God of light and darkness


  • Jenny Close


This paper is part of an ongoing project in which I aim to rethink the traditional understanding of beauty as an attribute of God. Working within the context of the theory and theology of aesthetics and the practice of liturgy, I examine liturgical expressions of light and darkness, and beauty and ugliness. My aim is to show how these pairings are related rather than mutually exclusive.

The project was reshaped somewhat in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the problematic liturgical situation in which we found ourselves. So, here, I examine the seeming opposites such as illness/wellness, breaking/healing, absence/presence, celebration/lament and praise/reproach. These will be explored in terms of relationships rather than oppositions. The theological implications of these relationships are used to explore our understanding of the nature of God and the flow-on implications for our Christian mission to heal.

Author Biography

Jenny Close

Jenny Close earned her first degree in Fine Arts (painting) and then trained as a teacher. For many years her working life was shared between secondary school teaching for Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) and freelance liturgical art making. Later she was employed by BCE to work in multimedia: video, animation and book illustration. At the same time, she studied theology and in 2005 was awarded a PhD from Griffith University. The title of her thesis was 'A Feminist Understanding of Liturgical Art'. Since 2005, she has worked as a sessional lecturer in theology at Australian Catholic University and Broken Bay Institute. At the same time, she has maintained her art practice, which has become more digital over the years. She retired from full-time work in 2018, but since then has maintained her liturgical art practice and a professional and pastoral engagement with theology.






Peer Reviewed Articles