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TomS
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« on: December 20, 2003, 10:54:39 AM »

I might be wrong about this, but the RC churches I have been in all seem to focus heavily on the Crucifixion instead of the Resurrection.

In fact, there is a Catholic Church near where I live where about 4 months ago they erected a 10 foot statue of St. Francis taking Jesus off the cross (Yeah, that's historical!). See the picture below.

Why the infatuation with the death of Jesus?
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« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2003, 11:11:38 AM »

I don't think it's St. Francis "taking Jesus off the Cross".  I think it's Jesus taking one of His arms off to embrace Francis.    It might have some basis in a vision or popular stories regarding him, like St. Anthony of Padua almost always holding the Child Jesus.  Br. Max is a Franciscan, maybe he knows.
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2003, 11:13:46 AM »

<<Why the infatuation with the death of Jesus?>>

Well - if Christ had not given His life for us - where would we be ??
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2003, 11:19:50 AM »

<<Why the infatuation with the death of Jesus?>>

Well - if Christ had not given His life for us - where would we be ??


Many have given their lives for others. It was not the act of death that was the miracle, but the resurrection.
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2003, 11:44:17 AM »

Tom,

Quote
In fact, there is a Catholic Church near where I live where about 4 months ago they erected a 10 foot statue of St. Francis taking Jesus off the cross (Yeah, that's historical!). See the picture below.

I don't think it's intended to be "historical."

Quote
Why the infatuation with the death of Jesus?

31 Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.
32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
33 This he said, signifying what death he should die.  (St.John 12:31-33)

26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (St.Matthew 26:26-28)

23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;  (1st Corinthians 1:23)

22 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. (1st Corinthians 2:22)

20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)

14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (Galatians 6:14)

While I perceive that the Orthodox Church takes issue with the Anslemian soteriology underlying much of Catholicism's understanding of the atonement (and how it's filtered into popular Latin piety), She doesn't take issue with love (even stronger than "infatuation") of Christ Crucified, and contemplation of the significance of this act in our lives.

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« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2003, 11:51:18 AM »

Sorry - I was rather hasty there - rushing off to do something and I should be typing out Readings for our Carol Service and Midnight Mass at this very moment [ it's 3.45pm and they will have to be taken into Church with me tomorrow morning Cheesy]

The Resurrection could/would not have happened if Christ had not died for us. He could have said 'No' to the Father - but He submitted to His Father's will, knowing exactly what it entailed .

Yes, for us the Resurrection is extremely important but Christ's Death was the supreme Sacrifice.

As I said - the Resurrection could not have come about without the Death. Yes the Resurrection is a Miracle but the Death - and a willing Death at that , still had to precede it.

I hope this makes sense - I'm no theologian, neither have I read as much as most of you.

NOW I must go and do that typing
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« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2003, 11:54:44 AM »

Tom,

Quote
Many have given their lives for others. It was not the act of death that was the miracle, but the resurrection.

I don't think there can ever be anything common about the act of someone giving their life for others, let alone when the "someone" is very God-of-God, Light-of-Light, True-God and True-Man.

12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (St.John 15:12-13)

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« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2003, 12:28:39 PM »

I really should be doing other things - but as I was typing out the Second Reading for the Mass , this jumped out at me.

......He sacrified himself for us in order to set us free from all wickedness and to purify a people.......

The whole passage that we will use is  Titus 2: 11-14

B ack to the tryping
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« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2003, 01:40:53 PM »

Wat do ya think about this one?  Huh
It comes from the RC Bishophric of Wisconsin.
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« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2003, 01:48:07 PM »

WHATEVER IS THAT ?
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« Reply #10 on: December 20, 2003, 01:51:33 PM »

Vicki - whenever did that stop you ?

now after that laugh - before you go to Church this weekend  - shouldn't you be doing something like  C......... ? Making fun of what is meant , mebbe , perhaps , I think  , supposed to be a religious statue .
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« Reply #11 on: December 20, 2003, 02:16:01 PM »

Tom, from what I've seen, the Orthodox use and venerate the crucifix so your objection is puzzling.
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2003, 02:46:59 PM »

What is Christianity without the Cross?  As a Christian minority in a Muslim world, that is the sign we zealously identify with to distinguish ourselves as true believers.  Its sight upon a church's dome is the most inviting one in the Middle East.  There is no shame in reflecting on it, for it is the Cross that brought Christ access to Hades and facilitated the destruction of death.

I have never seen this simple and common piety and reverence towards the Cross (reservations towards Western soteriology are understandable, but such are found in theological tracts, not in the common reverence paid by the faithful to the Sacrifice of Christ, which is presented on the altar at Liturgy) described as a 'Western obsession' except on online message boards.  For the East, the focus on the Cross should be intense, for it is Eastern Christendom that has sufferred persecutions throughout its history.

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« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2003, 03:50:25 PM »

I agree with all that's been said so far.  No Great and Holy Friday then no Pascha.  In a certain strain of RC spiritual theology Christ didn't die due to the punishment inflicted by the scourging and crucifixtion but rather He died of love. Hence the crucifix symbolizes love.

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« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2003, 05:36:08 PM »

Tom, from what I've seen, the Orthodox use and venerate the crucifix so your objection is puzzling.

What is Christianity without the Cross?

I agree with all that's been said so far.  No Great and Holy Friday then no Pascha.

What is going on here? I ask a question concerning the depiction of the ACT of the crucifixion in the RC church and I get posts that basically make it appear that I am QUESTIONING the importance of the cross?

STOP IT! OF COURSE I confess the importance of the crucifixion!

But in Catholic churches it just seems that I have seen alote more graphic depictions of the act of the crucifixion. Not just a cross, but the pain of the act. In Orthodox icons it seems to be more that He is conquering the cross.

I don't know, maybe I am wrong and just looking at things more closely when I visit a RC church.
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« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2003, 05:54:55 PM »

Would that that were true, Tom.
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2003, 06:03:25 PM »

Tom - you mean we have all been answering a question that you did not ask ?

Sorry about that - I must be thicker than I thought - but of course I am RC and therefore a graceless heretic Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2003, 06:07:03 PM »

That's okay. I guess RC's really are NOT that bright. I mean, who would still follow a church that knowingly harbored pedophiles if they had any brains?  Wink
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« Reply #18 on: December 20, 2003, 06:08:57 PM »

You really are a loveable creature Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 20, 2003, 10:49:03 PM »

Kallistos Ware has discussed this in his The Orthodox Church and The Way. What you may be getting at, Tom, is that the RCs view the crucifixion apart from the Resurrection.

In The Orthodox Church he says that the Orthodox complain about such hymns Stabat Mater, which contains 60 lines about the crucifixion and no mention of the Resurrection.

In The Way, Ware says that the scholastics, because of Aristotle, began to view the cross in isolation, while Orthodox view it, following Plato, in connection with the Resurrection.

While Seraphim Reeves pointed out that Orthodox would question the scholastic views of atonement, there is nothing wrong with the piety of remembering Christ's crucifixion. Even if the RCs do it excessively for one reason or another, I think it's a nice and inspiring tradition.
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2003, 10:55:31 PM »

Tom,

Quote
But in Catholic churches it just seems that I have seen alote more graphic depictions of the act of the crucifixion. Not just a cross, but the pain of the act. In Orthodox icons it seems to be more that He is conquering the cross.

Now this, I think is a valid observation - and if this is what you were trying to get at, my apologies.

It is most certainly true that the Holy Cross, and the Passion, play a central role in Orthodox soteriology (as is obviously reflected in the Divine Liturgy and the services in general) - but it is also true, that the approach of the two confessions (Orthodoxy and Roman Catholicism) has parted ways for some time.  Not to be too controversial, but I think this manifests a change in RC piety/phronema, and not that of the Orthodox Church.

As Bp.Kallistos (Ware) writes in the well known The Orthodox Church (this is the passage Frobie was refering to)...

Quote
...Such is the spirit which Orthodox Christians regard Christ's death upon the Cross.  Between this approach to the Crucifixion and that of the medieval and post-medieval west, there are of course many points of contact;  yet in the western approach there are also certain things which make Orthodox feel uneasy.  The west, so it seems to them, tends to think of the Crucifixion in isolation, separating it too sharply from the Resurrection.  As a result, the vision of Christ as a suffering God is in practice replaced by the picture of Christ's suffering humanity:  the western worshipper, when he meditates upon the Cross, is encouraged all too often to feel an emotional sympathy with the Man of Sorrows, rather than adore the victorious and triumphant king.  Orthodox feel thoroughly at home in the language of the great Latin hymn by Venantius Fortunatus (530-609), Pange lingua, which hails the Cross as an emblem of victory:

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
Sing the ending of the fray;
Now above the Cross, our trophy,
Sound the loud triumphal lay:
Tell how Christ, the world's redeemer,
As a victim won the day.


They feel equally at home in that other hymn by Fortunatus, Vexilla regis:

Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old:
Among the nations God, said he,
Hath reigned and triumphed from the Tree.


But Orthodox feel less happy about compositions of the later Middle Ages, such as Stabat Mater:

For His people's sins, in anguish,
There she saw the victim languish,
Bleed in torments, bleed and die:
Saw the Lord's anointed taken;
Saw her Child in death foresaken;
Heard His last expiring cry.


It is significant that Stabat Mater, in the course of its sixty lines, makes not a single reference to the Ressurection. (The Orthodox Church, pages 228-229)

This basic difference (which you've caught wind of) makes itself manifest not only in popular piety, but also the "religious art" of the two churches.

For example, Roman Catholic representations of the Crucifixion became increasingly realistic and gory with time - even to the point that such representations even became a little troubling to the RC heirarchy (for example, the famous "Spanish Crucifixes", which while beautiful in their craftmenship and artistry, are extremely realistic, and often quite bloody).  Compare this, OTOH, to the "Franciscan Crucifix", which is undoubtedly (at least) from the time just after Rome's separation from the Orthodox Patriarchates - it doesn't stick out content wise (or even stylistically) from similar Eastern Icons.

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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2003, 11:03:31 PM »

Tom wrote...

Quote
That's okay. I guess RC's really are NOT that bright. I mean, who would still follow a church that knowingly harbored pedophiles if they had any brains?

Man...and to think I got accused of poking people with sharp sticks... Grin

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« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2003, 06:13:12 PM »

Thank you, Frobie and Seraphim, for posting valid reponses to what I thought, was a valid question.

Vicki, you are wrong (again).

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« Reply #23 on: December 21, 2003, 06:38:53 PM »

I think half the problem Tom, was the way you phrased it initially.

I didn't understand what you were after  otherwise you might have had a better answer from me Wink

However I think Vicki's comment possibly referred to
That's okay. I guess RC's really are NOT that bright. I mean, who would still follow a church that knowingly harbored pedophiles if they had any brains?

I chose to accept it as a jocular response to my comment about being an RC Heretic - despite your wink I wasn't too sure ,as I did find the second part of your comment offensive and uncalled for. After all no Church be they Catholic [of all varieties] or Orthodox [ ditto] or Protestant is immune to those problems - and let's not get into a long discussion about that again.
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« Reply #24 on: December 21, 2003, 10:33:37 PM »

The Cross and the Resurrection are one event: the Passion.  They are inseprarable.  At the Passion, Christ what revealed what being God really is: the suffering servant.

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« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2003, 11:32:53 AM »

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder :saint: <-------- Me ??
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« Reply #26 on: December 31, 2003, 10:42:55 AM »

I've always seen the West as more Incarnational and the East as more Resurrectional in its theological emphasis.  Of course, one cannot exist without the other, but, being human beings, we tend to emphasize one thing over another when given a chance.  It is precisely due to that emphasis on the Incarnation that the Western "obsession", to use Tom's words, with the Crucifixion, came about.  By its very nature, the Incarnation imparts on the believer the humanity of Christ, how much He is like us, the pain He felt and still feels, the joy He must have had at the raising of Jairus' daughter and still has everytime a sinner repents, and the sorrow He felt at the death of Lazarus and He still feels when we as a whole race turn our backs on God.  This realization can help bring us closer to Him.  It also helps teach that Christ bore our sins on the Cross and makes real for us just how sinful we are.  I remember seeing an old Italian crucifix in the little Catholic church on the hill in Harper's Ferry, WV.  Maybe 3/4 life size, the Jesus on the cross looks beaten and battered and I can just imagine how upsetting this image could be on small children.  I found it fascinating.  Of course, I would never use such an image myself to teach my kids, but it does give insight into the mindset of the stereotypical Italian Catholic, whose sense of Christian guilt is eclipsed only by the Irish.

Of course, Jewish guilt overides it all Wink.
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« Reply #27 on: December 31, 2003, 10:51:37 AM »

I'm not sure how I can explain something that has stayed with me for quite some time.

I don't really like some of these more realistic images of the Crucified Crist and yet the images that have stuck most vividly in my mind are the ones described by Dame Julian in Revelations of Divine Love.

Yes I know this is written by an RC Mystic ,but her description os the agony that Christ must have suffered  are vivid to say the least.  Having said that - they also make sense to me - try the description of the Crowning with Thorns - it really shook me.
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« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2003, 12:15:21 PM »

Quote
I've always seen the West as more Incarnational and the East as more Resurrectional in its theological emphasis.
 

Certainly true culturally - Christmas is THE Western Catholic holiday of holidays, Easter the -ü-¦-+-ï-¦ -¦-+-+-î-ê-+-¦ -+-Ç-¦-+-¦-+-+-¦ of the Orthodox.

But being Incarnational is at the heart of the Catholic faith, East (Orthodox and Oriental alike and I'm guessing Assyrian as well) or West.

Quote
Of course, one cannot exist without the other, but, being human beings, we tend to emphasize one thing over another when given a chance.


Right - neither side disregards Christmas or Easter!

Quote
It is precisely due to that emphasis on the Incarnation that the Western "obsession", to use Tom's words, with the Crucifixion, came about.
 

I see Tom's point that Eastern crucifixes are less graphic than Western ones but with all due respect think the difference is being exaggerated, perhaps owing to some residual at least cultural Protestantism. Even when I was a functionally unchurched kid, I never understood those people's (Protestants') aversion to the crucifix, which I always found comforting even though I didn't really understand why.

Quote
By its very nature, the Incarnation imparts on the believer the humanity of Christ, how much He is like us, the pain He felt and still feels, the joy He must have had at the raising of Jairus' daughter and still has everytime a sinner repents, and the sorrow He felt at the death of Lazarus and He still feels when we as a whole race turn our backs on God.  This realization can help bring us closer to Him.  It also helps teach that Christ bore our sins on the Cross and makes real for us just how sinful we are.
 

None of which, IMO, is foreign to Eastern manifestations of Christianity, but foreign to most kinds of Protestantism except perhaps conservative Lutherans, who always have used the crucifix.
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« Reply #29 on: January 06, 2004, 02:33:16 PM »

I think it's nothing more than a difference in emphasis, to be honest.  The West tends to emphasize the incarnational aspects of Christ, whereas the East tends to emphasize the transcendent aspects of Christ.  As Serge (I think) once said, the great theological temptations of the West (Arianism) and the East (Monophysitism) probably each reflect this trend, this difference in emphasis.

Western theology is, particularly after the Reformation (an event which impacted Roman Catholic theology as well), more redemption-focused per se in terms of the act of redemption, in which the Crucifixion plays a critical part.  When you tie this together with the pre-existing incarnational emphasis in the West, you get the kind of seeming obsession with the Crucifixion that can be observed in more traditional Roman Catholic circles (although interest in that sems to be fading in the Roman Catholic mainstream).  Certainly Catholic devotions like the rosary or the stations of the cross do emphasize this kind of suffering spirituality -- which, to be honest, has proven to be a source of great spiritual strength for millions of Roman Catholics over the centuries.  In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the Roman Catholic spirituality is the spirituality par excellence for the downtrodden, the injured, the hopeless, due to this emphasis on the solidiarity with the crucified Christ.

I think it's important to remember that it is very easy to misinterpret the meaning of religious images when standing outside a particular spiritual tradition.  It has often been noted to me by RC friends that our Eastern Orthodox version of Christ seems very distant, less human, etc. .... they appreciate the beauty of the icons, but the Christ depicted there appears different to them than the Christ they are familiar with from RC spirituality, and it can feel very cold and distant .... kingly and royal, to be sure, but not the warm Christ sitting around the dinner table with his friends, so to speak.  Orthodox are often not very understanding of this reaction, because they themselves are often unfamiliar with Roman Catholic spirituality.

I prefer the Orthodox vision, as an Orthodox.  But I don't denigrate the Latin tradition on this specific point ... to me it is simply a different spiritual expression, and one that has its own legitimacy in that Western context.

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« Reply #30 on: January 06, 2004, 03:46:58 PM »

Not meant as an anti-Roman dig at all, but when did statues become important. We know that when St Augustine arrived in Durovernum, or Cantwareburg, he processed with a monk holding an icon.

And St Brigid had a church with an icon screen and icons hanging on it.

And English churches are covered, or were, with as much painted decoration as any Orthodox church.

But then later medieval cathederals, like Wells, or Amiens, both beautiful, have hundreds of statues.

But this is, I guess, different to statues being venerated like icons might be venerated. So when did the statues appear in the West?
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« Reply #31 on: January 06, 2004, 04:01:17 PM »

It began to come back during the Gothic period, but most of the classical period of statues in the West came during and after the Renaissance, when the classical art of statuary was revived and "baptized".  It does represent, therefore, a certain humanistic influence, given the source in the Renaissance, but I think it fits in well nevertheless with the Western emphasis on the incarnational aspects of Christ and, as you rightly point out, the statues are not used in the same way in the West as icons are in the East.
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« Reply #32 on: January 06, 2004, 04:06:19 PM »

I would guess in the Renaissance, although carved reliefs were around decorating the outer part of the church much earlier. But I think the technique of making terracotta models, sculpting realistic sculptures, making plaster statuettes, etc., comes from the Re-Birth. Just a hunch.
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« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2004, 04:15:27 PM »

That's interesting.

It raises the question why, since ancient culture knew how to create statues, the church of the first millenia does not seem to have gone in for statues in a big way.

There is a flicker in my brain that there is an ancient portion of an inscription to St Hippolytus which was on the base of a statue to him, but if I recall that was in a public place more like a statue of any other important figure rather than within a spiritual context.

And I recall that the Anglo-Saxon King Redwald had his idols/statues of Woden and the other Norse gods.

So there was a tradition of statuary.

I wonder what the reason was for not bringing statuary into the church until what appears to be very late.

This is not judgemental. I know that RC's don't worship statues any more than Orthodox worship icons except as a deviation from official faith and practice.
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« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2004, 07:17:53 PM »

I would guess it is not for theological reasons. The Church was just waiting for Michelangelo to show them how it was done. Wink Also, IIRC during the renaissance more info was uncovered (from the Reconquista and contact with the failing Byzantine Empire) on classical artistic theory. That's a big IIRC. You can see it in medieval art that the proportions are all out of wack. Something about Da Vinci tickles my mind too.
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« Reply #35 on: January 07, 2004, 01:29:44 AM »

...Certainly Catholic devotions like the rosary or the stations of the cross do emphasize this kind of suffering spirituality -- which, to be honest, has proven to be a source of great spiritual strength for millions of Roman Catholics over the centuries.  In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the Roman Catholic spirituality is the spirituality par excellence for the downtrodden, the injured, the hopeless, due to this emphasis on the solidiarity with the crucified Christ.

I have an small art book of photographs taken in "Ultra Baroque" Cathedrals in Mexico that is amazing. Every surface in these churches seems to be swirling with angels and saints sculpted from what looks like terra cotta... they're rougher copies of European church ornamentation.

You must be right about the downtrodden and solidarity with the the crucified Christ. The crucifixes in these Mexican gothic churches could match Mel Gibson any day for gory realism. One large crucifix realistically carved in a warm dark wood has Christ's knees torn open from where He fell during the carrying of the cross. The crucifix has what looks like real human hair, and blood is painted on streaming from all parts of His body.

These images make me uncomfortable in their excess, seems somehow pornographically gory... but I can understand this better, somehow, than sanitizing Christ right off His cross. Christ-less crosses remind one of how our western "civilized" culture obsessively denies death in all forms, right up to shutting our aged people away from sight and turning to physician assisted gericide to avoid suffering and decay.

Quote
I prefer the Orthodox vision, as an Orthodox.  But I don't denigrate the Latin tradition on this specific point ... to me it is simply a different spiritual expression, and one that has its own legitimacy in that Western context.

It's all so mind-numbingly, astoundingly rich. I love East and West both!

Imagine if He had never been, think of what disappears in our cultures, both East and West... will humanity see an age again that devotes it's cultural artistic energies to the glory of God?
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« Reply #36 on: January 07, 2004, 06:17:40 AM »

Much of the popular Coptic religious art has a tendency to the Western realistic style, not icons, but religious pictures and the like.

I have asked Coptic friends why, with the presence of so many ancient examples of iconography and the renewal of Coptic iconography internationally in the 20th century, they like these gory pictures so much. I guess it's like someone asking why as an Englishman with the riches and beauty of plainchant I used to sing choruses. I guess it appeals to something different, or at least at a different level, in folk.

I am not so sure that there isn't a theological aspect to the development and inflitration of graphic 'realism' into the churches in the form of statues, realistic portrayals of Christ etc etc. Not a complaint or a problem but the period and context in which these things were introduced was late. It is worthy of consideration.
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« Reply #37 on: January 07, 2004, 06:20:14 AM »

has proven to be a source of great spiritual strength for millions of Roman Catholics over the centuries.  In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the Roman Catholic spirituality is the spirituality par excellence for the downtrodden, the injured, the hopeless, due to this emphasis on the solidiarity with the crucified Christ.

I'm not sure I agree. The Coptic Orthodox have been downtrodden for the past 1500 years but their solidarity is with the Risen Christ in His victory over the world. There is not so much the sense of 'Lord, you also suffered', which of course is there, but more, 'Lord, you have overcome the world'
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« Reply #38 on: January 07, 2004, 01:37:01 PM »

It is true Peter. We were healed by his stripes. When I think of the Sorrowful Mysteries, and soon, the Seven Sorrows of Mary, it brings me great consolation when I am suffering. I cannot say that it brings greater consolation than meditating on Christ's glories, but why emphasize one over the other?

Something just snagged at my mind. Perhaps the reason Catholics emphasize the crucifixion artistically has to do with the historic reasons for emphasis on statues? Perhaps they approached a resurrected Christ with greater trepidation than a crucified Christ? On second thought, I don't think so.

I think Jesus' suffering just seemed more relevant. Too bad there's not an emoticon for a shrug.
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« Reply #39 on: January 08, 2004, 05:02:49 AM »

Hiya

Yes but it's later Roman Catholicism that introduced statues? Open on that one still. I wonder when folk statuary such as found in Brittany was developed. I'm not so sure that it's a East/West culture thing.

Is it possible that in the West as a negative impression of iconography developed under Charlemagne and later Emperors and Popes the use of statuary became more acceptable? I wonder if in the East statuary never took off because it was more closely associated with idolatry? But in the West without the same understanding of the place of iconography statues found a place?

I don't know.

Do Eastern Catholics approach a resurrected Christ  differently to Eastern Orthodox?

Is it a difference of theological emphasis or of cultural circumstances and emphasis?

As for considering Christ. I agree with you about not needing to place one aspect above another. It was Brendan03 who said that RCism was the spirituality for the downtrodden which I was disagreeing with.

But on the other hand we had families leave our Plymouth Brethren assembly because the focus was on the cross at the Breaking of Bread and those that left felt that Sunday was continually a funeral instead of the feast of the Resurrection.

Perhaps a concentration on the one is Nestorian in tendency, seeing only the suffering, while the other could be considered Eutychian in tendency, seeing only the glory. We need both.

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« Reply #40 on: January 08, 2004, 06:53:09 PM »

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We need both.

Agreed. I do perceive that RC churches emphasize the crucifixion more visually, at least traditionally. I like it. I have seen churches that try to break with this tradition and it just looks ugly. Perhaps the difference is that you can do an icon of the risen Lord more tastefully than a statue. Perhaps the inverse is true too?
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« Reply #41 on: January 08, 2004, 07:27:55 PM »

Caffeinator,

Have you noticed a big increase in the use of Orthodox iconography by Catholics today? I was looking at an official publication about the new Luminous Mysteries of the Rosary in our main Catholic bookstore recently and every single mystery was illustrated by a classic Orthodox icon. Most of the booklets I have about the traditional rosary are illustrated by the works of Fra Angelico etc.
I've also noticed a trend in recent years in the RCC to try to redress the Crucifixion/Resurrection balance in certain popular devotions. The Stations of the Cross, the Via Crucis, has been supplemented by the Via Lucis, which concentrates on the Resurrected Christ. If anyone is unfamiliar with the Via Lucis devotion the various stations are described at this website:

http://www.magnificat.com.ph/prayers.html#vialucis

I particularly liked the fact that each station ends with a verse from the old Easter hymn 'O filii et filiae' which is one of my favourites, as it acknowledges the role played by the myrrh bearing women! I always sing the Latin version though!

Brigid

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« Reply #42 on: January 09, 2004, 05:32:37 AM »

It is also interesting that many Anglican churches have also introduced icons. Rochester Cathedral near to where I live in Kent has had a Greek iconographer painting a massive mural icon for a year or so now. And St Alban's cathedral, and Winchester all have many fine icons. My local Anglican chuch, though rather unusual in its very very pro-Orthodox priest, has icons and these were blessed by an Orthodox priest when they were installed.
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« Reply #43 on: January 09, 2004, 11:53:13 AM »

Caffeinator,

Have you noticed a big increase in the use of Orthodox iconography by Catholics today?

Yes, I have.  I have been to a number of Catholic bookstores in recent years and all have had a wall of icons for sale.  I asked a clerk recently on how they were selling, and he said very, very well.  Almost all the icons came form Orthodox sources.  I also asked, do you have any books on icons.  He showed me a few.  I talked to the store manger and said that if he is going to sell icons, he should at least have a selection of books on their history, use, meaning, and writing formulas.
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« Reply #44 on: January 09, 2004, 12:02:17 PM »

Is there also a development of icon production in Roman Catholic communities, or are they relying on Orthodox sources, or was the tradition maintained in Eastern Catholic communities?

I know that in Egypt the Coptic Catholic cathedral has some wonderful iconography produced by the greatest Coptic Orthodox iconographic schools.
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