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Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. The Portal of Beauty: Towards a Theology of Aesthetics

"Beauty is an event; beauty happens when the Whole offers itself in the fragment, and when this self-giving transcends infinite distance. But is this really possible? How can the limitless inhabit what is little? How can the everlasting 'abbreviate' itself without ceasing to be? And how can immensity become small and still exist?

"The answer offered to these questions by an important strand in Western thought is that all this can indeed happen, in one of two ways; either though the form of the fragment, the way, that is, that it makes present here an now the harmonious proportions of the Whole---so beauty is 'formosus'!---or through beauty's brightness, where the splendor of the Whole bursts forth in the fragment, and lays hold of the beholder: this bright loveliness is 'speciosus'!

"In this world, the Word speaks the truth about himself in the ultimate 'self-emptying,' thanks to that act by which---in no way coerced by the One who is infinitely great---the Son lets himself be contained by the infinitely small. Becoming little in this way is truly divine." -from the introduction

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