Theology | Tradition | ... and the Times
From Idol to Icon
with Dr. Andrew Kaethler
September 30, 2021
Arguably, the human individual and its concomitant the human body are idols of secularism. There is a certain irony, perhaps an irony shared with all idols, that such idolatry is so close, and yet so far, from true Christian worship. C.S. Lewis notes that if we could see our neighbour for who he will one day be we would be tempted to worship him. That is, “next to the Blessed Sacrament itself, your neighbour is the holiest object presented to your senses. If he is your Christian neighbour, he is holy in almost the same way, for in him also Christ vere latitat—the glorifier and the glorified, Glory Himself, is truly hidden.” Following Lewis’ direction, we could say that idols and icons are closely related. If this is truly the case then confronting the idols of secularism may involve re-conception rather than replacement.
With this affirmative approach I want to think through how idolatry of the body can be re-conceived as a step in the right direction, leading away from idolatry of the self, and how the body as an idol can be transformed into an icon. In particular, it will explore how male and female difference, or otherness, can be a catalyst for such an iconic transformation.
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Most Recent CPC³ Lecture:
Presented on November 2, 2020
Topic Outline: Ophelia’s madness and death have inspired visual art for centuries. But what makes her image so spectacular and compelling? Considering the post-Reformation environment in which Hamlet was written, this talk suggests resonances between the play’s representation of mad Ophelia and the iconography of St. Mary Magdalene. Ophelia’s unbound hair and bawdy lute call to mind similar characteristics of the penitent disciple as she is depicted in Renaissance art. Mary Magdalene’s renunciation of material comforts and physical beauty was, for many Reformers, a fitting symbol of the Protestant attempt to return to a pared-down aesthetic of worship. In carrying over these distinctive traits of Magdalene iconography, the image of mad Ophelia implicates a broader concern in Hamlet with the material nature of repentance. Through her, Shakespeare holds a mirror up to England after the Reformation, reflecting what it was and what had been lost.
Presented on October 2, 2020
Find out more about him at https://www.catholicpacific.ca/academics/faculty/fr-david-bellusci-o-p
Presented on February 27, 2020
Dr. David Baird, Assistant Professor of Theology at Catholic Pacific College, on the Immaculate Conception of Mary. As the title says, find out the ‘when? why? and how?’ of Catholic doctrine concerning Our Lady’s preservation from sin from the moment of her conception.
Dr. Baird’s research focuses on theology and culture, with particular interests in Christianity’s intersections with story and film. He is currently working on projects related to the early writings of G.K. Chesterton, the theology of Holy Saturday, and the theological significance of postapocalyptic zombie fiction.
theological interests are Catholic thought, the church fathers, and spiritual interpretation of Scripture. Hans and his wife Linda attend Saint Matthew’s Anglican Church (ACNA) in Abbotsford, BC.
Presented on October 17, 2019
Fr. David Bellusci, O.P. has just released his book "Love Deformed, Love Transformed: A Christian Response to Sexual Addiction" (Copies are available at Holy Family Catholic Bookstore or at Amazon.ca) and he is our next CPC³ guest lecturer. On October 17, at 7pm, Fr. Bellusci will present a lecture on his book which will be responded to by CPC Academic Dean, Dr. Andrew Kaethler, and CPC student, Dominic Lindl.
Presented on April 4, 2019
Dr. Andrew Kaethler spoke on the place of "Church" in Christian life. Is it essential, part of the nature of being a Christian? Or is it merely external, and potentially something onerous, to Christian life?
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