Thursday, January 09, 2020

The continuing tradition

One third-century hymn, “Phos Hilaron [Jesus Christ the cheerful light],” is still in use today. The developments in these later hymns are noted by McGuckin [Path of Christianity], who explains that those “tendencies toward personal mystical union evoked in the second-century materials” were later set aside in favor of more dogmatic and instructive hymnody in the post—Nicene era.” But he also notes that this dimension of early Christian worship was not entirely lost: “This more intimate psychic aspect of hymnic writing passed on into the ascetical literature of the Eastern church."—Matthew Gordley, New Testament Christological Hymns, p. 231

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