From Gravity to Grace: The Role of Beauty in the Religious Philosophy of Simone Weil

Dissertation, Purdue University (1992)
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Abstract

The later writings of Simone Weil contain a number of scattered references to the power of beauty. This study argues that Weil's fragmentary writings on beauty express a cohesive view. This view interprets the experience of beauty as a type of religious experience which achieves certain pragmatic effects. A considerable number of pages are spent discussing Weil's notions of "gravity" and "grace," for these terms, respectively, convey Weil's conceptions of the worst and best elements of the moral and spiritual life. Beauty will be shown to play a role in ameliorating the effects of "gravity" and in promoting the flourishing of "grace" through the development of something Weil calls "attention."

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Ann Pirruccello
University of San Diego

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