Saturday, 11 April 2015

Niki Tsironis: WS Ritual Elements in the Work of George of Nikomedia on the Mother of God

This paper shall focus on the homily on Good Friday by the 9th century homilist and friend of the Patriarch Photius, George of Nikomedia, examining the specfic work in relation to the rest of the homiletic corpus of the author and of his near contemporaries. The homily on Good Friday relates the events preceding the Crucifixion and contains a fully-fleshed lament of the Virgin Mary at the foot of the Cross. Special attention will be paid to the ritual elements of lament incorporated in this sermon which lends itself for the study of homiletics as a sacred performance in the context of the Liturgy.
The homily of George of Nikomedia serves as an interesting case for the study of rituals shared between ancient traditions of the Eastern Mediterranean and recorded especially in Greek literature and the ways in which these elements mingled with the theological framework of Incarnational theology as expressed in Patristics writings of the early and middle Byzantine period.
The structure of the discourse, dramatic tropes and figures incorporated therein, appeal to emotion and the senses of the audience, as well as the way the homilist places himself in the context of the narrative reveal stimulating elements regarding the ritual expression of grief and mourning. The grief of the Mother of God shalll be examined taking into further consideration anthropological notions and gender issues, but most importantly, shall be set against the backdrop of the Iconoclastic controversy that dominated the scene in the 9th century.

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