture of the immediate and beauty. The need for time and rest in order to perceive the beautiful. Leisure as a condition for art.
- The deterioration of beauty in reality shows and in publicity. The imitation of models from the cinema. Publicity and models of conduct: use and abuse of the Classical notion of beauty.
- The relation between aesthetics, poetry and ethics in audiovisual media (cinema, television, etc.). Can a film, a television series, be beautiful and at the same time immoral?
- The representation of evil. The cinema and models of the contemporary hero.
- Creativity and beauty in the media. Beauty and truth in digital communication: the creation of profiles and identity. Truth and respect in the media.
- Is beauty within? Image and reality in the media. Visibility, popularity and narcissism. Beauty and economy of attention in the media: what next after notoriety? The value of the image in brands and institutions.
- The cliché. Communication and stereotypes. Are the media obliged to tell the truth, or not to lie deliberately? Rhetoric and communication.
- The grammar of online communication: SMS, emails, chat. Language as transmitter of beauty and the impoverishment of the value of words.
Economy, law and politics
- Politics and art. The risks of political art. Cultural agendas. Art in totalitarian regimes.
- Author’s rights vs. freedom of expression and the sharing of digital content. The limits of intellectual property.
- The vulgarization of law. Constitutional, political and juridical language: where are the boundaries? The language of rights and the judicialization of politics.
- ‘Pure’ theory of law. Is there anything left of the kelsenian attempt to ‘purify’ law of morals? Is it possible?
- Effort, sacrifice and economic growth. Team work and personal development. Solidarity between generations. Efficiency and commodity at the service of society.
- Art at auction. Who decides the value of a Van Gogh? Legal protection of the artistic patrimony.
- The foundation and limits of the freedom of artistic creation. Does the freedom of artistic creation have any norms?
- Aesthetics and truth in the great constitutional texts. Beauty and natural law in the political classics.
- Aesthetics and language in parliamentary rhetoric: the devaluation of political discourse. Juridical language and effective communication: still outstanding business?
Art and architecture
- Art and the expert. Is there a scientific language of art? Is it necessary to be an expert to understand a work of art? Art, expression, knowledge. Technique and expression in the history of art.
- Music and contemplation of the beautiful. The influence of the classics on music. Does music have to be beautiful?
- Aestheticism and art for art’s sake. Can art be considered as something autonomous, beyond goodness and truth?
- Styles, canons, rules, currents. How can we analyze the architecture of a building? Functionality and aesthetics. Models for successful architecture.
- Inspiration and work. Itinerary of a masterpiece. Examples and stories of how effort is translated into art. The creative process: encounter–expression.
- Decisions born of an encounter with beauty: Loss and Gain by John Henry Newman; The veil of Veronica by Gertrude von le Fort; Paul Claudel; Gabriel Marcel; M. García Morente…
- The aesthetic experience as discovery of meaning. The representation of beauty over time. The reading of the work of art: the ethics of reception.
- The work of art as a stimulus to freedom: study of specific works. Is art necessary for life? Does the artist have a social function?
- Contemporary art and truth: is there an opposition between the beautiful and the authentic? New forms of beauty in contemporary art: between the sublime and the kitsch. Uglyism and underground aesthetics in the plastic arts. The beautiful and the sinister in contemporary art.
- Hyperrealism in its different artistic manifestations: painting, sculpture, cinema…
- Functionalism and beauty: the genius in architecture. Does beauty in architecture improve human life? Beauty of constructions in steel. Contemporary perspectives of religious architecture.
- The dialogue between modernity and Christianity. An example: Gaudí and the basilica of the Sagrada Familia.