Here is the English abstract of Dr. Hadi Rabiei’s presentation in the 1st pre-con meeting of the conference “Theology of Pilgrimage" which was held by Shahid Motahari University on May 20, 2023, at Tehran, Iran.
The Relationship between Pilgrimage and Aesthetics in Christian Theology
One of the notable topics in medieval Christian theology is pilgrimage and its relationship with other realms of thought and Christian culture. The present study aims to find the connections between pilgrimage and aesthetics in Christian theology. In Christian theological thought, at least four general aspects of pilgrimage have been discussed. These aspects include pilgrimage as a type of journey to a sacred place (pilgrimage travel), pilgrimage as the recitation of specific prayers and invocations (pilgrimage recitation), pilgrimage as an act of honoring, sanctifying, or worshipping a sacred entity, and pilgrimage as a confrontation with a symbolic entity. Various discussions about "art and aesthetics" can be inferred from Christian theological works. Furthermore, Christian art, especially the works related to churches and pilgrimage sites, can be considered a representation of theological perspectives of art and aesthetics in Christianity. The findings of the present study indicate that pilgrimage and Christian aesthetics have at least four direct connections, which include 1. the influence of pilgrimage journeys on the formation of Christian art and the theorization about them, 2. the role and significance of hymns and musical melodies in Christian pilgrimage recitation, 3. artistic works as the objects of pilgrimage and whether this king of pilgrimage is permissible or not, and ultimately, 4. the symbolic meaning of artistic works which are the objects of pilgrimage.
Translator: Mahdi Qasemi