Chapter

Fearful Symmetry: Theodicy and Cosmic Harmony

Philip Tallon

in The Poetics of Evil

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199778935
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919109 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199778935.003.0017
Fearful Symmetry: Theodicy and Cosmic Harmony

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Using the methodology for aesthetic theodicy laid out in previous chapters, this chapter begins to examine the predominant “aesthetic theme” (or aesthetic motif) within medieval theodicy: cosmic harmony. It focuses on the work of Augustine and shows how he develops the theme by interweaving his metaphysical, moral, and aesthetic views of reality. It also examines and responds to the critics of Augustine, including the criticisms of John Hick, who offers the fullest critique of Augustine in contemporary philosophy. By putting Augustine’s aesthetic theme of cosmic harmony in conversation with its most strident critics, this chapter offers a defense and partial critique of Augustine, emerging with a modified Augustinian theme that, though it is insufficient to provide a complete picture of aesthetic theodicy, nonetheless offers a helpful starting point.

Keywords: Hick; Augustine; aesthetic; theodicy; metaphysical; moral; cosmic; harmony; theme; medieval

Chapter.  20170 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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