Bonaventure and the Music of the Ainur

Bonaventure’s Breviloquium, part 2

In my series of posts on the “Metaphysics of the Music,” I’ve been looking at some of the classical, medieval, and specifically Thomistic antecedents to the Music of the Ainur in Tolkien’s Ainulindalë. Interestingly, in his imaginative summary of his argument for the correspondence between the original seven days of creation and the seven ages of creation history, Bonaventure probably comes as close to anticipating Tolkien as anyone:

And so the whole course of this world is shown by Scripture to run in a most orderly fashion from beginning to end, like an artfully composed melody. In it, one can contemplate, by means of the succession of events, the diversity, multiplicity, and symmetry, the order, rectitude, and excellence, of the many judgments that proceed from the divine wisdom governing the universe. Just as  no one can appreciate the loveliness of a song unless one’s perspective embraces it as a whole, so none of us can see the beauty of the order and governance of the world without an integral view of its course. (Breviloquium, prolog., sect. 2)

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