Can Beauty Really Save the World? Theological Aesthetics in a Time of Chaos - Davide Zordan Lecture

Aula Grande

The Davide Zordan Lecture is annually held in late Autumn. It was established to honor the memory of Davide Zordan, a researcher of the Center for Religious Studies of FBK, who died in 2015, when he was only 47 years old. In tune with the Center’s mission to study the interaction between religion and innovation, the Zordan Lecture focuses on the role of theology in a secular society.

In this year’s presentation, Susan Ross will talk about the serious challenges that the world faces today and that require serious and committed action. Has the aesthetic, particularly in the form of music, no relevance to theology and ethics or potential to contribute to possible answers? According to the speaker, it would be a mistake to think otherwise. By turning to examples from opera («Dead Man Walking»), Black Spirituals, Rap and Hip Hop, and the «music» produced by the animal and insect world, she will show that these artistic examples help to develop in their participants and listeners a greater empathy with the marginalized, lamentation for and resistance to suffering, and solidarity with all living things.

While beauty on its own will not save the world, action without attention to beauty and the arts will lead to an impoverished future that fails to incorporate the deep spirituality that lies at the heart of all life.

The lecture will be held in English with simultaneous translation into Italian.


  • Loyola University Chicago
    Susan Ross is Professor of Theology and Faculty Scholar at Loyola University Chicago. From 2006–08 she served as the Director of the Ann Ida Gannon, BVM, Center for Women and Leadership at Loyola. She is a Past President of the Catholic Theological Society of America and a Vice-President and member of the Board of Editors of «Concilium», the international theological journal, and has co-edited three of its recent issues. She is the recipient of the Book of the Year Award from the College Theology Society in 1999, and the Ann O’Hara Graff Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America in 2001. She is the author, among others, of For the Beauty of the Earth: Women, Sacramentality and Justice (Paulist, 2006).


Registration to this event is mandatory.

Registration closed on 15/12/2019.


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