The Aesthetic Dimension of Believing and Learning

  • Stefan AltmeyerEmail author


There is a common stereotype that in religious education (RE) classes, students surprisingly often study paintings or paint pictures, analyse poems or write creative texts, sing or do handcrafts, etc. There is something about these educational methods that seems to make (notably Catholic) RE different from other subjects. The question is whether this difference is more than a stereotype and instead could be understood as a trademark of RE. This paper aims to argue that the key to this question lies in the so-called aesthetic dimension of believing and learning. Correlating theological and educational perspectives, this chapter first provides an appropriate definition of aesthetics as reflecting about sensually mediated receptive and productive human actions of cognition. Second, it justifies aesthetic actions (like singing, writing, meditating, talking about paintings, etc.) as essential building blocks of being religious and learning about, respectively from religion. Finally, it proposes two elementary educational guidelines for designing and implementing aesthetic learning processes in RE.


Religious Education Christian Faith Aesthetic Dimension Religious Learning Essential Building Block 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Catholic Faculty of TheologyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany

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