Saturday, August 22, 2009

Anderson on 'the close nexus between Temple appurtenance and the presence of God'

"Brown's observation . . . was made solely on the basis of the Exodus narrative and as such grounds the theology of the prologue in a singular act--the moment when the glory of the Lord filled the Tabernacle on the day of its completion. What we have shown in this article is that this momentous theophany was routinized in the daily life of the cult. It was not only the Israelites of Moses's day who saw God as he entered his newly dedicated Tabernacle; all Israelites could see God as they ascended to the Temple to participate in the rite of the furniture. What the post-biblical Jewish materials we have examined provide is a more phenomenological, or even cultic, background against which we can set John's own theology of a visible and tabernacle-like presence of the Logos."

"It has often been stated that because of Israel's radically anti-iconic stance, it came to prefer forms of revelation that were mediated by Word rather than by sight. This assertion like all such truisms, is to some extent accurate. Nevertheless, as we have seen in this article, it should not be assumed that because Israel rejected the representation of God in statuary form in the Temple, it thereby rejected all linkages of God to a specific physical location", e.g. the Temple and its furniture.

"According to Dionysius, who is clearly following the lead of the biblical text, Moses does not see God himself but rather confronts the next best thing. He is allowed to contemplate the invisible God in the the visible form of his domestic furniture. For, as he argues, it is through this furniture that 'his unimaginable presence is shown.' To paraphrase Dionysius, we cannot see God face to face but he has graciously consented to let us see where he dwells."

Gary A. Anderson, "To see where God dwells: the Tabernacle, the Temple, and the origins of the Christian mystical tradition," Communio: international Catholic review 36, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 56, 64-65, 68.

St. Athanasius on the body of the Lord

"'they approve the former people [the Jews] for the honor paid by them to the Temple, but they will not worship the Lord who is in the flesh as a God indwelling a temple. . . . And [the Jews] did not, when they saw the Temple of stones, suppose that the Lord who spoke in the Temple was a creature; nor did they set the Temple at nought and retire far off to worship. . . . Since this was so, how can it be other than right to worship the body of the Lord, all-holy and all-reverend as it is, announced by the Holy Spirit and made the vestment of the Word. . . . He that dishonors the Temple dishonors the Lord in the Temple; and he that separates the Word from the Body sets at nought the grace given to us in him.'"

St. Athanasius, Ad Adelphium 7-8, as quoted by Gary A. Anderson, in his "To see where God dwells: the Tabernacle, the Temple, and the origins of the Christian mystical tradition," Communio: international Catholic review 36, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 61-62.

St. Irenaeus on the salvation of the flesh

"the final result of the work of the Spirit is the salvation of the flesh [(Fructus autem operis Spiritus, est carnis salus)]."

     St. Irenaeus, Adv. haer. V.12.4, trans. Roberts and Rambaut (ANF 1, as reproduced here: The Latin is taken from SC 153, p. 154. Cf. p. 353 of vol. 2 of the edition edited by W. Wigan Harvey (Sancti Irenæi episcopi Lugdunensis Libros quinque adversus haereses (Cambridge, 1857), which is online here:
MPG 7b (,_Iraeneus,_Contra_Haereses_Libri_Quinque_(MPG_007b_1119_1225),_GM.pdf), col. 1154, places "Fructus autem" and "Spiritus" in quotation marks to implicate Gal. 5:22. Homoeoteleutic error is responsible for the absence of "the salvation of the flesh" in the Armenian, and indeed everything up through a second occurrence of "Spirit" in the line following. Col. IX, ll. 14-15 of the Jena Papyrus (Pap. Iéna 12 in the SC edition ed. Rousseau) has . . . καρ]πὸν ἒρ[γ]ου ὡμολόγη[σεν . . . . . .] ἡ τῆς σαρκὸς σωτηρί[α . . ., "fruit of work promised the salvation of the flesh" (or something like that). The fragment in question is the large one at almost dead center of the verso here (, and the line that reads . . . πὸν ἒρ[γ]ου ὡμολόγη. . . is the one that runs into the bottom edge of the little rectangular spur that juts off to the right (on, again, the verso). Cf. Hans Lietzmann, "Der Jenaer Irenaeus-Papyrus," in Kleine Schriften I: Studien zur spätantiken Religionsgeschichte, ed. Kurt Aland (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1958), p. 402, Kol. IX, ll. 14-15, and p. 373 (where col. IX is the verso of col. I on p. 371).

Granados on the prophetic interiorization of Judaism

"the more the prophets interiorize their worship, the more they turn it into something external, visible, corporeal."

José Granados, "The new hosanna in the new temple: Jesus' entry into Jerusalem," Communio: international Catholic review 36, no. 1 (Spring 2009): 27.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A priest without a vocation

"'My friend, . . . become a good rural bourgeois, worthy and well-educated, rather than a priest without a vocation.'"

Father Chélan to Julien Sorel, in pt. 1, chap. 9 of Stendahl's The red and the black (trans. Burton Raffel (New York, NY: The Modern Library, 2003), 54).