Quote of the Week: Aleksei Khomiakov

Quote of the Week: Aleksei Khomiakov October 18, 2011

Our words, if I dare say so, are not the light of Christ, but His shadow on earth. Blessed are those who, contemplating this shadow on the fields of Judaea, could divine the heavenly light of Tabor. This light shines constantly for the Church. But it is revealed only through the shadows of matter, for our language is wholly material, not only in form but also in almost all its origins, whatever it may be in its principle. If the Apostle had addressed himself to other listeners, if he had found them in a different intellectual education, he might have used different expressions. In the face of philosophical systems resembling those of present-day Germany, he might have used the word Object to render the thought he expresses by Logos, and this form, although less perfect, would also have been fully legitimate. By no means do I think that these two expressions are comparable. I know very well that the word Logos is much more clearly marked by the relationship of generation that exists between thought and its manifestation. But I also know that the word Object can also be used to convey the concept of manifested and self-recognized thought. The goal set by the Church would therefore be attained, that is, the goal of indicating divine things by an induction drawn either from the visible world or from operations of the human mind.

— Aleksei Khomiakov, “Some More Remarks From An Orthodox Christian Concerning the Western Communions, On the Occasion of Several Latin and Protestant Religious Publications,”  in On Spiritual Unity: A Slavophile Reader. Trans. Boris Jakim and Robert Bird (Hudson, NY: Lindisfarne Books, 1998), 130-1.

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