The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, Oct 29, 2004 - Philosophy - 462 pages
29 Reviews
The Beauty of the Infinite is a splendid extended essay in "theological aesthetics." David Bentley Hart here meditates on the power of a Christian understanding of beauty and sublimity to rise above the violence -- both philosophical and literal -- characteristic of the postmodern world.

The book begins by tracing the shifting use and nature of metaphysics in the thought of Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Lyotard, Derrida, Deleuze, Nancy, Levinas, and others. Hart pays special attention to Nietzsche's famous narrative of the "will to power" -- a narrative largely adopted by the world today -- and he offers an engaging revision (though not rejection) of the genealogy of nihilism, thereby highlighting the significant "interruption" that Christian thought introduced into the history of metaphysics.

This discussion sets the stage for a retrieval of the classic Christian account of beauty and sublimity, and of the relation of both to the question of being. Written in the form of a dogmatica minora, this main section of the book offers a pointed reading of the Christian story in four moments, or parts: Trinity, creation, salvation, and eschaton. Through a combination of narrative and argument throughout, Hart ends up demonstrating the power of Christian metaphysics not only to withstand the critiques of modern and postmodern thought but also to move well beyond them.

Strikingly original and deeply rewarding, The Beauty of the Infinite is both a constructively critical account of the history of metaphysics and a compelling contribution to it.
 

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Review: The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

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Looks good, but need a theological expert to review @ www.GoodReadingGuide.com David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian. Read full review

Review: The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth

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Looks good, but need a theological expert to review @ www.GoodReadingGuide.com David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

CREATION
249
2 As God is Trinity in whom all difference is possessed as perfect peace and unity the divine life might be described as infinite music and creation too...
274
3 As God utters himself eternally in his Word and possesses all the fullness of address and response and as creation belongs to Gods utterance of hims...
289
SALVATION I Salvation occurs by way of recapitulation the restoration of the human image in Christ the eternal image of the Father after whom hu...
318
sacrifice as the immolation of the beautiful is displaced by a sacrifice whose offering is one of infinite beauty
344
ESCHATON
395
Rhetoric without Reserve Persuasion the Tyranny of Twilight and the Language of Peace
413
THE VIOLENCE OF HERMENEUTICS
417

The Beauty of the Infinite
153
TRINITY
155
2 The Christian understanding of difference and distance is shaped by the doctrine of the Trinity where theology finds that the true form of differenc...
178
3 In the Christian God the infinite is seen to be beautiful and so capable of being traversed by way of the beautifuL
187
4 The infinite is beautiful because God is Trinity and because all being belongs to Gods infinity a Christian ontology appears and properly belongs w...
211
THE OPTICS OF THE MARKET
431
THE GIFT OF MARTYRS
439
Index
445
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About the author (2004)

David Bentley Hart is an Eastern Orthodox theologian, philosopher, and cultural commentator. His previous books include Atheist Delusions.

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