Welcome to Part 7 of the weekly series on the soul. We’re continuing to listen to the Catholic Culture Podcast, now episode 63, Beauty Revealing Being, with guest James Matthew Wilson, poet, philosopher, and author of The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the Western Tradition. You can catch up using the links at the top of the post or near the end. Part 6 is where we began with this podcast. Video below, links (including links to the book) and notes at the end of this post.
“It is in the nature of Being to reveal itself to us, and in the natural realm this is done preeminently through beauty.”Ep 63, Catholic Culture Podcast, Vision of the Soul.
The show notes at the podcast home page have annotated time stamps, and links to artwork mentioned, and more. I haven’t finished listening yet, so I’ll be listening along with you (if you listen tonight, that is).
Some topics covered in the show:
- 3:10 The nihilistic disenchanting force of rationalism and its infiltration of Catholic thought
- 10:47 Beauty as a transcendental property of Being, and the “synthesis of all the transcendentals”
- 18:50 Theodor Adorno on reason and beauty
- 22:53 Aquinas’s tripartite formulation of beauty (radiance, clarity, proportion) illuminates the older definition of beauty as the splendor of form; an argument for proportion as most important
- 30:13 The pitfalls of Maritain’s focus on radiance and clarity over proportion
- 35:31 The modernist experiment to find out the degree to which beauty could eschew a pleasant surface and still remain beautiful
- 40:29 Modernism as a movement for metaphysical realism in art
If they post the next episode with Dr. Wilson in the next few days, then that will be our next post in this series. If they don’t, well, I’m looking into what the Early Church Fathers wrote about the soul, and to see what Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange had to say, and some other good old redoubtable Catholic theologians and spiritual writers.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, whoever and wherever you are, may the Lord bless you and keep you, and may the peace of Christ be always with you. +JMJ+
Links and Notes
- Link to the podcast video: The Catholic Podcast, host Thomas Mirus, Ep. 63 – Beauty Revealing Being (Vision of the Soul Pt. II) – James Matthew Wilson.
- Link to show notes and audio only version of the podcast.
- James Matthew Wilson’s book, The Vision of the Soul: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty in the Western Tradition: Paperback. Kindle. (Affiliate links, see full disclosure below.)
- To see some more photos of some stunning churches, see this album at Flickr: St. Joseph’s Cathedral in Wheeing, WV. These are marked All Rights Reserved, so I won’t post any of them here.
- Images in this post: The photo of the church interior came from Pixabay. The image of Christ Crowned with Thorns, known as Ecce Homo, by Carlo Dolci, is from the Athenaeum, public domain.
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