Unconditional Faith

I’ve moved on to a translation of Dionysius the Areopagite’s Mystical Theology (by William Riordan), for reasons I don’t recall (it was surely referenced in the previous reading…). Again my notes are not any kind of comprehensive summary of the work, but merely random bits that struck me. In this case, a footnote in the […]

Gothic Aesthetic

Mr. Baxter, in Chapter 5 of The Infinite Beauty of the World, suggests a contrast between the Classical view of reality and the twelfth century Christian view: “…the disciplined philosopher sorts through the misleading plurality of the many to discover the single essence at the heart of all reality: ‘the Beautiful itself, absolute, pure, unmixed, […]

Primordial poetry

Chapter 4 of The Infinite Beauty of the World touches on a couple of intriguing points around Dante’s Purgatorio. One is that of language in Eden. Mr. Baxter writes: “Given that Adam was the first to enjoy the privilege of describing reality, the father of the human race was also the father of language. In […]


In Chapter 3 of The Infinite Beauty of the World Mr. Baxter treats of an interesting detail: the sense of sight. He says “In the Middle Ages sight was the privileged sense, considered the most objective, the most far-reaching, the most ‘rational’ of the senses. Aquinas neatly summed up fifteen centuries of thought on the […]

The view from above

The early chapters of Mr. Baxter’s work “The Infinite Beauty of the World” describe how some medieval and classical texts were deliberately encyclopedic. Some, like Bestiaries, might simply catalogue all the known kinds of animals. Others, like epic poems or novels or even paintings, might include descriptions of every kind of animal, plant, geographical formation, […]

Starting Points

This blog is an exploration of meditations on Creation. It springs, perhaps, from my own awe at God’s work, highlighted on a particular day by the realization that the color green alone comes in uncountable varieties, from deepest green-black of forest shadows to the bright yellow-green of a flowering shrub to the clear green-blue of […]