By Richard Viladesau
From the earliest interval of its life, Christianity has been well-known because the "religion of the cross." a few of the nice monuments of Western artwork are representations of the brutal torture and execution of Christ. regardless of the horror of crucifixion, we regularly locate such pictures appealing. the great thing about the go expresses the vital paradox of Christian religion: the go of Christ's execution is the logo of God's victory over dying and sin. The move as a cultured item and as a way of devotion corresponds to the secret of God's knowledge and tool occur in soreness and obvious failure. during this quantity, Richard Viladesau seeks to appreciate the great thing about the pass because it built in either theology and artwork from their beginnings till the eve of the renaissance. He argues that paintings and symbolism functioned as a substitute strand of theological expression -- occasionally parallel to, occasionally interwoven with, and occasionally in pressure with formal theological mirrored image at the that means of the Crucifixion and its position in salvation heritage. utilizing particular artistic endeavors to epitomize specific inventive and theological paradigms, Viladesau then explores the contours of every paradigm in the course of the works of consultant theologians in addition to liturgical, poetic, inventive, and musical assets. the great thing about the pass is tested from Patristic theology and the earliest representations of the emblems at the move, to the monastic theology of victory and the Romanesque crucified "majesty," to the Anselmian "revolution" that headquartered theological and creative cognizance at the pain humanity of Jesus, and eventually to the breakdown of the excessive scholastic theology of the redemption in empirically targeted nominalism and the beginnings of naturalism in paintings. via reading the connection among aesthetic and conceptual theology, Viladesau deepens our realizing of the key image of Christianity. This quantity makes a huge contribution to an rising box, breaking new flooring in theological aesthetics. the great thing about the pass is a precious source for students, scholars, and an individual drawn to the fervour of Christ and its representation.
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Extra resources for The Beauty of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts from the Catacombs to the Eve of the Renaissance
Salvation is also portrayed as the healing of a wound inﬂicted by the enemy (the devil) (Pange Lingua, 3); it is accomplished by God’s use of “art” or cunning to counter the devil’s evil scheme (Pange Lingua, 3)—a possible reference to the theme of the “deceit” of the devil by the substitution of the immortal, sinless Christ for sinful humanity; it is the washing of the world by Christ’s blood (Pange Lingua, 7; Vexilla Regis, 3). Special prominence is given to the metaphor of “redemption,” the paying of a price for our salvation (Pange Lingua, 1, 10; Vexilla Regis 2, 6).
For we were enemies of God through sin, and God had appointed the sinner to die. There must needs therefore have happened one of two things; either that God, in His truth, should destroy all men, or that in His lovingkindness He should cancel the sentence. But behold the wisdom of God; He preserved both the truth of His sentence, and the exercise of His loving-kindness. Christ took our sins in His body on the tree, that we by His death might die to sin, and live unto righteousness. Of no small account was He who died for us; He was not a literal sheep; He was not a mere man; He was more than an Angel; He was God made man.
The use of cruciﬁxion as a punishment was in fact widespread. It seems to have been adopted by the Romans from the Carthaginians. c. 5 Cruciﬁxion was regarded as a most terrible and ignominious death. The Romans generally did not inﬂict it on citizens; it was a punishment for the lower classes, slaves, violent criminals, and rebels. Its cruelty was meant to serve as a deterrent. It constituted the utmost humiliation and degradation. This was true in a special way for the Jews, for according to the Law, “God’s curse rests on him who hangs on a tree” (Deut.