Weekly Series on the Soul – Part 7

Our souls need goodness, truth, and clarity, and they also need beauty.

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 Vision of the Soul. 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.

Video, Ep. 63, Vision of the Soul, Part 2

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. 

One of my favorite paintings of Christ, by Carlo Dolci. Beautiful as well as sorrowful.

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

Part 1, Part 2Part 3Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10, Part 11, Part 12, Part 13, Part 14, Part 15, Part 16, Part 17, Part 18, Part 19, Part 20, Part 21, Part 22, Part 23, Part 24, Part 25, Part 26, Part 27

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