Friday, July 9, 2010

An Orthodox Saint on the Mahātmā


I'm not a fan of the above "icon" (nor of its "iconographer" nor of the use of icons to depict Western Christian saints, much less Hindu ones), but I am certainly a fan of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, and the image came to mind reading these "words of Saint Nicholas Velimirović (1881-1956), Bishop of Ochrid and Zhicha, on Mahatma Ghandi [sic]" (why can'y anyone learn to spell his name correctly?) — Fasting, Prayer, and Silence in Politics. The saint argues that "ever-active Providence has chosen Gandhi, an unbaptized man, to serve as a warning to the baptized, especially those baptized people who pile up one misfortune on another upon themselves and their peoples by using ruthless and harsh means."

[link via A conservative blog for peace]

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Abdul Alhazred said...

What's wrong with icons?

Are you some sort of...iconoclast?

;)

5:07 PM  
Anonymous Abdul Alhazred said...

What's wrong with icons?

Are you some sort of...iconoclast?

;)

5:07 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Nope. They should just be confined to the Christian East, except those with historical links to the West, like the Black Madonna of Częstochowa and Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

6:24 PM  
Blogger Procopius said...

Although, Joshua, with the exception of statuary, the art that we consider "Western" does not predate Giotto. It should also be noted that there is a highly-developed theology of icons, and that they are depictions of the idea of the person or event pictured, not a picture of the event itself. "Windows into heaven" and all that. This makes all the more odd you objection to the depiction of non-easterners, do you posit a separate soiteriology?
I would also ask how would an Eastern Catholic church properly venerate John Henry Newman? Or for that matter, how would would Western Church venerate St. Cyril of Alexandra, put up a statue of him?

6:23 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I should have been clearer. I support icons, and have one of Our Lady of Perpetual Help before me now. It's just that they're an Eastern tradition. Many Westerners, like the "iconographer" of Gandhi in the post, cheapen the tradition. This guy even paints pagan gods in the icon style.

5:34 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

That said, I can see some leeway like in the cases you mentioned.

5:34 PM  

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