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The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy

In Oxford University Press, Philosophy, Samuel Pomeroy, Stephen Blackwood on June 16, 2016 at 4:17 pm



2016.06.10 | Stephen Blackwood. The Consolation of Boethius as Poetic Liturgy. Oxford Early Christian Studies. Oxford: OUP, 2015. Pp. xxi + 338. Soft-cover.

Review by Samuel Pomeroy, KU Leuven.

Thanks to Oxford University Press for providing a review copy.

According to Boethius, you are what you hear. If memory is integral to ethics (164–5), and hearing is integral to memory (169–71), then properly ordered poetry has the capacity to harmonize the dialectical nature of the intellect within the epistemological framework of creation (cf. 238). As the ars memorativa of the Trivium are the means by which sense and intellect are united (186), so too the complex metrical structure of Boethius’s Consolation is an invitation to perceive the particulars of cosmic harmony held together by divine providence (234). But it is not an invitation to silent, private reading towards esotericism. For Boethius the poet, the dialogical phonic dexterity of his Consolation’s meter is itself the gateway towards recollection. Read the rest of this entry »