By Willemien Otten
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Additional info for From Paradise To Paradigm: A Study Of Twelfth-century Humanism
11 Here we will focus only on paradise. By depicting natura in a scriptural light, even when at times that light shines so dimly as to be barely noticeable, the medieval authors studied here seem to play on her limit-like quality, as for them the universe of nature comes to radiate near-eschatological fulﬁllment. It is as if the inﬁnity of the divine begins to spill over, endowing the universe with a semi-divine glow. R. Evans, The Language and Logic of the Bible. The Earlier Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1984) generally argues that a deeper sense of Scripture gave rise both to a new exegetical practice and to a more thorough study of theology.
21 While some of the authors we will discuss did indeed experiment with the new Aristotelian concepts to capture the intricacies of natura even better,22 they felt at liberty to do so without sacriﬁcing what attracted them to this concept in the ﬁrst place: its organic vitality. In an era that came to witness the formal disconnection of the liberal arts from the disciplines of theology and philosophy, they distinguished themselves through their unvarying attempts to ﬁt the divided reality of creator and creation in a single frame of reference.
Seeing Eriugena as belonging to the 25 See Karl F. Morrison, The Mimetic Tradition of Reform in the West (Princeton, 1982), 162–171, esp. 171 and n. 26. For a perspective on Eriugena’s Homily on the Prologue to St. John’s Gospel as discussed by Morrison that focuses more explicitly on Eriugena’s sense of history, see W. Otten, ‘The Parallelism of Nature and Scripture: Reﬂections on Eriugena’s Incarnational Exegesis,’ in: G. van Riel, C. Steel and J. McEvoy (eds), Iohannes Scottus Eriugena. The Bible and Hermeneutics (Leuven, 1996), 81–102.