Poetry and the Kenotic Word
Edited By Malgorzata Grzegorzewska, Jean Ward and Mark Burrows
The Dogmatic Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (451) of Two Natures in the Person of Jesus Christ as a Criterion of the Incarnational Character of Poetry
In considering the nature of Christian poetry, we must refer to something that for Christianity is essential. To explain this requires both a historical and a dogmatic approach. Although these two approaches differ, each ultimately leads us to the Incarnation. Together with the doctrine of the Trinity, the Incarnation forms the core of Christian faith. As a mystery grounded in supernatural Revelation, a dogma itself presupposes limitations to its intellectual component. How is this fact to be dealt with? In explicating dogma, we have to be content with concise formulae, which, although they render the general meaning, also reveal the limitations of the given dogma as a statement. In the case of Incarnation, the doctrinal formula has very rich historical and philosophical consequences which do not seem to have been sufficiently exploited yet. This situation requires to be remedied as quickly as possible, in order to help us not only in defining and identifying Christianity, but also in re-discovering its original richness and perspectives.
Before we begin this reflection, however, it will be helpful to explain the way in which the term “Christianity” is here understood. It is as much a historical, sociological and cultural phenomenon as a religious and spiritual one. In all its dimensions, it is interesting and attractive for literature, and there is no doubt that literature is an integral aspect of Christianity as a cultural phenomenon. The core of Christianity, however, is something which unifies the dimensions mentioned above. It is something...
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