Lewis, who had a deep affection for The Consolation, addressed this question in The Discarded Image, his study of medieval thought. Central to Philosophy’s conclusion is her argument for the existence and nature of God, which foreshadows (and no doubt influenced) St. Anselm’s famous ontological argument: “Now as for the abode of that happiness,” she went on, “ponder it in this way. Before providing a more accurate and exact account of the perfect good, Philosophy explains why each of these five goods are lacking and, in fact, can easily lead to false happiness and melancholy (3:3-8). Walsh, which we feel is more accurate. Hence every happy person is God; God is by nature one only, but nothing prevents the greatest possible number from sharing in that divinity. But what of divine revelation, Christ, the Church, the sacraments? Quotes from the Oxford World Classics ed., tr. Boethius’ quest, Benedict observed, was “for true wisdom,” which is “the true medicine of the soul.” All wisdom is from God; all truth originates from God; all goodness flows ultimately from the greatest Good. Through The Consolation of Philosophy, Benedict noted, Boethius “sought consolation, enlightenment, and wisdom in prison.” As we will see, the issues of happiness and the greatest good are central to this search for wisdom. . Humans and Divinity. Thus, all goods are contained within the perfect good and man has a deeply innate longing for this “true good,” even if he finds ways to avoid it or invest it in lesser goods. ', and 'Nunc fluens facit tempus, nunc stans facit aeternitatum. (The now that passes produces time, the now that remains produces eternity.)' Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008. Related Characters: Lady Philosophy (speaker), Boethius, God. The central question upon which Boethius focuses is that of obtaining happiness and by what means we can do so, and in this chapter, the question is answered. Find the quotes you need in Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy, sortable by theme, character, or part. Man, Lady Philosophy notes, is often in the dark about what true happiness is because he spends so much time chasing goods that are not, in and of themselves, perfect goods. Behind the rational arguments, no doubt, in the unseen realm of the soul, an individual could meet the personal love and grace of Christ. Walsh. If, however, we reflect that it was precisely in the centuries which we call the “ages of faith” that the appeal of Boethius’s work was felt more strongly, we may be led to think that the apparent problem may be rather one of sentiment than of essentials. There he outlined three hypotheses about the relationship between Boethius and the Christian faith that he found unsatisfactory: Lewis stated that “[n]one of these theories seems to me necessary” (The Discarded Image, 76). Boethius, David R Slavitt (2008). Men aim to see You as their starting-point, their guide, conductor, way, and final end” (3:9:36-40). The quote suggests that we can all become divine. And then Philosophy makes a most striking remark, one that might be unsettling for modern-day Christians: But we have concluded that both happiness and God are the highest good, so the highest divinity must itself be the highest happiness. **  For this point, have used the translation of P.G. But his most famous and enduring work is De Consolatione Philosophiae (The Consolation of Philosophy), written while under house arrest. He would have been robbed of half his comfort if he had chosen a theme which forced him to point out where the great ancient masters had been wrong; he preferred one that enabled him to feel how nearly they had been right, to think of them not as “they” but as “we.” (79), This echoes the opinion of others who point out that the mentality of the time was far different from our own, and that Boethius was by inclination and talent a philosopher with a deep love for the ancients. 2:I: Augustine to Bonaventure, 118). This is the doctrine of theosis, or divine sonship, expressed in a manner found also in the writings of both Eastern and Western Fathers and Doctors, including St. Irenaeus, St. Athanasius, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Boethius authored several noteworthy theological works, including De Trinitate, which relied heavily on Augustine’s like-titled work, and De Fide Catholica, which was catechetical in nature. Why is this good for us to know? For instance, in replying to Philosophy’s call to invoke God in prayer, Boethius answers that “‘We must invoke the Father of all things,’ I replied, ‘for if this were not done, we should not base our search on the appropriate first step’” (3:9:33). The connection between the two is fascinating. What Boethius seems to be saying is that even once those who have sought divinity become divinized, they are god-like without being God, thus they can never obtain true happiness, only participate in that which is possessed by God. Then, in chapter nine, she returns to the matter of “true happiness,” guiding Boethius through a series of questions intended to further clarify points about the lacking goods, and then calling upon the Roman philosopher to invoke “support from heaven” before the two arrive at their destination. One of his goals was to translate the works of Plato and Aristotle into Latin, and he wrote works on logic, mathematics, and theology. If God is just and good, why aren’t bad people punished for their misdeeds? Thus it is clear that happiness is the state of perfection achieved by the concentration of all goods within it. Since evil people cannot participate in the ultimate goal, they have, Boethius says, descended to the level of animals. 35 likes. Between the days of Augustine and those of Siger of Brabant it was the universal conviction among those who thought seriously that there was a single true rational account of man and the universe and of an omnipotent and provident God, as valid in its degree as the revealed truths of Christianity. Indeed, it is the highest of all goods, and gathers all goods within itself. His whole doctrine is an example of putting to work a precept which he himself has formulated: “Conjoin faith and reason, if you can.” There again Boethius could have quoted St. Augustine. See Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, trans. But the pope observed that Boethius was an important figure in the development of Christian philosophy, as his works seek to bridge “the Hellenistic-Roman heritage and the gospel message.” And, the pope added, he has traditionally been honored as a Christian martyr. This conclusion is summed up directly in this way: “‘And so,’ she said, ‘we must acknowledge that God is happiness itself’” (3:10:17). 66 quotes from The Consolation of Philosophy: ‘Nothing is miserable unless you think it so; and on the other hand, ... it is because you don't know the end and purpose of things that you think the wicked and the criminal have power and happiness.” ― Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy. The French Thomist Etienne Gilson understood Boethius to be following in the footsteps of Augustine, while admitting that, the importance of the philosophical element is overwhelming in the writings of Boethius, even in his theological tractates, but this is precisely the reason why he is rightly considered one of the founders of scholasticism.


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