Thank you for your vigilant eye:
>Josef Gulka wrote:
> >...there seem to be two distinct shifts in interpretive directions for the
>parable that emerge ( 10th- 13thc.)__ clerical and lay wanderings from/abuses
>of the riches of 'the Father's house', rather than Israel's
>abandonment of the Father's home and riches...
>Idle questions from the Devil's own workshop of what's left of my mind,
>"abuses of the riches of 'the Father's house'" sounds like something of
>a "political" statement, potentially at least, esp. in the mouths of
>Cistercian/Victorine (why do you include Richard of St.V. amongst "The
>Cistercian thrust" btw?--yet more idleness) babes.
The phrase is common to the hymnography in both the Christian
East and West for the Services attatched to the Commemoration of this
parable,,, so I copped it. What is at the heart of the various
reading is, of course, who's who?
Who is the elder son, and who the younger. Logical and theological
conundrums emerge no matter which attribution you make in a
historical reading of the parable. Elder son= Jews?; Elder son =
some of the Jews ( since the elder son was in the fields of the
Father, not directly in his Father's house, etc)'; Elder Son= Jews (
pharisees), Younger Son=Gentiles ( Jerome);Elder Son=Jews,
Youner=Christians ( Tertullian); Elder son =Jews who "really did
know" " who did not wander from the riches of the Father's house,
Younger = Christians, etc. etc.( Augustine). Quite a problem,
however, when accounting for the apparent justice of the elder
brother, that is, the claim of and apparent agreement of the Father
with the elder son.
As to your question: regardless of how the Jews become associated
with the elder son( if at all), at some point in later exegesis (
post 11thc.) , they too ( along with the prodigal) are seen as
squandering the riches which the Father gave to them.
I lumped Richard of St. Victor with the Cistercians since he
opted for a penitential reading rather than one dominated by
historical allegory. It was done to "simplify" the interpretative
shift I was trying to describe. I might even have lumped the Friar
and Doms with them in that( Cistercian) thrust, but I know the limits
of list toleration.
>which would seem to be curious to explain the appearance of the theme in the
>context of a secular church.
In the context of a call for monastic/clerical reform of
abuses, ( squanderings of riches) such a theme might best be given
high public relief as means of emphasizing the universality of that
failing. Also,of course, the punch line: surgam et ibo ad patrem meum
et dicam illi: pater peccavi in caelum et coram te.( the parable is
often reduced to this line as its essence in homiletic and literary
refernces) is hardly out of place in any aspect of the Christian
life, and especially in the Father's house itself.
>or is this what you/the texts intended to say?
It is what the texts seem to say... among, of course the many other
fruits of an exegetical feeding frenzy.
>in any event, thanks for a quick summary of what must be the essential
I have sent on the starting points of the exegetical path in a
subsequent post to Jenna and the list. Please remember that this only
a brief summary.
In hopes this is useful,
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