Toward Sight and Blindness in a Theology of Art

by Sister Hilda Kleiman, OSB

In the hour dedicated to the Gospels in Theology of Art at Mount Angel Seminary, we focused on the stories of those Jesus healed of blindness, particularly the story of the man born blind in the chapter nine of of John's Gospel (1-7; 35-41):
As he passed by he saw a man blind from birth.  His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”  Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.  We have to do the works of the one who sent me while it is day.  Night is coming when no one can work.  While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.”  When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, “Go wash in the Pool of Siloam” (which means Sent).  So he went and washed, and came back able to see.
When Jesus heard that they had thrown him out, he found him and said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”  He answered and said, “Who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?”  Jesus said to him, “You have seen him and the one speaking with you is he.”  He said, “I do believe, Lord,” and he worshiped him.  Then Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, so that those who do not see might see, and those who do see might become blind.”

Our reflections included considering how an artist may be blinded by pride, as well as how we may be blind to the beauty offered us through the arts for various reasons.