Milliner on The Beauty of the Infinite.

All three of us have struggled through David Bentley Hart’s The Beauty of the Infinite over the last few years, and I found it very rewarding even if I didn’t understand large chunks of it and have no idea whether or not I am supposed to agree with giant sections of the argument. So I suppose it’s worth posting an excerpt from the blog post in which Matthew Milliner names TBotI the “theological book of the decade”:

“Remember postmodernism? How quaint it all seems in retrospect. In those days – I speak of the early 2000’s – we used to think Lyotard had the best summation of the idea, ‘incredulity toward metanarratives.’ Now we know that the most concise and pithy definition comes from David Bentley Hart: ‘Pagan exuberance tempered by gnostic detachment.’”


“Pass the word on, will you, to those who are still seated in the parked roller-coaster at the postmodern theme park, thinking they’ll be another loopity-loop. Whisper kindly in their ears that they should at least read pages 35 – 93 of Hart’s book, surely a manageable chore. Gently point out to them that there is no longer a ride-operator in the booth. In fact, they’re shutting the place down for the season. The clown is wiping off his make-up. The funhouse mirrors have been bubble-wrapped. The cotton-candy stand is all boarded up. It was quite a ride, but it’s time to go home to the classic Christian tradition, where ethics is underwritten by the mandate of a living God and where not the sublime, but the beautiful is real.”

Read the rest.


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