Only the Lover Sings, Art and Contemplation
by Hamilton Reed Armstrong
Based on a quotation of St. Augustine, “Only he who loves can sing,” Pieper’s underlying message, as in much of his work, is that it is only through the contemplation of God’s love and the goodness of creation allowed by “leisure” that the working man can rehabilitate himself and elevate human existence to the richness, fulfillment and happiness of life ordained by his nature. It is this contemplative leisure that is the very root of philosophy and the arts along with festivity and cultic celebration. According to Pieper, it is precisely through the arts, both visual and musical, that cultic celebration is given its greatest honor.
As one of the foremost Thomistic philosophers of our age, Pieper here delves deeply into the mysteries of poetry, music, painting and architecture in the light of our Catholic Faith. A large segment of the book is based on his observations of the work of a friend, a German sculptress, who was herself, both a devoutly religious person and inspired artist
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