The modern story that beauty emerges from the subconscious of a self-seeking creative genius goes against the lived tradition behind lasting beauty that ennobles humanity. For example, C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and fellow met regularly in Oxford’s pubs to share their work with each other. In the early 20th century, Russian exiles in Paris met in cafes and salons to renew the great tradition of iconography. Composers like Georg Frederic Handel saw their work as building a popular culture, not an elite product.
Conversations and community among creators and thinkers have always been essential to shaping culture. These eminently human moments—and the friendships they inspire—must be cultivated if we are to illuminate America’s darkening culture and society.
American culture is in rapid collapse in large part because of an abandonment of beauty in education and worship. The Scala Foundation’s 2023 conference on art, the sacred, and the common good grows out of its deep work around Princeton to bring together artists, students, teachers, and scholars.
In a world increasingly hostile to the idea that beauty is anything more than self-aggrandizement or yet one more tool of oppression, this event offers the warmth of community to anyone who is passionate to restore the connections between beauty and truth and between reason and creativity.
Friday afternoon’s program offers several opportunities for guests to explore the many rich cultural activities in Princeton, such as a guided tour of ancient manuscripts at Princeton Theological Seminary library, an open house art show at David Clayton’s home, and an architectural tour of Princeton University.
Saturday’s program includes keynote presentations by artists renewing great traditions in sacred art alongside opportunities to experience choral prayer. Scholars and educators will guide audiences to understand how today’s artists and composers contributing to a renewal of culture. Attendees will learn about practices and resources they can bring to their own worship, education and family lives that will renew American culture.
Attendees will be inspired by artists who form virtues through beauty and have the opportunity to build community with people pursuing the way of beauty.
You can register for free by clicking here.