Toward a Mormon Aesthetic | BYU Studies

Toward a Mormon Aesthetic

Toward a Mormon Aesthetic
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Toward a Mormon Aesthetic

Author Merrill Bradshaw,

It seems almost unbelievable that after all these years of the development of Mormon thought we still have no genuine Mormon aesthetic theory. Most Mormon thinkers have either avoided the subject or simply adopted one or another of the theories proposed by the thinkers of the world. If, as we proclaim, Mormons have a distinctive view of man and his reason for being in the world, then it seems almost inevitable that this view of man, this set of reasons would give rise to some new insights about our sense of beauty, of our purposes in the arts, of our relations with our artists. It would be easiest if somewhere in the scriptures the Lord had revealed our aesthetics, but this has not been done. In the absence of such revelation, we must look to our artists and philosophers to develop such a theory. But it must get beyond the level of mere personal opinion, secondhand philosophy, or utilitarian contingencies; and it must relate in both root and branch to solid, undeniably Mormon philosophy.