Dr. George Harne a Key Contributor to Just-Released “Wounds of Beauty”
In our often-hectic world, where screens, palm-sized and giant, consume so much of our attention, inspiration for renewing respite has arrived. “The Wounds of Beauty: Seven Dialogues on Art and Education” is Margarita Mooney Suarez’s newest book. And once again, the University of St. Thomas-Houston Executive Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. George Harne, is a crucial collaborator within its pages.
Pope Benedict XVI, quoting Byzantine theologian Nicholas Cabasilas, prompted the title “The Wounds of Beauty.” He said, “The encounter with the beautiful can become the wound of the arrow that strikes the heart and, in this way, opens our eyes … the [subsequent] longing indicates who has inflicted the wound.”
Book Like a Tapestry
Each chapter in the book reflects the author’s conversation with a subject matter expert on an aspect of beauty leading to truth. Harne, a musicologist, explains Suarez’s enjoyable style of bringing multiple voices together.
“Her books are like a tapestry woven around a theme,” Harne said. “Her first book on liberal learning did this, and now we have her book on beauty. Both topics are inherently dynamic and dialogical. Tensions with each subject never fully resolve but keep us reading.”
Need for Beauty and the Role of Grace
Harne added, “Our conversation explored different aspects of our need for beauty and our experience of it. We considered the nature of this need and experience and how our experience of the beautiful can make us more human or lead us in directions contrary to our nature and ultimate aim. We also considered the critical role that grace must place in any substantially transformative experience of beauty. And we take up the question of how to reintegrate beauty into our education and daily lives by taking our cues from St. Benedict and his followers.”
The Way of Beauty Instead of Discontent and Existential Loneliness
“The Wounds of Beauty” promises readers will “come away knowing how to lead others to the truth, encounter the sacred, live with joy, interpret culture, enter deeply into leisure, form a coherent identity and build a common good where justice is both true and beautiful.”
For someone interested in entering into the topics of liberal education or beauty, these dialogues are natural doorways accompanied by suggested reading and discussion questions.