Christian Solar Symbolism and Jesus the Sun of Justice
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 192
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
This pioneering study of Christian sun symbolism describes how biblical light motifs were taken up with energy in the early Church. Kevin Duffy argues that, living in a world of 24/7 illumination, we need to reconnect with the sun and its light to appreciate the meaning of light in the Bible and Christian tradition. With such a retrieval we can appreciate Pope Francis’s insistence that, like the moon, the Church does not shine with its own light, and assess the claim that the Eucharist is to be celebrated ‘Ad Orientem’, that is towards the rising sun in the East. Liturgy, architecture, poetry and the writings of saints and theologians such as Augustine, Hildegard of Bingen, Francis of Assisi, and Thomas Traherne offer abundant resources for a much needed ressourcement. While Christ was preached as the True Sun among sun-worshipping Aztecs, and the consecrated host was placed in a solar monstrance on Baroque altars, in the modern era solar themes have been neglected. In this accessible work, the author suggests that we rebalance a spiritual symbolism that has over-emphasised darkness and cloud at the expense of light and sun. He proposes a creative retrieval of the traditional title of Christ as the Sun of Justice. This title blends the personal, the social and the cosmic/ecological, and speaks powerfully to a secularising era that contemporaries Friedrich Nietzsche and Thérèse of Lisieux both described as one where the sun does not shine.
This is a fascinating study from Kevin Duffy. ... Unlike many studies of this genre, it is at all times thought provoking and readable. * Irish Theological Quarterly * The volume is a pleasing book product, stimulating, easy to consult and the sort of book that might be retained as a personal possession and re-read from time to time. It contains well-honed thoughts that may grow on a reader in different moments of life's seasons. * Ephemerides Liturgicae * The joy of sunrise, the melancholy of sunset, the Sun which gives us light, and warmth, and life. We rarely do anything without some reference to it - our local star. Yet for much of Christian history our references in a religious context have been complex: Jesus is the Sun of Justice who visits us like the rising Sun, and we have a solar liturgical year, but we are dismissive of 'solar cults' and 'Sun worship' - yet it is by the visible that we speak of the invisible. At last, we now have a book that addresses the whole topic and does so thoroughly. -- Thomas O'Loughlin, The University of Nottingham, UK A timely and pioneering study retrieving the symbols of light and sun to counterbalance a tradition often preoccupied by darkness and cloud and tracing their implications for Christology, spirituality, and liturgy. -- Declan Marmion, St. Patrick's College, Ireland In his fascinating study of sun symbolism, Kevin Duffy has created something truly fresh, informative, and-dare we say it-illuminating! Tracing the history of the symbols of sun and light and their interplay with darkness reveals a rich symbol of the divine presence, rooted in the Scriptures, reflected in aspects of our tradition, downplayed for too long a time, and now ready for a vigorous revival. Theologians, spiritual writers, poets, and everyday Christians will find this a splendid and inspiring work. -- Donald Senior, Catholic Theological Union, USA Kevin Duffy's thorough and painstaking research lays a solid foundation for the retrieval and development of solar metaphors and the symbolism of light in contemporary theology. Such theological language would not only assist Christian thought in addressing the climate crisis of our time, but to reinscribe Christ as the "Sun of Justice. -- Susan Roll, Universite Saint-Paul University, Canada Susan Roll, Universite Saint-Paul University, Canada This illuminating and erudite plea for the retrieval and renewal of Christian sun symbolism takes readers who are sadly familiar with the current eclipse of faith on a delightful journey from antiquity up to the present. Duffy's masterful study sheds new light on this neglected and yet vitally important theme. -- Beata Toth, Sapientia College of Theology, Hungary Kevin Duffy's Christian Solar Symbolism and Jesus the Sun of Justice offers us a broad-brush sweep of Christian sources for a concrete, contemplative and natural theology of the place of Jesus Christ in the universe and in human history. By piecing together so many sources of solar symbolism, Duffy makes a mosaic pattern of breathtakingly colourful and rich pictures from an all-but forgotten tradition. We experience Christ in the brilliance of warmth, light and power in a way that opens up our minds and imaginations to the impulses behind much contemporary Christological thinking. Duffy's book is as welcome as a ray of sunshine. -- Gemma Simmonds CJ, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, UK