Monday, 10 April 2017

Traditions Meet

How many traditions meet here? In SM Stirling's A Meeting At Corvallis (New York, 2007), Chapter Fifteen, Sir Nigel Loring's party, guests in a fortress-monastery, hear Verbum caro factum est ("Here the Word was made flesh") and see a painting of the Madonna and Child. Three of them make gestures of reverence to the painting.

(i) The use of Latin is the tradition of the Roman Empire, continued by the Catholic Church.

(ii) "Verbum"/"Word" translates Greek "Logos." This was the Stoics' word for a divine principle pervading and animating the universe. Philo adopted it into Jewish philosophy. It enters Judaeo-Christian scripture as late as the Fourth Gospel in a passage that both recalls Genesis and identifies the central figure of the Synoptic Gospels with the Logos made flesh.

(iii) Sir Nigel's comrades revere the Mother of the Logos as an Aspect of their Goddess.

Thus, the traditions are:

Greek philosophical;
early Christian;

A few words summarize a lot of history. I attended a lecture where the speaker began, "In the beginning was the deed." He quoted Goethe's Faust who deliberately misquoted and corrected St John who quoted Genesis and Stoicism. Pope John Paul II was named after his predecessor who was named after his two predecessors who were named after authors of the New Testament, one of whom was named after the first King of Israel.

Poul Anderson imagined a Wodenite, converted to belief in the incarnate Logos, seeking evidence of a Universal Incarnation.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

As courteously as possible, I would have to protest against any Wiccans showing reverence to the Blessed Virgin Mary as an "aspect" of their "goddess." First, because the BVM, altho preserved freed of Original Sin and asked by God to be the Mother of the Pre-Incarnate Logos, was not a goddess, but a human woman. Second, because there is only one God I cannot agree that any other gods exist. Third, to prevent the danger of syncretism, of attempts at merging very different religions into one, I would have to discourage speculations about the BVM being an "aspect" of the Wiccan "goddess."