Sunday, January 03, 2010

Nativity figures at Saint Joseph Roman Catholic Church, in Manchester, Missouri, USA

At Saint Joseph Church, in Manchester, Missouri.


  1. I wonder how the rest of the world would see Christianity had we not turned the image of Jesus into this "procelian" child as if he were northern European? Not looking for a fight just some thoughtful banter.

  2. It's just an example of European enculturation! If Africans can do it, so can we. Actually, I don't seen enculturation as a necessarily good process in itself — rather, I see it as a natural process that will happen all by itself — the question is judging the various enculturations as being valid or not. I would go as far as saying that an image of Mary taken from an approved apparition is very likely valid.

    The single most common image of Mary and Jesus, as seen on the icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help, looks distinctly middle-eastern, as do the images of very many ancient and famous Marian shrines. We have images of Our Lord that tradition says were made from real life, and the same goes for the Blessed Virgin — and very many venerable icons are made from these examples, including at least one found in this same church.

    Don't forget that racism and nationalism were invented and promoted by the Reformation and Enlightenment. Catholicism is universal and Holy Mother Church loves all her children. Watch out for the results of the 'new wave' biology that has been developing lately: taking these new, progressive theories to their logical conclusions could lead to unprecedented levels of racial bigotry.

    For a wide variety of examples of Mary in art, see my article Photos from a Marian Exhibit at the Cathedral of Belleville.

  3. Ok I will accept the enculturation as a natural act...not sure the African crack was called for?
    I can accept that nationalism came about at the same time as the Reformation but racism?? Please expound on that for me.