Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.
For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.
When in the sixth century Dionysius the Areopagite declared beauty to be a name for God, he gave birth to something that had long been gestating in the womb of philosophical and theological thought. In doing so, Dionysius makes one of his most pivotal contributions to Christian theological discourse. It is a contribution that is enthusiastically received by the schoolmen of the Middle Ages, and it comes to permeate the thought of scholasticism in a multitude of ways. But perhaps nowhere is the Dionysian influence more pronounced than in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. This book examines both the historical development of beauty's appropriation as a name for God in Dionysius and Thomas, and the various contours of what it means. The argument that emerges from this study is that given the impact that the divine name theological tradition has within the development of Christian theological discourse, beauty as a divine name indicates the way in which beauty is most fundamentally conceived in the Christian theological tradition as a theological theme. As a phenomenon of inquiry, beauty proves itself to be enigmatic and elusive to even the sharpest intellects in the Greek philosophical tradition. When it is absorbed within the Christian theological synthesis, however, its enigmatic content proves to be a powerful resource for theological reasoning.
About the Author
Table of Contents
Part 1 13
1 Beauty and the Divine in Ancient Greek Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle 15
2 Beauty and the Divine in Neoplatonism: Plotinus and Proclus 56
Part 2 89
3 The Tradition of the Divine Names 95
4 Beauty as a Divine Name in Dionysius the Areopagite I: Beauty as Transcendent Plenitude 121
5 Beauty as a Divine Name in Dionysius the Areopagite II: Beauty as a Principle of Determination 158
6 Beauty and the One 185
Part 3 205
7 The Passage of Dionysius into the Latin West 209
8 The Journey of Beauty as a Divine Name: From the Sixth to the Thirteenth Century 219
9 Beauty as a Divine Name in Albert the Great 236
10 Thomas Aquinas and the Tradition of the Divine Names 259
11 Beauty as a Divine Name in Thomas Aquinas: In de Divinis Nominibus Expositio 289
12 Beauty as a Divine Name in Thomas Aquinas: Beyond the Commentary on the Divine Names 327
13 Conclusion: Beauty as the Between 356
Index of Names 389