Deifying Beauty. Toward the Definition of a Paradigm for Byzantine Aesthetics

Ernesto Sergio Mainoldi


Moving from the problem of defining how medieval speculation conceived the aesthetic dimension of art, this essay purposes an insight into the aspects that describe the peculiarity of the Byzantine conception of beauty and art. Surpassing the noetic perspective established by Platonic thought – shared also by Western medieval philosophy – according to which beauty is an intelligible model subsisting in itself as an autonomous entity, the Byzantine proper vision conceives beauty as a divine energy. The implications of this perspective lead us to investigate its connection with some of the most original achievements of Byzantine speculation, such as hypostatic ontology, theology of deification, eikonic thinking, and especially sophianic gnoseology, which permit us to overcome the dichotomy of the intelligible and the sensible domains of reality.


deification; eikonic thinking; pseudomorphism; sophiology; transfigured realism

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