By Ann W. Astell
"The enigmatic hyperlink among the usual and inventive good looks that's to be reflected yet now not eaten, at the one hand, and the eucharistic good looks that's either noticeable (with the eyes of religion) and eaten, at the different, intrigues me and evokes this ebook. One can't ask theo-aesthetic questions about the Eucharist with out attractive primary questions on the connection among attractiveness, artwork (broadly defined), and eating."―from Eating Beauty
In a striking ebook that's right now realized, startlingly unique, and hugely own, Ann W. Astell explores the paradox of the word "eating beauty." The word inspires the destruction of good looks, the devouring mouth of the grave, the mouth of hell. To consume attractiveness is to smash it. but relating to the Eucharist the individual of religion who eats the Host is remodeled into good looks itself, actually included into Christ. during this experience, Astell explains, the Eucharist used to be "productive of a complete 'way' of existence, a virtuous life-form, an art, with Christ himself because the significant artist." The Eucharist tested for the folk of the center a long time precise faculties of sanctity―Cistercian, Franciscan, Dominican, and Ignatian―whose participants have been united by means of the eucharistic sacrament that they received.
Reading the lives of the saints now not basically as ancient files yet as iconic expressions of unique artistic endeavors formed by way of the eucharistic Christ, Astell places the "faceless" Host in a dynamic dating with those icons. With the appearance of every new spirituality, the Christian thought of attractiveness multiplied to incorporate, first, the marred fantastic thing about the saint and, eventually, that of the church torn through division―an anti-aesthetic good looks embracing procedure, anguish, deformity, and disappearance, in addition to the radiant lightness of the resurrected physique. This remarkable paintings of highbrow and non secular historical past is illustrated with telling inventive examples starting from medieval manuscript illuminations to sculptures by way of Michelangelo and work through Salvador Dalí. Astell places the lives of medieval saints in dialog with glossy philosophers as disparate as Simone Weil and G. W. F. Hegel.
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