This past April 15, the Honors class, among others, enjoyed the Lenten Vespers Service hosted by the Jubilate Choir at Concordia. The theme was "Rejoice: Ways to Praise" and included sections encouraging dancing, serving, rejoicing, singing, and praying. Scripture readings were woven throughout the service and there was dancing did occur during the section about dance. The service was well done and I enjoyed the variety present in the service. The music style changed by section and the attempts to involve the audience were effective.
Again, as in the play "Adrift on the Mississippi," I found myself marveling at how aesthetics, one of the five ways of knowing, brings the other ways of knowing to life and provides a different perspective. Four out of the five ways of knowing were evident in this one experience. The aesthetics of the dance, singing, instruments, etc. stir emotion and cause us to reason the concepts conveyed in song; all within revelation. Aesthetics and emotion go hand-in-hand to provide a unique experience. It is also interesting to note how different modes of aesthetics stir different emotions to convey various meanings. The singing, dancing, instruments, spoken word, etc. each were a different form of aesthetics. For me, the emotions I felt corresponded to the theme of the section. I felt joyful during the dancing and a sense of calm and tranquility during the section about prayer.
All of this culminated into abolishing my once skeptical view that aesthetics and emotion especially are ways of knowing. Without emotion, many things would be just facts or ideas; we would not have feelings or "gut reactions." Aesthetics and emotion seem to tie together the other ways of knowing in that they provide a new viewpoint. For me, whenever I hear choirs sing familiar songs, memories and feelings come rushing. I do not think any other form of communication provides as unique an experience and emotions.