Leib und Seele – Schönheit und Widerspruch

Abstract / DOI

Body and Soul – Beauty and Opposition. Thanks to the Christian conception of the soul, as developed especially by Thomas Aquinas, a human being can be conceived as a single entity having a double nature, i. e., spirit and body. The paradoxical teaching that the vision of God comprises the whole of eternal life and, yet, is completed by the resurrected body implies that the body’s presence within consciousness is more essential to human nature than in its physical form. In the union of the double nature the passions, which exist simultaneously in both the body and consciousness, play a decisive role in the self-determination of the individual person. Dealing with them is the basis for the conscious harmony or disharmony of the person. By the virtues of courage (directed towards fear) and self-restrain (directed towards desire), they can be integrated within the unity of the person, so that hindrances to the natural striving towards reality can be overcome. The criterion for this is reason: the person becomes beautiful if the passions are guided by reason and ugly if they contradict reason, although they stem from human nature.

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