The Ethos of Liturgical Art
and the Aesthetics of Orthodox Bells
This objective asymmetry, dissimilarity, and atonality above all manifests
the craftsman's respect for the logos of the natural world, of
creation. This is what reveals the Christian's ascesis and his
or her endeavor to fit the "rational qualities" of matter into
an organic unity and harmony to "church" matter-- meaning,
to lead it to the "end" [telos] or goal of its existence,
which is to constitute the flesh of God the Word. The objective asymmetry,
dissimilarity, and atonality of the Orthodox bell is simply the visible
manifestation of the architect's love for his natural material;
a love which respects and studies creation and reveals it as a means to
salvation, an organic factor in the communion of created and uncreated,
the recapitulation of all in the loving relationship between the Father
and the incarnate Word.
We are indebted to Christos Yannaras,
The Freedom of Morality
(St Vladimir's Seminary Press, Crestwood, NY: 1984)
for the foregoing reflections. See Chapter XII,
"The Ethos of Orthodox Liturgical Art" (pp. 231-264).
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