Philosophy, Art, and Nature
Part II. Mythological and Religious Images
Part II . Mythological and Religious Images I open this section of the present volume with a passage from Walter Frie- drich Otto that will serve as a bridge between an initial and a subsequent re- flection on our topic. In the preceding pages, I wanted to direct our attention toward the set of ideas that have provided a true aesthetics of grace across time, in parallel with an aesthetic of the beautiful, the tragic, and the sublime, which includes the formulation of values and sensibilities as well as the defi- nition of conceptual and emotional categories. Having described and ana- lyzed this array of theories and perceptions, I would like now to describe the images that symbolically represent grace. An allegorical, symbolic, and met- aphorical vision emerges in an age of great changes, an age dominated by a complex cultural metamorphosis from the pagan to the Christian world, In Il poeta e gli antichi dei (The Poet and the Ancient Gods), Walter Friedrich Otto discusses the heroic spirit and demonstrates the extent to which this spirit permeated the life of the Greeks. There were numerous he- roic lineages and dynastic families boasting divine origins. Poetry, Homer’s song, and art put on display the magnificence of a humanity that joined to- gether man and god in a series of experiences capable of accommodating, in one way or another and in every place, the infinite and the eternal for the purpose of attaining spiritual heights where men themselves seemed to be- come...
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