Theopoiesis and the aesthetics of human dignity: towards a pneumatological approach


  • Daniël J Louw



The aesthetics of human dignity, Human rights, Human dignity, Theological anthropology, Pneumatology and Theopoiesis, Inhabitational theology


The discourse on human dignity is most of the times determined by ethics and dogmatic issues. It is often the case that the paradigm of democratisation dictates processes of conceptualisation. The article operates from the hypothesis that aesthetics is more fundamental than ethics. Human dignity is a relational category determined by habitus and the eschatological status of our being qualities. In a pastoral theological approach one should shift from the democratic paradigm to the pneumatological paradigm. In this regard the theology of A. A. Van ruler becomes most appropriate. Theopoiesis points to a kind of theological aesthetics within the realm of anthropology. The basic assumption of the article is that more fundamental than the moral question whether man is good or bad is the aesthetic question: the value and purpose of our being human; i.e. the human being as beauty (the dignity of human beings) or human beings as beast (the ugliness of human beings)? Human dignity is fundamentally an aesthetic category.






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