free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other

The circular, “synthetic;’ and pleromatic grandeur of the Hegelian infinite and the chaotic, univocal, and unharmonizable flux of the postmodern infinite are equally dreary; but the Christian infinite, free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other, yields a profuse and irreducible parataxis, a boundless flood of beauties, beyondContinue reading “free of the mechanical hypotaxis of the one and the boring boisterousness of the other”

Obtain the Lord as a friend

O Bridegroom, brilliant in Thy beauty above all mankind, Who didst call us to the spiritual banquet of Thy chamber, cast away from me the likeness of rags of iniquity by participation in Thy Passion, and adorn me with the robe of Thy beauty. Distinguish me as a brilliant guest in Thy kingdom; for ThouContinue reading “Obtain the Lord as a friend”

to be united with the beauty we see

We do not want merely to see beauty, though, God knows, even that is bounty enough. We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is whyContinue reading “to be united with the beauty we see”

God is the Lord, of angels, and of men—and of elves

The lecture and essay “On Fairy Stories” by J.R.R. Tolkien is incredibly rich. I’ve just reread it and am only realizing this time how little I understand it. I’ve posted several portions of it in past years, but here is a comprehensive set of passages that I wish to reflect upon more when I can.Continue reading “God is the Lord, of angels, and of men—and of elves”

What beauty saves the world?

Is it true, prince, that you once declared that ‘beauty would save the world’? Great Heaven! The prince says that beauty saves the world! And I declare that he only has such playful ideas because he’s in love! Gentlemen, the prince is in love. I guessed it the moment he came in. Don’t blush, prince;Continue reading “What beauty saves the world?”

the unimpeded movement of the most perfect impulse towards the most perfect object

From “Imagination and Thought in the Middle Ages” by C.S. Lewis, first delivered as a lecture in 1956, the piece was published posthumously in the 1966 collection of essays called Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature: Go out on any starry night and walk alone for half an hour, resolutely assuming that pre-Copernican astronomy isContinue reading “the unimpeded movement of the most perfect impulse towards the most perfect object”

He questioned softly why I failed

Poem by Emily Dickinson. I died for beauty, but was scarce Adjusted in the tomb, When one who died for truth was lain In an adjoining room. He questioned softly why I failed? “For beauty,” I replied. “And I for truth, — the two are one; We brethren are,” he said. And so, as kinsmenContinue reading “He questioned softly why I failed”

united with the beauty we see

We want something else which can hardly be put into words—to be united with the beauty we see, to pass into it, to receive it into ourselves, to bathe in it, to become part of it. That is why we have peopled air and earth and water with gods and goddesses and nymphs and elves—that,Continue reading “united with the beauty we see”

we are attracted to goodness first by its beauty

Two passages from C. S. Lewis as Philosopher: Truth, Goodness and Beauty: The great classic triumvirate of Truth, Beauty and Goodness is a particularly apt framework for engaging C. S. Lewis and philosophy. These magnificent ideals are not only at the heart of the classic philosophical enterprise, the tradition into which Lewis was initiated inContinue reading “we are attracted to goodness first by its beauty”

delight of the eye

Another passage from Wilken: When speaking of how God is known early Christian thinkers favored the metaphor of seeing, not hearing. In his response to Celsus, Origen cites a series of biblical texts that have to do with seeing: “Blessed are the pure in spirit for they shall see God” (Matt. 5:8); “He who hasContinue reading “delight of the eye”