Sunday, January 19, 2020

"Icons do with color what Scripture does with words"; or, more accurately, "That which the narrative declares in writing is the same as that which the icon [(ἡ ἀναζωγράφησις)] does [in colours]."

"Modern viewers of art tend to see form in terms of line. . . . Gregory, however, expresses a late antique belief in the manifestation of form and reality through color[, a belief] that persisted throughout the Byzantine period."

     Liz James, "Color and meaning in Byzantium," Journal of early Christian studies 11, no. 2 (Summer 2003):  226 (223-233).  The lines immediately preceding, from pp. 225-226, are these (there is much more of great value):
     [Following classical philosophy,] The church fathers also perceived a significant role for color in making an image vital.  In his First Sermon on the Song of Songs, Gregory of Nyssa linked the creation of form to the use of colors[, speaking of] '. . . the form which the artist has created in colors.'  Colors direct the viewer to form:  they make it possible to apprehend form.  In case this should be seen as mere rhetorical flourishing and the display of cliché, John Chrysostom was even more explicit, implying that the image is not present until it is colored.  'As you see these things [the subject of the painting] being sketched, you do not know the whole, and yet you are not entirely ignorant of it, but you know faintly that a man and a horse are being drawn.  Who the emperor is, and who the enemy, you do not know exactly until the true colors have been applied, making the image clear and distinct.' . . . 'As long as somebody traces the outline as in a drawing, there remains a sort of shadow; but when he paints over it brilliant tints an lays on colors then an image emerges.'  On a spiritual level, this true likeness is Christ. . . . the sketch represents the shadow, that is, the Old Testament, and the true colors represent truth, that is the New Testament. . . .
. . . what Chrysostom says makes it clear that color was the more important element, without which an image was incomplete (and thus a false likeness) and unfinished.  This image of the underpainting preceding the colored picture that is the true image is one which recurs in the Fathers, from Cyril of Alexandria to Patriarch Germanos and John of Damascus, who described Melchisedek as the
σκίασμα of Christ, the underpainting preceding the colored picture.
    This appears to express a widely-held and consistent belief that color gave an image form and reality.
Headline from the sixth session of the Second Council of Nicaea (i.e. Fr. Stephen Freeman and Daniel J. Sahas (Icon and logos:  sources in eighth-century iconoclasm:  an annotated translation of the sixth session of the seventh Ecumenical Council (Nicea, 787) (Toronto:  University of Toronto Press, 1986), 69) respectively).
     Thanks to Ben McFarland for putting me onto this emphasis on color specifically, via the Freeman version of those words.

Friday, January 17, 2020

"rule in all our hearts alone"

"Dirigere et sanctificare, regere et gubernare dignare, Dominus Deus, Rex caeli et terrae, hodie corda et corpora nostra, sensus, sermones et actus nostros in lege tua, et in operibus mandatorum tuorum:  ut hic et in aeternum, te auxiliante, salvi et liberi esse mereamur, Salvator mundi.  Qui."

Deign to direct and sanctify, rule and govern today our hearts and bodies, thoughts, words, and acts in your law, and in the works of your commandments, O Lord God, King of heaven and earth:  that here and into eternity, you helping, we may merit to be saved and freed, O Savior of the world.  Who.

     Prayer at Prime, Brevarium Romanum, hastily translated by me.  I have not yet looked into the origins of this one, but if I'm reading p. 29 of Jonathan Black, "Psalm uses in Carolingian prayerbooks:  Alcuin’s Confessio peccatorum pura and the seven penitential Psalms (Use 1)," Mediaeval studies 65, no. 1 (January 2003) aright, then a Dirigere et santificare digneris (Dominus) of some sort is present in two 9th-century manuscripts.  Despite this page here, I'm not seeing in the Liturgia horarum at all.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

"the need for renewed attention to particularity in Methodist theology"

Since "The expulsion of B.T. Roberts and others from the Genesee Conference", "Methodism . . . has tended to be more comfortable with a big-tent vision for Methodism than with wrestling with the details and boundaries that are necessary in order for there to be a theological tradition."

     Kevin M. Watson, Old or New School Methodism?: The fragmentation of a theological tradition (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2019), 280, 284, underscoring mine.  The headline is from p. 283.
     "There was a recognizable theological tradition in American Methodism from the first Methodists who traveled from Britain to the British Colonies that would become the United States of America in the 1760s until the 1850s. The particularities of that tradition were largely articulated by John Wesley’s preaching and writing, which stated that the mission of Methodism was to 'spread scriptural holiness.' Throughout this period of time there was a formal commitment in the Doctrines and Discipline of the Methodist Episcopal Church, as well as other denominations formed subsequent to the MEC, to the doctrine of entire sanctification, or Christian perfection. American Methodism was also committed to a set of practices that would 'raise up a holy people'" (278, underscoring mine).

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Satisfy our just desires

"Lord our God, we humbly ask you, that, through the working of this mystery, our offences may be cleansed and our just desires fulfilled.  Through."

"Domine Deus noster, suppliciter te rogamus, ut, huius operatione mysterii, vitia nostra purgentur, et iusta desideria compleantur.  Per."

     Post-communion, Second Sunday after the Nativity, Roman missal.  This derives from the 8th century Old Gelasian.  See Corpus orationum no. 5708, on p. 84 of vol. 9
Suppliciter te rogamus, domine deus noster, ut huius operatione mysterii et vitia nostra purgentur et iusta desideria compleantur.
and Bruylants no. 813, on p. 230 of vol. 2:
Per hujus, Domine, operationem mysterii, et vitia nostra purgentur, et justa desideria compleantur.  Per.
     Cf. James 4:3:  "You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly [(male)], to spend it on your passions [(concupiscentiis)]."  Also Jn 8:44:  "You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires [(desideria)]."  Most importantly, Ps 37:4:  "Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires [(petitiones)] of your heart."  Etc.
     Cf. also St. Augustine.

Saturday, January 4, 2020

"But what one cannot do . . . is found their authority upon the authority of the Magisterium"


"Tradition and Scripture alone contain [(Mais cela n'empêche pas la Tradition et l'Écriture de contenir seules)] the revelation and constitute the theological loci that are fundamental.  The Church has no other role than to determine with an infallible authority what is contained in Tradition and Scripture.  Logically speaking, the Church comes after Tradition and Scripture [and is subordinate to these].  If, then, one begins by treating [(l'on fait débuter)] the theological loci with a consideration of the theological loci of the Church, this could be based on a decision of a practical order that is pedagogically useful but in no way necessary [(ce n'est là qu'un ordre pratique, commode, nullement necessaire)].  But what one cannot do without acting against the proper character of the theological principles of faith as such [(sans aller contre genie proper du Traité des Lieux théologiques)] is to attempt to found their authority upon the authority of the Magisterium of the Church in so far as this authority results from rational proofs of rational apologetics [(des preuves rationnelles de l’Apologétique) such as historical-critical reasons in favor of the faith].  This is to interpret reductively [(rabaisser)] the theological loci which are the foundation of theology and must be the starting points in faith from the beginning [(qui, étant le fondement de la Théologie, doivent débuter d'emblée en pleine foi)].  Between these starting points [(eux)] and the goal pursued in a rational apologetical argument on behalf of the faith [(et la fin du traité apologétique de l’Église)], there is a gulf that can only be crossed by the total and definitive adhesion to the Catholic faith [(il y a eu l’adhésion de la foi catholique totale et définitive)], and with this the apologetical arguments are finished.  There is a discontinuity between the science of rational defense of the credibility of faith and the science of theology [(entre l’Apologétique et la Théologie)].  In the interval between the two is a psychological act of faith, free and supernatural. . . .  It is the faith and not the conclusions of apologetics that stands at the origins of theology 'quae procedit ex principiis fidei.'"

     Ambroise Gardeil, O.P., La crédibilité et l'apologétique (Paris:  J. Gabalda et Fils, 1912), 221-222, as trans. Thomas Joseph White, O.P., at The incarnate Lord:  a Thomistic study in Christology (Washington, DC:  The Catholic University of America Press, 2015), 56n47.  White cites the printing of 1928.

"Harnack is in error on" the Hellenization of Christianity. "ignorance of ontology is ignorance of Christ."

"from a historical and biblical point of view [the claim that the 'biblical, ethical Christology' of scripture was unfortunately Hellenized] can be shown to be untenable. . . .  To state things in so gentle a way, however, is in fact already to concede too much.  For if Harnack is in error on this point (which I take to be the case), then we should be concerned not merely to establish the right of the interpreter to consider the ontological dimension of the mystery of Christ, as if this were one way of reading scripture among others.  Rather, we must say that unless we study the mystery of Jesus ontologically, we fundamentally cannot understand the New Testament.  For generally speaking the Bible is deeply concerned with the ontological structure of reality and its dependence upon God.  The New Testament in particular, however, is concerned above all and before all else with the ontological identity of Christ and the fact that he is both God and man.  No teaching is more central [to it].  It is the truth that underlies all other scriptural affirmations regarding Jesus.  Consequently, to study the New Testament realistically at all is to study the being and person of Christ. . . .  ignorance of ontology is ignorance of Christ.  The understanding of the Bible offered by the fathers and the scholastics, then, is not merely something that can be justified as one possible form of reading among others (defensively, as against a post-critical anthropological turn in modern philosophy).  Rather, it is the only form of reading that attains objectively to the deepest truth about the New Testament:  a truth concerning the identity of Christ as the God-man.  By the same measure, only this reading of scripture can attain to a proper understanding of the subject of biblical theology as such."

     Thomas Joseph White, O.P., The incarnate Lord:  a Thomistic study in Christology (Washington, DC:  The Catholic University of America Press, 2015), 7-8, underscoring mine.  White then proceeds to a supportive initial sub-section entitled "The biblical ontology of the New Testament."  "Scholasticism," understood as "the scientific examination of the very causes of being," "is inevitable . . . whenever theology becomes truly itself" (29).

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Grant, we pray, that we may feel her to [be] interceding for us

. . . grant, we pray, that we may sense [(sentiamus)] her to [be] interced[ing] for us, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ your Son.

"Deus, qui salutis aeternae beatae Mariae virginitate fecunda humano generi praemia praestitisti, tribue, quaesumus, ut ipsam pro nobis intercedere sentiamus, per quam meruimus auctorem vitae suscipere, Dominum nostrum Iesum Christum, Filium tuum."

". . . grant, we pray, that we may experience the intercession of her, through whom we were found worthy to receive the author of life, our Lord Jesus Christ your Son."

     Collect for the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God, Roman missal.  This is Bruylants, vol. 2, no. 440 (on p. 122), which he traces back to the Gelasian sacramentary of the early 8th century. =Corpus orationum no. 2113b.  Cf. Corpus orationum no. 2113a, which begins as follows:
Deus, qui spe[m] salutis aeternae beatae Mariae virginitate. . . .
See also Cuthbert Johnson & Anthony Ward, The sources of the Roman missal (1975) I:  Advent, Christmas (Notitiae 240-242 (Rome, 1986)): 213/653-214/654.
     Sentiamus (that one form alone) occurs twenty times in the current Roman missal.