Art and Faith

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Judge St Joshua from Hosios Loukas. (12-13th century, New Roman)

Judge St Joshua from Hosios Loukas (New Roman, 12-13th century)

Of course, St Joshua is garbed as a contemporaneous Roman general. This dates from the period just preceding the Fourth Crusade. The West doesn’t “get it”. We don’t see that they are acting any differently than they did at that time. “We’re sorry”… it takes more than that, my friend… you have to show your veracity by your actions.

I observe that the West bombed Belgrade on Orthodox Easter… what shall you say of that? Or, don’t we “deserve” a reply?

King St David as Vasileos (New Roman, 10th century)

King St David as Vasileos (New Roman, 10th century)

Of course, this image is NOT meant to be historically accurate. Rather, it is a statement of the spiritual background to the very real power of the Roman emperor. New Rome was self-consciously Christian, it saw the roots of its legitimacy in the anointed kings of the Bible. Of course, there were also other sources as well, such as the classical Greco-Roman heritage and the power of the legions. All mixed together, it made for a kingship that was rooted in both the best of paganism and the best of monotheism. Don’t forget… the “Roman” law that forms the basis of today’s European law codes was written in Christian New Rome… not pagan Old Rome.

The zapadniki (such as Schmemann) got it all wrong… the West learned from us… not the other way ’round. Why are WE the barbarians, then? A meaty reflection if there ever was one…

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