Feria Secunda

To be continued...

N.B. Fencing Bear has obviously been reading too much in John of Damascus's defense of the icons against the iconoclasts, although she seems to have gotten the argument somewhat backward.* John argues that all reverence given to the image redounds unto the prototype, thus images should be permitted in Christian worship:

"But since some find fault with us for worshipping and honouring the image of our Saviour and that of our Lady, and those, too, of the rest of the saints and servants of Christ, let them remember that in the beginning God created man after His own image. On what grounds, then, do we shew reference to each other unless because we are made after God's image? For as Basil (the Great, c. 330-379), that much-versed expounder of divine things, says, the honour given to the image passes over to the prototype. Now a prototype is that which is imaged, from that which the derivative is obtained."

--John of Damascus, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, trans. S.D.F. Salmon, in Nicene and Post Nicene Fathers, 2nd Series, (repr. Grand Rapids MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1955), Vol IX, p. 88; cited by Paul Halsall, Internet Medieval Sourcebook.

*As proven by the hour-long argument I've just had with my son over the meaning of this post. For those who are having difficulty, on a literal level, the toys are worrying about copyright, fair use and creative adaptation of acknowledged originals; on an allegorical level, they are worrying about the coming of God in the flesh and the proper worship to be rendered thereto; and on a mystical level, they are worrying about what it means to be made in the image and likeness of God the Creator at all.


  1. Your argument is tricky well-thought but incomplete. The connection between John's argument and the comic would have been better made if you emphasized images of the saints rather than images of God.
    Argument: Your instance of F.B. involves two prototypes, your idea and character for her, and the prototype made by the people who sold her to you. So does the image of a saint -- it has the idea of the prototype of God as well as character the saint as a person has; so the worship of images of saints has the same problem, both "who does the idea of it belong to" and "does it detract from the prototype to honor the image". In the case of God there is one prototype, scripture, and only the latter question applies to it.

  2. I think what you mean is that God is the prototype of God and scripture his only true image. But very nice comparison with the saints!

  3. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years
    Hope your writing turns out fine

  4. And merry Christmas to you, too! Thanks for the good wishes, Bear needs them!


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my blog post. I look forward to hearing what you think!


Popular posts from this blog

Talking Points: Three Cheers for White Men

Why Dorothy Kim Hates Me

Make the Middle Ages Dark Again

Lorem Ipsum

How to Signal You Are Not a White Supremacist