Notes from Holy Images by Edwyn Bevan (3)

Pg. 70 -71

Dio Chrysostom and Maximus of Tyre’s Defense of Image Worship:
(1) There were two ways to worship God, via images and apart from images
(1.1) Worshiping God via images was a concession to the weakness of human nature.
(1.2) Worshiping God apart from images was a superior and the best form of worship of God.

Additionally …
– Dio and Max were not concerned with the idea that an image was identical with the the deity or that the deity actually resides in the image.

Pg. 72-73
Dio said that it was well and good if we could get a sense of God’s sublime presence if lets say, we took a walk out in the woods – however that still was not good enough. God still was not close enough to us. Converse with God in such contexts lacked intimacy. Just as children need to be touch and be touched by their parents and be held by them, so too there was a need for humans to be even physically touch and be touched by God. The image helped here.

It also needs to be mentioned that Dio was not simply speaking of any image, but one in human form. Compared to the rest of creation, man’s soul was of the same nature as God.

Another Argument from Dio:
(1′) Even if we were not to worship God through external images, we could not get away from associating internal images in our thought of God.

Pg. 74
Porphyry’s Defense Early on in his Life:
(1”) Images were nothing but symbols.
(2”) It was not so much about what man did to images (e.g. sacrifice) as what images did to man.
(3”) Images brought to mind of the contemplating man, various aspects of the Divine Power (Stoic idea).

Pg. 75
Porphyry would eventually change his mind. In particular, he would change his mind after embracing Neoplatonism. At this point, Porphyry would even go so far as to say that demons of an inferior character inhabited these images.

Plotinus’ Defense:
(1”’) Deities (World Soul? – cb2) in a sense could inhabit an image.
(2”’) While the World Soul could not itself inhabit an image, there was a sense in which something of it, that was not a part of it could.
(2.1”’) This was in the sense of a person and her mirror image.
(2.2”’) Something of the person was in the mirror, but was not the person itself.

Plotinus’ Neoplatonism has several problems however, and so too the above.

(Aside to comeback to … Apollinarianism).

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