Saturday, June 12, 2010

the glorification of passive the canonical life of st. sergey is that of the bear that emerged from the woods to come face~to~face with the saint. subdued by the sanctity of the holy man, the animal peacefully accepted some of the bread and water that was st. sergey's only nourishment, returning each subsequent day to share this frugal meal. this friendship between the beast and the saint is depicted among the frescoes on the entrance tower to the monastery, and dostoevsky as a child must have seen it many times.

these stories of the lives of the saints were deeply steeped in the special spirit of russian kenoticism - the glorification of passive, completely nonheroic and nonresisting suffering, the suffering of the despised and humiliated christ - that is so remarkable a feature of the russian religious tradition.... the admiration of the russian common people for "the spirit of asceticism and renunciation, the love of poverty, the craving for self~sacrifice and self~mortification".

pages 26 & 27 from joseph frank's dostoevsky: a writer of his time
images - antonella da messina - st jerome with his friend the lion plus detail

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