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168. Drawn in by Beauty – Stained Glass Zealot Interview

Recently, I sat down with the Stained Glass Zealot to talk about the beauty of stained glass, and how it draws you in. Check out his Twitter account here or his Substack to see what he’s doing to show how beautiful this art is. Mostly, we discussed the beauty of churches. But, we dove into several other topics like the Lindy Effect, Divine Light by Abbot Suger, fashion vs. eternal beauty, and much more. Listen here or subscribe below to watch the interview:

One theme that came up again and again in this interview was that beauty draws us in. We know this from our own experience, if we stop to reflect. Generally, when we fall in love, it starts with some attraction to beauty. In a grocery isle, our eye jumps to bright, beautiful packaging. Beauty captures our attention. It captivates us, pulling us in.

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“My interest in art must have started with my Catholic upbringing. Art was everywhere: churches with its paintings, sculptures, stained glass, textiles, and fine metalwork.”

Cheech Marin

Stained Glass and the Lindy Effect

According to Wikipedia, the Lindy Effect, “is a theory that the future life expectancy of some non-perishable things like a technology or an idea is proportional to their current age, so that every additional period of survival implies a longer remaining life expectancy.” Basically, the longer something has been around, the longer it will last into the future.

Therefore, much of the beauty we find in stained glass windows, some hundreds or a thousand years old, will remain beautiful for a long time. Obviously, they have to be maintained for that. to be the case. But, the principles of beauty they follow will last.

The Origin of Stained Glass

This art was largely inspired by Abbot Suger of St. Denis. His work of Divine Light was meant to encourage the use of beauty to inspire people to pursue Christ. In essence, he believed that beauty could be used to bring people into the Church. In fact, people took this idea even further and used the art itself to teach the faith. Today, many churches have stained glass windows that teach the gospel and of the saints.

Inscription on the bronze doors made by Suger for the Abbey of St. Denis:

Whoever thou art, if thou seekest to extol the glory of these doors,
Marvel not at the gold and the expense but at the craftsmanship
of the work.
Bright is the noble work; but, being nobly bright, the work
Should brighten the minds, so that they may travel, through the
true lights,
To the True Light where Christ is the true door.
In what manner it be inherent in this world the golden door defines:
The dull mind rises to truth through that which is material
And, in seeing this light, is resurrected from its former submersion.

Join the Conversation of Our Generation.

236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly Conversation of Our Generation

According to Wikepedia, "Materialism is a form of philosophical monism that holds that matter is the fundamental substance in nature, and that all things, including mental states and consciousness, are results of material interactions. According to philosophical materialism, mind and consciousness are by-products or epiphenomena of material processes (such as the biochemistry of the human brain and nervous system), without which they cannot exist. This concept directly contrasts with idealism, where mind and consciousness are first-order realities to which matter is subject and material interactions are secondary." Valid Concerns and Good Points At first, it seems to make sense. Much of what we encounter is material. Our food, light, furniture, etc. is all material. It would be easy at first glance to think everything boils down to what is material. But, does that really comport with what we experience and know? Errors of Materialism Materialism leaves out a large chunk of the human experience. First, it fails, like naturalism, to fully account for the supernatural and the spiritual. And, in doing so, it denies free will and many other parts of our experience that are products of the spirit. Also, materialism doesn't allow for the abstract truths we know to be. Moral truths, natural laws, beauty, and even some mathematical truths can't exist if everything is material. So, materialism fails to explain all that we know about the world. Corrections There is more to the world than just the material. It doesn't fit with our understanding of the world. We experience more than just the material in art and music, as well as abstract concepts. We also experience the phenomenon of free will, which is impossible in a materialist world. In order to fully comport with reality, we need to take into account more than material things. In order to fully experience the world, we have to take account for the non-material parts of our lives. Related Episodes in this Series What is Objective Reality? What is Subjective Reality? Unity of Subject and Object The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/conofourgen/support
  1. 236. Materialism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  2. 235. Naturalism & The Human Person | The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly
  3. 234. The Golden Mean for Understanding Objective and Subjective Reality
  4. 233. Is Patriotism Good? | Reflections on the 4th of July
  5. 232. Unity of Subject and Object

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