Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Catholicism vs. Protestantism: When art came to the rescue of mystical love

ALETEIA
By Elizabeth Lev
"The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa" (1647–52) by Gian Lorenzo Bernini; Dimensions: Life-size; Location: Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
The Protestants saw mystic experience as a quiet, peaceful assurance, while the Catholics had more flair for the dramatic. If there were any category of Catholics that the Protestant reformers viewed with maximum skepticism it was those mystics who experienced visions of divine union. It wasn’t that the Protestants eschewed closeness to Christ through prayer—but they recoiled at the “excesses” of the Catholic Church. The Protestants saw mystic experience as a quiet, peaceful assurance, while the Catholics had more flair for the dramatic. Literature, art and music tended to portray mystical transport as intense and fleeting, an overwhelming foretaste of the peace and joy that is to come. [More]
The Ecstasy of Saint Theresa by Giancarlo Bernini. Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome