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EASTER I. The theological content of the feast – II. The celebration of the feast – III. The Easter controversy. I. The theological content of the feast.Nepal Metro Map R. Cantalamessa demonstrated how one must distinguish the two understandings of Easter within the Christian tradition, both of which go back to Judaism. 1. The Jewish tradition. At the beginning, the Passover was a nomadic feast probably in relation to transhumance; the rite of the blood of the Lamb sprinkled on the lintels and the two doorposts had an apotropaic meaning: one must protect against the Destroyer.
In the religion of Israel, the one who passes over was God, who spared the homes of his people Ex 12:27. To this first understanding, Nepal Metro Map a second was added: the Passover stood in relation to the memory of the Exodus from Egypt, which reminded the Israelites of human deliverance from slavery Ex 13:8, 14; Dt 16:1; in Hellenistic Judaism see Philo, Leg. Spec. II, 147 and in Judaism after the structure of the Second Temple, this anthropological understanding of the feast prevailed over the primitive understanding. 2. The Christian tradition. Jesus died during the Jewish Passover whether it was on the 14th of Nisan, according to John’s chronology, or the 15th of Nisan, according to the chronology of the Synoptic Gospels.
This coincidence could not but exert influence on the Christian tradition. One perceives a progressive paschalization of the events of Holy Friday, on the basis of the typological interpretation of the OT. It is typical that, from the beginning, the two Jewish understandings about the Passover were present in the Christian tradition see 1 Cor 5:7-8. Nevertheless, one can distinguish two types of paschal theology: a. In the Asiatic type, the Passover is placed in relation to pa,sceinpassio and takes on an almost exclusively christological meaning the content of the feast is a commemoration of the past and the fervent expectation of eschatological events. And this Quartodeciman Passover appears in Melito of Sardis’s homily On the Passover. Nevertheless, we know that the Roman Easter was not different from the Asiatic feast in its content but only in its date the origin of the Roman Easter, however, could also date back to the primitive church.
In the Alexandrian type, Easter is placed in relation to the idea of transituspassage and takes on an almost exclusively anthropological meaning one has passed from the shadow to the reality, one lives in the present anticipating the eschatological and heavenly truth; the tendency of dehistoricizing the feast and the sacraments is apparent here. Later Greek patristic authors would confuse this paschal theology of the Alexandrians such as Clement and Origen with the Asiatic tradition. c. Among Latin patristic authors, who based themselves primarily upon the Asiatic tradition, the Alexandrian tradition would be introduced beginning with Ambrose De sacr. 1,4,12; De Cain et Abel 1,8,31; Ep. 1,10 and Jerome Comm. in Evang. Matth. IV, 26,2. Augustine would have the credit of reaching a christological synthesis of the two traditions on the basis of Jn 13:1 Tract. in Evang. Joh. 55,1. It is through his passion that the Lord passed’ from death into life and has opened to us believers the way to the resurrection so that even we might pass from death to life Enarr. in Psalm. 120,6; see Civ. Dei XVI, 43. This synthesis allows him and his successors to combine the historical, sacramental, mystical and eschatological aspects of the Easter feast.
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