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This article has been published in: Ocula 23, Flowers of the soul: The symbolism of flowers in the religious imagination

author: Graziano Lingua (Università di Torino)

How the lilies of the field dress: transformations of the floral imaginery in the early Christian centuries

language: italian

publication date: July 2020

abstract: The essay analyses the debate about use of flowers in the Early Christianity identifying two principal attitudes of the Fathers of the Church. Initially there is a negative attitude towards flowers that is related with the critique of the pagan idolatry (Tertullian, Minucius Felis, Clemens of Alexandria). Along side to this refusal of pagan practises gradually grows a more positive floral imaginary that valorises the beauty of flowers as symbol of the presence of God and his divine providence. Analysing some patristical comments to the famous Gospel passage of Mt 6 about “lilies of the field” passage, the author shows that this new imaginary is related to a more broader transformation of Christian sensibility towards creatural beauty that involves not only flowers but also the sacred images.

keywords: immaginario floreale, padri della chiesa, cristianesimo delle origini, idolatria, corone, giardini, floral imagery, fathers of the church, early christianity, idolatry, crowns, gardens

➞ PDF [356Kb]

DOI: 10.12977/ocula2020-29

citation information: Graziano Lingua, Come vestono i gigli del campo: trasformazioni dell’immaginario floreale nei primi secoli cristiani, "Ocula", vol.21, July 2020. DOI: 10.12977/ocula2020-29

  

 

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