Author Topic: The T(t)radition of Beards??  (Read 11059 times)

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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #45 on: December 07, 2010, 05:05:43 PM »
1. People automatically assume that anyone bringing up the topic wants to make beards (and/or the subgroup of clergy beards) a matter of dogma or whatever.  IMO, the OP is clearly asking a history question - so people should lighten up on the treatment of the topic as another "Beards are Holiness" routine.

2. There are other threads that address the question of beards from a historical perspective.

Oh I don't worry if it affects anything theological...just wondered why the preference in the East...if it was something the West had chosen to go against, or what. I know it is tradition...jsut wasn't sure of the seriousness of it....sort of silly...but an interesting difference between East and West.

I know that later in Eastern Roman history if you didn't have a beard you were considered either (a) underage (pre-Pubescent), (b) a Eunuch, or (c) a man trying to be effeminate (see (b)).  IMO, after studying Old Roman and New Roman history, it came down to this: In the West, shaving was a sign of being in control, and only barbarians and lunatics had beards; in the East, the beard was part of being a man, and only effeminate men, eunuchs, pre-adolescents, and women were clean-shaven.

Where does that leave men who don't shave but also naturally do not grow all that much facial hair, and therefore don't appear to fall into either category?

Rogaine?

SRSLY?

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #46 on: December 07, 2010, 05:06:56 PM »
1. People automatically assume that anyone bringing up the topic wants to make beards (and/or the subgroup of clergy beards) a matter of dogma or whatever.  IMO, the OP is clearly asking a history question - so people should lighten up on the treatment of the topic as another "Beards are Holiness" routine.

2. There are other threads that address the question of beards from a historical perspective.

Oh I don't worry if it affects anything theological...just wondered why the preference in the East...if it was something the West had chosen to go against, or what. I know it is tradition...jsut wasn't sure of the seriousness of it....sort of silly...but an interesting difference between East and West.

I know that later in Eastern Roman history if you didn't have a beard you were considered either (a) underage (pre-Pubescent), (b) a Eunuch, or (c) a man trying to be effeminate (see (b)).  IMO, after studying Old Roman and New Roman history, it came down to this: In the West, shaving was a sign of being in control, and only barbarians and lunatics had beards; in the East, the beard was part of being a man, and only effeminate men, eunuchs, pre-adolescents, and women were clean-shaven.

Where does that leave men who don't shave but also naturally do not grow all that much facial hair, and therefore don't appear to fall into either category?

That particular issue wasn't addressed in anything I've read.  Is it a big deal?

Well, if shaving is such a sin, then it would be nice to know that being naturally low in facial hair is not associated with it.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #47 on: December 07, 2010, 05:14:12 PM »
^ Who said it's a sin?  Again, you're committing the same fallacious assumption that I mention in my post, to wit: "People automatically assume that anyone bringing up the topic wants to make beards (and/or the subgroup of clergy beards) a matter of dogma or whatever.  IMO, the OP is clearly asking a history question - so people should lighten up on the treatment of the topic as another "Beards are Holiness" routine."
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Offline deusveritasest

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2010, 05:23:40 PM »
^ Who said it's a sin?  Again, you're committing the same fallacious assumption that I mention in my post, to wit: "People automatically assume that anyone bringing up the topic wants to make beards (and/or the subgroup of clergy beards) a matter of dogma or whatever.  IMO, the OP is clearly asking a history question - so people should lighten up on the treatment of the topic as another "Beards are Holiness" routine."

The quote from Saint Clement seems to suggest that shaving is a sin.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #49 on: December 07, 2010, 05:36:20 PM »
^ He's the only one I've read that suggests such a thing.  Regardless, your comment was in response to my post, which did not take St. Clement's position into account at all, so I'm still wondering about why you're "crossing the streams."  The OP asked a history/sociology/anthropology question, and that's what I responded to.
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Offline Shiny

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #50 on: December 07, 2010, 08:08:22 PM »
I can't grow a beard for the life of me.
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Offline Papist

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #51 on: December 07, 2010, 08:39:41 PM »
I can't grow a beard for the life of me.
I'm with ya there buddy.
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline bogdan

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #52 on: December 07, 2010, 09:47:30 PM »
As I've said elsewhere: it's compulsory in certain traditions and jurisdictions.
If not able to grow one, you should order one (preferably from Athos of Valaam), called "makariopogon", made of surplus monastic hair, after their annual shearing on the third week of Lent.
Prices can vary according to length and the holiness of the monk who grew the hair out of which the beard was manufactured.
The Great Euchologion provides for this small prayer to be said when putting on this beard:"It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments."


Gold.  :D :D

Offline Papist

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #53 on: December 07, 2010, 10:25:45 PM »
1. People automatically assume that anyone bringing up the topic wants to make beards (and/or the subgroup of clergy beards) a matter of dogma or whatever.  IMO, the OP is clearly asking a history question - so people should lighten up on the treatment of the topic as another "Beards are Holiness" routine.

2. There are other threads that address the question of beards from a historical perspective.

Oh I don't worry if it affects anything theological...just wondered why the preference in the East...if it was something the West had chosen to go against, or what. I know it is tradition...jsut wasn't sure of the seriousness of it....sort of silly...but an interesting difference between East and West.

I know that later in Eastern Roman history if you didn't have a beard you were considered either (a) underage (pre-Pubescent), (b) a Eunuch, or (c) a man trying to be effeminate (see (b)).  IMO, after studying Old Roman and New Roman history, it came down to this: In the West, shaving was a sign of being in control, and only barbarians and lunatics had beards; in the East, the beard was part of being a man, and only effeminate men, eunuchs, pre-adolescents, and women were clean-shaven.

Where does that leave men who don't shave but also naturally do not grow all that much facial hair, and therefore don't appear to fall into either category?

Rogaine?

SRSLY?
No
"For, by its immensity, the divine substance surpasses every form that our intellect reaches. Thus we are unable to apprehend it by knowing what it is. Yet we are able to have some knowledge of it by knowing what it is not." - St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa contra gentiles, I, 14.

Offline Father H

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #54 on: December 07, 2010, 11:54:01 PM »
Ok...this may be a silly thing to ask, but what is the significance of wearing beards in Orthodoxy? Is it a clergy only thing, or do most laity in Orthodoxy keep a beard as well? I enjoy wearing a beard, but was just wondering if this is part of Orthodoxy for a significant reason, or is just a discipline that has developed over time. Thanks for any feedback.
It is derived from Patristic teaching concerning the preservation and honoring of the form God created us to be in. A number of Fathers said that shaving was a sin because it defaced God's Creation.

Please cite said patristic teaching

Offline Father H

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Re: The T(t)radition of Beards??
« Reply #55 on: December 07, 2010, 11:54:54 PM »
^From one who has a beard (in case one was asking in the mind)