The Virgin and Child

Parkstone International
Free sample

The Virgin and the Child are amongst the most favourite artistic themes since the Middle Ages. Mary was frequently depicted with the Christ Child.This religious scene showcases a mother and her son, sometimes accompanied by other protagonists. Originally distant and formal, the relationship between the two figures was expressed with tendernessat the end of the Middle Ages and became more human. Amongst the famous artists who have treated the subject of the Virgin and the Child are, most notably, Cimabue, Jean Fouquet, Quentin Metsys, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Rubens, and many others. 300 pictures and more than 500 pages including detailed captions, offer a thorough insider view on the subject.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Parkstone International
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Published on
Mar 13, 2018
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Pages
250
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ISBN
9781683254638
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Language
English
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Genres
Art / Subjects & Themes / Religious
Religion / Christian Theology / Christology
Religion / Christianity / Catholic
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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INTRODUCTION,

In Which the Sources of This History Are Principally Treated

A history of the "Origin of Christianity" ought to embrace all the obscure, and, if one might so speak, subterranean periods which extend from the first beginnings of this religion up to the moment when its existence became a public fact, notorious and evident to the eyes of all. Such a history would consist of four books. The first, which I now present to the public, treats of the particular fact which has served as the starting-point of the new religion, and is entirely filled by the sublime person of the Founder. The second would treat of the apostles and their immediate disciples, or rather, of the revolutions which religious thought underwent in the first two generations of Christianity. I would close this about the year 100, at the time when the last friends of Jesus were dead, and when all the books of the New Testament were fixed almost in the forms in which we now read them. The third would exhibit the state of Christianity under the Antonines. We should see it develop itself slowly, and sustain an almost permanent war against the empire, which had just reached the highest degree of administrative perfection, and, governed by philosophers, combated in the new-born sect a secret and theocratic society which obstinately denied and incessantly undermined it. This book would cover the entire period of the second century. Lastly, the fourth book would show the decisive progress which Christianity made from the time of the Syrian emperors. We should see the learned system of the Antonines crumble, the decadence of the ancient civilization become irrevocable, Christianity profit from its ruin, Syria conquer the whole West, and Jesus, in company with the gods and the deified sages of Asia, take possession of a society for which philosophy and a purely civil government no longer sufficed. It was then that the religious ideas of the races grouped around the Mediterranean became profoundly modified; that the Eastern religions everywhere took precedence; that the Christian Church, having become very numerous, totally forgot its dreams of a millennium, broke its last ties with Judaism, and entered completely into the Greek and Roman world. The contests and the literary labors of the third century, which were carried on without concealment, would be described only in their general features. I would relate still more briefly the persecutions at the commencement of the fourth century, the last effort of the empire to return to its former principles, which denied to religious association any place in the State. Lastly, I would only foreshadow the change of policy which, under Constantine, reversed the position, and made of the most free and spontaneous religious movement an official worship, subject to the State, and persecutor in its turn.

I know not whether I shall have sufficient life and strength to complete a plan so vast. I shall be satisfied if, after having written the Life of Jesus, I am permitted to relate, as I understand it, the history of the apostles, the state of the Christian conscience during the weeks which followed the death of Jesus, the formation of the cycle of legends concerning the resurrection, the first acts of the Church of Jerusalem, the life of Saint Paul, the crisis of the time of Nero, the appearance of the Apocalypse, the fall of Jerusalem, the foundation of the Hebrew-Christian sects of Batanea, the compilation of the Gospels, and the rise of the great schools of Asia Minor originated by John. Everything pales by the side of that marvellous first century. By a peculiarity rare in history, we see much better what passed in the Christian world from the year 50 to the year 75, than from the year 100 to the year 150.



THE SENSE IN WHICH CHRISTIANITY IS A ROMAN WORK.

Ladies and Gentlemen,—I was proud and happy to receive from the curators of this noble institution an invitation to continue here an instruction inaugurated by my illustrious confrère and friend, Max Müller, the usefulness of which will be more and more appreciated. A broad and sincere thought always bears fruit. It is thirty years since the venerable Robert Hibbert made a legacy for the purpose of aiding the progress of enlightened Christianity, inseparable, according to his idea, from the progress of science and reason. Wisely carried out, this foundation has become, in the hands of intelligent administrators, the centre of conferences upon all the great chapters of the history of religion and humanity: the promoters of this reform have asked, with reason, why the method which has proved good in all departments of intellectual culture should not also be good in the domain of religion? why the pursuit of truth, without regard to consequences, should be dangerous in theology, when it is approved of in the entire domain of social and natural science? You believed the truth, gentlemen, and you were right. There is but one truth; and we are wanting in respect to its revelation, if we allow that the critic ought to soften his severe processes when he treats of it. No, gentlemen, the truth is able to dispense with compliments. I come gladly at your call; for I understand the duties towards the right exactly as you do. With you, I should believe that I injured a faith in admitting that it required to be treated with a certain softness. I believe with you that the worship due from man to the ideal consists in independent scientific research, without regard to results, and that the true manner of rendering homage to the truth is to pursue it without ceasing, with the firm resolution of sacrificing all to it. You desire that these conferences shall present a great historic ensemble of the efforts which the human race has made to resolve the problems which surround it, and affect its destiny. In the present state of the human mind, no one can hope to resolve these problems: we suspect all dogmatism simply because it is dogmatism. We grant willingly that a religious or philosophical system can, indeed, or that it ought to, enclose a certain portion of truth; but we deny to it, without examination, the possibility of enclosing the absolute truth. What we love is history. History well written is always good; for, even if it should prove that man in seeking to seize the infinite has pursued a chimera, the history of these attempts, more generous than successful, will always be useful. It proves, that, in reality, man goes beyond the circle of his limited life through his aspirations. It shows what energy he has expended for the sake of his love of the good and true; it teaches us to estimate him,—this poor disinherited one, who, in addition to the sufferings which nature imposes upon him, imposes still further upon himself the torture of the unknown, the torture of doubt, the severe resistances of virtue, the abstinences of austerity, the voluntary sufferings of the ascetic. Is all this a pure loss? Is this unceasing effort to attain the unattainable as vain as the course of the child who pursues the ever flying object of his desire? It pains me to believe it; and the faith which eludes me when I examine in detail each of the systems scattered throughout the world, I find, in a measure, when I reflect upon all these systems together. All religions may be defective and incomplete; religion in humanity is nothing less than divine, and a mark of superior destiny. No, they have not labored in vain—those grand founders, those reformers, those prophets of all ages—who have protested against the false evidences of gross materialism, who have beaten themselves against the wall of the apparent fatality that encloses us; who have employed their thought, given their life, for the accomplishment of a mission which the spirit of their age had imposed upon them. If the fact of the existence of the martyrs does not prove the exclusive truth of this or that sect (all sects can show a rich martyrology), this fact in general proves that religious zeal responds to something mysterious. All,—as many as we are,—we are sons of martyrs. Those who talk the most of scepticism are frequently the most satisfied and indifferent. Those who have founded among you religious and political liberty, those who have founded in all Europe liberty of thought and research, those who have labored for the amelioration of the fate of men, those who will doubtless find means for further amelioration, have suffered, or will suffer, for their good work; for no one is ever recompensed for what he does for the good of humanity. Nevertheless they will always have imitators. There will always be some to carry on the work of the incorrigibles; some, possessed of the divine spirit, who will sacrifice their personal interest to truth and justice. Be it so: they have chosen the better part. I know not what assures me that he who, without knowing why, through simple nobility of nature, has chosen for himself in this world the essentially unproductive lot of doing good, is the true sage, and has discovered the legitimate use of life with more sagacity than the selfish man.
Bestselling author, Scott Hahn illuminates a fresh and enlightening perspective on Mary, Mother of God, and her central importance in the Christian faith.

In The Lamb's Supper, Hahn explored the relationship between the Book of Revelation and the Roman Catholic Mass, deftly clarifying the most subtle of theological points with analogies and anecdotes from everyday life. In Hail, Holy Queen, he employs the same accessible, entertaining style to demonstrate Mary's essential role in Christianity's redemptive message.

Most Christians know that the life of Jesus is foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament. Through a close examination of the Bible, as well as the work of both Catholic and Protestant scholars and clergy, Hahn brings to light the small but significant details showing that just as Jesus is the "New Adam," so Mary is the "New Eve." He unveils the Marian mystery at the heart of the Book of Revelation and reveals how it is foretold in the very first pages of the Book of Genesis and in the story of King David's monarchy, which speaks of a privileged place for the mother of the king.

Building on these scriptural and historical foundations, Hahn presents a new look at the Marian doctrines: Her Immaculate Conception, Perpetual Virginity, Assumption, and Coronation. As he guides modern-day readers through passages filled with mysteries and poetry, Hahn helps them rediscover the ancient art and science of reading the Scriptures and gain a more profound understanding of their truthfulness and relevance to faith and the practice of religion in the contemporary world.



PREFACE.

One of the most popular legends in Brittany is that relating to an imaginary town called Is, which is supposed to have been swallowed up by the sea at some unknown time. There are several places along the coast which are pointed out as the site of this imaginary city, and the fishermen have many strange tales to tell of it. According to them, the tips of the spires of the churches may be seen in the hollow of the waves when the sea is rough, while during a calm the music of their bells, ringing out the hymn appropriate to the day, rises above the waters. I often fancy that I have at the bottom of my heart a city of Is with its bells calling to prayer a recalcitrant congregation. At times I halt to listen to these gentle vibrations which seem as if they came from immeasurable depths, like voices from another world. Since old age began to steal over me, I have loved more especially during the repose which summer brings with it, to gather up these distant echoes of a vanished Atlantis.

This it is which has given birth to the six chapters which make up the present volume. The recollections of my childhood do not pretend to form a complete and continuous narrative. They are merely the images which arose before me and the reflections which suggested themselves to me while I was calling up a past fifty years old, written down in the order in which they came. Goethe selected as the title for his memoirs "Truth and Poetry," thereby signifying that a man cannot write his own biography in the same way that he would that of any one else. What one says of oneself is always poetical. To fancy that the small details of one's own life are worth recording is to be guilty of very petty vanity. A man writes such things in order to transmit to others the theory of the universe which he carries within himself. The form of the present work seemed to me a convenient one for expressing certain shades of thought which my previous writings did not convey. I had no desire to furnish information about myself for the future use of those who might wish to write essays or articles about me.

What in history is a recommendation would here have been a drawback; the whole of this small volume is true, but not true in the sense required-for a "Biographical Dictionary." I have said several things with the intent to raise a smile, and, if such a thing had been compatible with custom, I might have used the expression cum grano salis as a marginal note in many cases. I have been obliged to be very careful in what I wrote. Many of the persons to whom I refer may be still alive; and those who are not accustomed to find themselves in print have a sort of horror of publicity. I have, therefore, altered several proper names. In other cases, by means of a slight transposition of date and place, I have rendered identification impossible. The story of "the Flax-crusher" is absolutely true, with the exception that the name of the manor-house is a fictitious one. With regard to "Good Master Système," I have been furnished by M. Duportal du Godasmeur with further details which do not confirm certain ideas entertained by my mother as to the mystery in which this aged recluse enveloped his existence. I have, however, made no change in the body of the work, thinking that it would be better to leave M. Duportal to publish the true story, known only to himself, of this enigmatic character.
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