After Aquinas: restoring hope to beauty

This article centers on the modes of maintaining an equivalence of the moral and the good that lies behind and within Augustine’s and Aquinas’ understandings of beauty. Beauty, in the medieval experience of it, never derived exclusively from sense impression; it was neither purely pleasure in the se...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Philosophy & theology
Main Author: Bernier, Ronald R.
Format: Electronic/Print Article
Language:English
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Published: [2016]
In:Philosophy & theology
Year: 2016, Volume: 28, Issue: 1, Pages: 91-100
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Augustinus, Aurelius, Saint 354-430 / Thomas, von Aquino -1297 / Beauty
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Summary:This article centers on the modes of maintaining an equivalence of the moral and the good that lies behind and within Augustine’s and Aquinas’ understandings of beauty. Beauty, in the medieval experience of it, never derived exclusively from sense impression; it was neither purely pleasure in the sensuous nor a wholly intuitive contemplation of the transcendent occurring exclusively in the mind. Rather, beauty was the intelligible form of some higher reality, the quality of things that reflects their origin in the divine. Beauty, then, like meaning itself, could never be fully present in its material sign, as it appears to us only as a promise of presence through embodied absence, neither fully here and now nor entirely elsewhere and beyond. This, ultimately, may be the very purpose of beauty, a hopeful pull toward the perfect and yet never fully knowable God who is beauty.
ISSN:0890-2461
Contains:Enthalten in: Philosophy & theology
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.5840/philtheol201662446