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l’idée d’une Église pauvre va bien au-delà de la simplicité matérielle

In this dictionary, au-delà (spelt, however, au delà) means only beyond.

If au-delà (or au delà) means beyond, why was simplicité used after it in the genitive?

Shouldn't there have been au-delà la simplicité matérielle: beyond the simplicity of things?

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Interesting orthographic tendencies…… – Stéphane Gimenez Jul 31 '13 at 9:25

Au-delà can be used in two ways, as a location adverb.

  • au-delà de when the location is specified

    Il est interdit d'aller au-delà de la barrière (It's forbidden to go beyond the fence)

  • au-delà when the location is already known, and doesn't have to be specified

    Tu peux aller jusqu'à la barrière, mais c'est interdit au-delà. (You can go as far as the fence, but it's forgotten to go beyond.)

So in your example, the correct form is indeed au-delà de la simplicité matérielle.

See more examples in the Wiktionnaire.

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So in my example, it's au-delà de: specified location. Now it's all clear. – indoxica Jul 31 '13 at 7:54
Sorry, I spent some time on examples, and in the end I forgot to answer the actual question :) Answer edited. – Alexis Pigeon Jul 31 '13 at 8:01

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