Arimathea | Religion
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The human animal is the worshipping animal. Toward the divine, we have a need to pray, to sacrifice, to offer up, and to praise. From the spirit dances of primitive animism to the rational contemplation of philosophical paganism, from the ethical code of the rabbis to the theological vision of the scholastics, from the sprinkled blood (the origin of blessing) of temple cults to helping the poor in simple Christian charity, men need to relate the immanent and the transcendent -- they see their particular lives in time and space transfigured and transfused with meaning unbounded by human things. Religion is this aspect of human life where the everyday and worldly intersects with the ultimate and divine. Is this an accident of human evolution, or is it a racial neurosis brought upon us as conscious beings who live in the shadow of our own death? Is it a reflection of the divine order, where creatures naturally orient themselves toward their source? Has God revealed himself to us, as the Christians claim? In this realm, I shall try to delve into such questions as an Orthodox Christian who ever pesters God with "Why?"
Friday, September 21, A.D. 2012
Рождество Пресвятой Богородицы

I wish you a blessed feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos!

Michigan State University hosts a site dedicated to images of the Theotokos in Byzantine iconography; you may read about the Natvity of the Theotokos icon.

Here is a Russian video with icons and hymns:

When I was in Jerusalem last year, I visited the Basilica of Saint Ann from the Crusader period and the neighboring Orthodox monastery of Saint Anna. Both claim to be upon the home of Joachim and Anna where the Theotokos was born. The complex may connect underground; so they both could be right. Regardless, the local tradition marks the Virgin Mary’s birth near the Gate of Saint Stephen, also called the Lions’ Gate. The Crusader basilica was built upon a former church, the Basilica Sanctae Mariae ubi nata est. Even in Latin, that is unwieldy; nouns make better church names than clauses. Other scholars think that the Theotokos may have been born in Galilee, in Nazareth or in nearby Tzippori, as Joachim and Anna had a familial or residential connection to the area. Bethlehem is another contender as well as a small village near Bethlehem where Joachim and Anna are thought to have lived at one point before or after the birth of the Theotokos. However, the Jerusalem tradition is probably the oldest, and there has been a liturgical celebration of the Virgin’s birth there since late antiquity.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, September 21, Anno Domini 2012
OrthodoxyLiturgySaintsNon-ChalcedonianismRoman CatholicismCommentsPermalink
Friday, September 14, A.D. 2012
Bread of Heaven

Happy New Year to all Orthodox Christians! I hope that the upcoming year is blessed.

During my break, Kristor initiated an edifying discussion about the Eucharist on the Orthosphere: “The Bread of Heaven.” I highly recommend it; do not forget about the comments.

Kristor may be an Anglican, but he thinks like an Orthodox Christian in many ways.

Posted by Joseph on Friday, September 14, Anno Domini 2012
OrthodoxyLiturgyScriptureEcumenismNon-ChalcedonianismProtestantismRoman CatholicismCommentsPermalink
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