Review by Dr Pravin Thevathasan
Lost in Wonder
Essays on Liturgy and the Arts
Aidan Nichols O.P.
Publisher's Book Information
How ought we to live our lives as Christians? The Catholic theologian Aidan Nichols makes a persuasive
case for Christianity's capacity to inspire high culture in this fine work. In the liturgical life, and indeed
in all aspects of life, we long for the beauty that is God.The title comes from Wesley's hymn " Love Divine,
all love's excelling." God alone is the ultimate object of our wonder and His beauty is found in all of creation
and, in a particular way, it is found in the Cross and Resurrection of the Saviour. From this reflection, the author
moves on to a whole series of topics including the liturgy, art, creation and science.
The author shows us the need for beauty in the liturgy. We need to be lost in wonder in the presence of God, to
move away from all that is self-centred. We are saved by beauty and the prayer of the Church is the central means
of celebrating this beauty of God. But can we ever achieve this in the messiness of our daily living? The author
reassures us that the only perfect liturgy is that celebrated at the throne of the Lamb.
The author reminds us that both science and art are essential components of our life and they complement rather
than contradict. They ask a different series of questions and we are called to respond in wonder to both. There
are many scientists who are directed to the divine through their work. Others, more popular in the media, are philosophical
materialists and they take this philosophy with them to their work. Unsurprisingly, they see hostility between
a non-existent God and science. The author predicts that there will be a move away from this scientific fundamentalism
as more and more scientists are lost in wonder.
In this work, Aidan Nichols has returned to some of his favourite themes. A good work by a really good theologian.
Copyright ©; Dr Pravin Thevathasan 2012
Version: 23rd December 2014