A Theological Survey of Holiness

holiness

I recently posted an article talking about what the word holiness means.  Today I want to explore some of the major theological perspective on how to understand holiness theologically. There are six major traditions that have contributed to understandings on holiness in the contemporary milieu. The following sections will review the lens of the tradition, and present how the contemporary theologians in that tradition  articulate holiness . The six major traditions to be examined are: 1) Jewish, 2 … [Read more...]

Colbert Teaches John McCain a Quick Bible Lesson

Colbert

I don't know if you caught it, but there was a great moment on the Colbert Report last night where Colbert is challenged by John McCain to defend his use of "saving the best for last" as a scriptural reference. Colbert, correctly, references the story of the wedding at Cana found in John 2.  John McCain, then, thanks Colbert for refreshing his memory. As a Catholic, I'm always thrilled to see a fellow Catholic like Colbert proving the stereotype that Catholics don't know their bibles wrong. Take … [Read more...]

Christ Appearing to The Virgin – and to Us

Christ Appearing to The Virgin

One fascinating image I have been attracted to is that of Christ Appearing to The Virgin (c. 1475) by Rogier van der Weyden. It tells the story of Jesus’ appearing to his mother after the resurrection. This encounter is nowhere spoke of in the scriptures, but there is a tradition that emerged later in Christian spirituality about it. One particular account, in Pseudo-Bonaventure’s Meditations On the Life of Christ (LXXXVI), has Jesus appear after Mary has prayed asking God that Jesus would hurry … [Read more...]

Moments of Beauty: Chicago

Chicago

"from the greatness and beauty of created things comes a corresponding perception of their Creator... for the author of beauty created them." Wisdom 13: 3,5I used to live in Chicago. It's a city I love. It's one of the finest gems in the treasury of reasons why I think the Great Lakes region is the greatest place on earth. I love its food, its drinks, its people, its culture.I love Chicago.Although much of the city is not pretty, I believe it's a beautiful city. the city's beauty … [Read more...]

Caravaggio’s Invitation to Recognize Jesus

Supper_at_Emmaus-Caravaggio_(1601)

Although I tend to be more attracted to traditional icons and iconography I have a particular love for Caravaggio’s 1601 Supper at Emmaus. It’s bright and vibrant and full of action, and it draws me into the painting in a similar way that many of my favorite byzantine icons do.The painting takes place in the moment when Christ blesses the meal after his long trip to Emmaus in which he had opened the scriptures in a form of the liturgy of the word. Now the liturgical event continues at the tab … [Read more...]

Who are the least in the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats?

The Least

In this weeks Leactionary text from Matthew 25 we are presented with the last of Jesus eschatological teachings, known as the “parable of the sheep and the goats” or at times the “judgment of the Son of Man.” It seems to be a combination of a parable and an apocalypse. Jesus parables are stories that give a fictitious saying which conveys truth, offering hearers a handle through which to understand the kingdom of God.[1] Apocalypses are, at least within the Jewish tradition, accounts of an immine … [Read more...]

How to Define Holiness

Holiness

Most people who grow up in the Church have heard the word holy more than enough. It’s so ubiquitous in churches it becomes almost invisible. Nearly everything in a church is called holy from the books that are read, to the water by the door, to the pictures and the windows. Churches are filled with “holy” things. So many things are designated as holy, that the word itself is often undetected, unexamined, and misunderstood. Holiness is a word that becomes like the air that is breathed. It is often … [Read more...]

The Eschatological Crucifixion of Bernardo Daddi

Jesus on the cross

One thing that religious art and iconography sometimes does spectacularly, is illuminate the ways in which a biblical story has resonances both with the wider biblical canon as well as the spiritual and liturgical life of the community of the person who observes this. This week I was particularly struck by the way that this is done in the image of the 1335 image of the crucifixion attributed to Bernardo Daddi. I wanted to share a few of my thoughts on it with you.It’s a simple p … [Read more...]

Exploring Dali’s Sacrament of the Last Supper

dali-last-supper

Salvidore Dali's Sacrament of the Last Supper is in many ways, is a culmination of the artistic projects that Dali had been endeavoring to pursue in 1955. It brought together forms of disintegration/mystical realism as well as highlighting the naturalism of the Renascence paintings that Dali had become interested in.  Given that Dali had become intent on becoming the next Leonardo da Vinci at the time, the subject of the Last Supper was a natural choice for the work. He hoped that his creation wo … [Read more...]


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