Thursday, January 20, 2005

Simone Weil on Incarnation

Gravity and Grace, p. 137:

In everything which gives us the pure authentic feeling of beauty there really is the presence of God. There is as it were an incarnation of God in the world and it is indicated by beauty.

The beautiful is the experimental proof that the incarnation is possible.

BV: Equivocation? Proof? Analogy? Reminds me of a recent C-Span guest's reply to a C-Span caller: "I don't know what you are saying, and you don't know either."

The presence of beauty in the world certainly does not prove the possibility of the Incarnation. And Weil knew enough mathematics to know this.

Is she equivocating on 'incarnation'? Perhaps.

Or maybe she is attempting an analogy. Just as God's beauty is embodied in certain beautiful objects and processes in the world, so too God's Son is 'embodied' in the man, Jesus of Nazareth. But it is clear that this weak analogy does nothing to prove the possibility of divine Incarnation. The relation of the Son to Jesus is not one of embodiment or manifestation, but one of identity.