"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Aidan Nichols on Being Lost in Wonder

As I noted previously, the prolific English Dominican Aidan Nichols is no stranger to Eastern Christianity, having authored significant and important studies (including the one I discuss here), such as Byzantine Gospel: Maximus the Confessor in Modern Scholarship, Light from the East: Authors and Themes in Orthodox Theology, and Theology in the Russian Diaspora: Church, Fathers, Eucharist in Nikolai Afanasiev.

Now he has come out with a collection that looks at the relationship between Christianity and the arts, including iconography, especially in a Russian context (treated in his ninth chapter): Lost in Wonder: Essays on Liturgy and the Arts (Ashgate, 2011), 194pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:

This book explores the liturgy as the manifestation by cultic signs of Christian revelation, the 'setting' of the Liturgy in terms of architectural space, iconography and music, and the poetic response which the revelation the liturgy carries can produce. The conclusion offers a synthetic statement of the unity of religion, cosmology and art. Aidan Nichols makes the case for Christianity's capacity to inspire high culture - both in principle and through well-chosen historical examples which draw on the best in Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy and Anglicanism.

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