By Richard Viladesau

From the earliest interval of its lifestyles, Christianity has been famous 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 frequently locate such pictures attractive. the great thing about the pass expresses the significant paradox of Christian religion: the pass of Christ's execution is the logo of God's victory over dying and sin. The go as a cultured item and as a method of devotion corresponds to the secret of God's knowledge and tool happen in agony and obvious failure. during this quantity, Richard Viladesau seeks to appreciate the wonderful thing about the move because it constructed in either theology and artwork from their beginnings until eventually the eve of the renaissance. He argues that artwork and symbolism functioned in its place strand of theological expression -- occasionally parallel to, occasionally interwoven with, and occasionally in stress 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 creative and theological paradigms, Viladesau then explores the contours of every paradigm during the works of consultant theologians in addition to liturgical, poetic, creative, and musical resources. the great thing about the move is tested from Patristic theology and the earliest representations of the emblems at the pass, to the monastic theology of victory and the Romanesque crucified "majesty," to the Anselmian "revolution" that based theological and inventive cognizance at the affliction 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 artwork. by way of studying 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 wonderful thing about the move is a important source for students, scholars, and somebody drawn to the fervour of Christ and its representation.

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Extra info for The Beauty of the Cross: The Passion of Christ in Theology and the Arts from the Catacombs to the Eve of the Renaissance

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The upright beams of the crosses (stipes) were usually already standing at the place of execution. (We must recall, once again, that crucifixion was a fairly common punishment. 7 On the other hand, there was sometimes a peg driven into the upright as a seat (sedile) that the victim straddled or sat upon sidewise. This served to keep the condemned from sagging under his own weight and suffocating quickly. If the 22 the beauty of the cross sedile was used, the victim’s feet could be left hanging, or could be nailed or bound.

27 Augustine can also refer to Christ’s sacrifice as “the great price with which Christ bought us”—without explicitly specifying to whom the “price” is paid, the new testament and the patristic paradigm 33 but insinuating that it is to God’s justice. Like the Fathers in general, Augustine takes for granted the idea that “sacrifice” is a means of purification from sin. But the sacrifice must be offered by one of those whom it will benefit; hence the need for Christ’s humanity, which Augustine presumes makes us one with him.

12 Theologian Edward Schillebeeckx has compiled the major images. Most of these are metaphors drawn from the Jewish religion and/or from secular experience. Thus, “salvation” (itself a metaphor) is accomplished thorough divine adoption or filiation; by a re-creation or restarting of the world; by our receiving of God’s Holy Spirit; by our formation in the image of the risen Christ; by entry into God’s kingdom; by rescue, or our being freed from servitude and slavery; by the payment of a ransom or price (without any specification of its recipient); by reconciliation of hostile parties after a dispute; by legal “satisfaction”; by expiation, through sin-offering, as in the sacrifices of the Law; by the “bearing” or “taking away” of our sin; by legal aid before the court of God’s justice; by victory over demonic powers.

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