Thursday, December 31, 2009

Beauty -- Part VI

On the run-up to the new year, here is Part VI of British philosopher Roger Scruton's exploration of beauty and its decline.


Athos said...

Great series, Gil. Thanks. Beauty and the sacred (not the anthropological understanding of the sacred, but, it seems, the confessional aspect) open doors upon a common telos.

Unfortunately, Scruton has still allowed an out for those who want to jettison discussion of faith altogether, as he does with his understanding of the Stabat Mater.

The 'scandal of particularity' is what he tries to avoid by appealing to a nebulous standard of beauty by illustrating it with a thoroughly Christian, nay, Catholic example.

Still - he moves, IMO, in the right direction; sort of like C. S. Lewis's movement prior to his conversion?

Dan Florio said...

I posted this series on Facebook, and I think it has more value to my many "secular" friends on that site just the way it is than if Scruton had made a more clear-cut religious case for beauty. He does speak of religion and spirituality in connection with art and beauty, but not so much so that it becomes something my friends won't even listen to.

In other words, if they sense someone "witnessing" to them, they run away; if they sense they are on safe ground, but are still exposed to religious ideas in a gentler way, I think it can open a door for them. At least I hope so.

Not necessarily disagreeing with Athos, just pointing out that sometimes, as he points out with C.S. Lewis, those who aren't ready for solid food can at least be given sips of milk.

Like Girard, I think Scruton masterfully takes us on a religious journey whether we know it or not.