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The Beauty Of The Infinite: The Aesthetics Of Christian Truth [Paperback]

By David Bentley Hart (Author)
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Item description for The Beauty Of The Infinite: The Aesthetics Of Christian Truth by David Bentley Hart...

Overview
"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.

Publishers Description
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.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Beauty Of The Infinite: The Aesthetics Of Christian Truth by David Bentley Hart has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Commonweal - 12/01/2006 page 21
  • Christian Century - 10/19/2010 page 33


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Item Specifications...


Studio: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Pages   448
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.4" Width: 6.22" Height: 0.98"
Weight:   1.4 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Oct 31, 2004
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Edition  Reprinted  
ISBN  080282921X  
ISBN13  9780802829214  


Availability  3 units.
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More About David Bentley Hart


Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! An Orthodox theologian, David Bentley Hart's specialties are philosophical theology and patristics. He completed his divinity school training at the University of Cambridge, and his graduate training at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Doors of the Sea: Where Was God in the Tsunami? and The Beauty of the Infinite: The Aesthetics of Christian Truth.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Aesthetics
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > Philosophy


Christian Product Categories
Books > Theology > Theology & Doctrine > Philosophical Theology



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Reviews - What do customers think about The Beauty Of The Infinite: The Aesthetics Of Christian Truth?

Flawed by arrogance  Dec 15, 2005
This is an interesting work of theology, for many of the reasons stated by other reviewers. What is so problematic about this book, however, is Hart's trite dismissals of several influential philosophers and theologies. Many times, it seems he is more interested in making witticisms, rather than entering into a serious dialogue. Without any type of respectful and deep engagement (that is not to say agreement is necessary), it is hard not to conclude that Hart is masking a lack of rigor and understanding with mockery.
 
dense and complex  Jul 1, 2005
this work is dense and complex; I'm still hopeful the reward will be commenserate.
 
Pregnant with erudition and spiritual depth....  Jan 27, 2005
David Bentley Hart's The Beauty of the Infinite is a veritable Tour de Force! Like the the great theological masterpieces of old, Dr. Hart draws his readers into what may be called "The Great Conversation," as he displays an easy familiarity with with Christian writings "ever ancient, ever new." According to Dr. Hart, God the Thrice-Holy Trinity reveals and manifests Himself as the all-transcendent Essence of Beauty, and the infinitely potent Energy through, with, and in Whom all creation -- both visible and invisible -- is made beautiful. My recommendation: buy TWO copies -- one for the shelf, and one to keep always within reach ... this one's a modern classic of metaphysics, philosophical theology, and Christian mysticism.

(It is unfortunate, however, that this site.com continues to list the paperback as "out of print," when it clearly IS in print, and moreover, quite available. I got my copy at Newman Bookstore in Washington, DC: (202) 526-1036.)
 
Christian aesthetics vs. postmodern  Oct 31, 2004
This book takes on and even takes in to a great extent the work of Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze and many others in the postmodern lineage and compares them to the likes of Gregory of Nyssa and St. Augustine. In doing so, Hart shows what duffers our "postmoderns" are. Revealing a truly gigantic erudition, Hart does what many Christians have wanted for several decades running now. He shows that our great classical tradition doesn't end with "postmodernism" any more than humanity itself ends just because some teenager decides to dress up as a Goth. Humanity may end for that teenager, but it doesn't end the entire human race or the rest of civilization's covenant with the Almighty. Unless you've read this book, you cannot consider yourself to be educated. Unless you've read this book, you might consider the French and German postmoderns to be truly intelligent. They are symptoms of dying societies that have lost touch with the most profound wisdom and substituted for it some paradoxes that can easily sweep up those who are enthusiastic about minor fads because they lack a broader perspective. David Bentley Hart provides a powerful perspective that will allow genuinely erudite people to regain their culture. I am deeply grateful to him.
 

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