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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Eriugena on God's garments

Following my post on creation as God's garments, here is something from John Scotus Eriugena (823–877).
Indeed, the garment of the Word is visible creation, which preaches Him openly and manifests His beauty to us. The Holy Scriptures have also been made His garment, which contains the mysteries. 
(Commentarius in Sanctum Evangelium secundum Johannem I, xxix)

Eriugena distinguishes between the Incarnation of the Logos (Word) in Jesus, "by which He joined human nature to Himself in a unity of substance" and the quasi-incarnation of the Logos by which He is "rendered thick" and "visible" in both creation and Scripture.

So the Logos is "incarnate"

  • in creation, 
  • in Scripture, 
  • but most supremely in Jesus. 

For Eriugena, in order to stress the uniqueness of Jesus, the word "incarnation" is reserved for the final mode. The other modes are quasi incarnatum. (Eriugena also rightly consider the deification of human beings in the eschaton to be a quasi-incarnation of the Logos.)

Still, again we find this interesting metaphor of God revealed indirectly in the shape of his garments. So the garment image predates Thomas Carlyle. Indeed, I think  that it predates Eriugena, who was commenting on Maximus the Confessor. I'll need to check that out.

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