Novak (novak) wrote,
Novak
novak

Theological Notebook: Leontius of Neapolis' Vision of Creation

Office hours. Wheeeee... I don't know what the deal is: I get semesters where my office hours are like a coffeehouse, with students showing up to hang out and talk class stuff and anything under the sun, and then I get semesters of utter disuse. I would have mostly said that's a spring/fall distinction, respectively, but at least one time I can think of, that was utterly reversed. This is a dead semester: I've had one student come in all semester. No. Two. A one-hundred percent increase from my earlier assessment, but not much better, really.

So chicken noodle soup for a late lunch and reading during office hours today. Check out this gem:
Through heaven and earth and sea, through wood and stone, through relics and church buildings and the Cross, through angels and humans, through all creation visible and invisible, I offer veneration and honour to the Creator and the Master and Maker of all things, and to Him alone. For creation does not venerate the Maker directly and by itself, but it is through me that the heavens declare the glory of God, through me the moon worships God, through me the waters and showers of rain, the dew and all creation, venerate God and give Him glory.
– Leontius of Neapolis, Cyprus, c. 590-650
What a doctrine of Creation is at work there! It's everything the neopagans try to create in making their new religions, but here with the (potential) added benefit of being true (or not), and not merely a subjective, consumerist spirituality. Rahner articulates some of the same ideas, in a much more complicated German spiel, of not allowing the modern, rather gnostic, distinction to be made between humanity and the rest of creation (which one often, curiously, hears in those environmentalists who try to insist there's no distinction between humanity and the other animals). Instead, humanity becomes the voice of the universe: that locus or portion of matter that has attained to Mind and Spirit. How much more integrated a view is that? It's also the strongest metaphysical basis for an environmental ethic I can conceive of....
Tags: ecological, evolution, faith and reason, incarnation, jewish mysticism, liturgical, medieval studies, mysticism/spirituality, patristics, quotations, rahner, sacramental, theological notebook
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