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A Mente Medieval: imagética e simbolismo (um artigo de 2016)

Em defesa do direito a retratar o divino, Gregório Magno [São Gregório I, Doutor da Igreja, c. 540 Roma-604, o Papa (entre 590 a 604) associado ao Canto Gregoriano], escreve a Serenus, Bispo de Marselha:

«(…) For indeed it had been reported to us that, inflamed with inconsiderate zeal, you had broken images of saints, as though under the plea that they ought not to be adored . And indeed in that you forbade them to be adored, we altogether praise you; but we blame you for having broken them. Say, brother, what priest has ever been heard of as doing what you have done? If nothing else, should not even this thought have restrained you, so as not to despise other brethren, supposing yourself only to be holy and wise? For to adore a picture is one thing, but to learn through the story of a picture what is to be adored is another. For what writing presents to readers, this a picture presents to the unlearned who behold, since in it even the ignorant see what they ought to follow; in it the illiterate read. Hence, and chiefly to the nations , a picture is instead of reading.

(…) And then, with regard to the pictorial representations which had been made for the edification of an unlearned people in order that, though ignorant of letters, they might by turning their eyes to the story itself learn what had been done, it must be added that, because you had seen these come to be adored, you had been so moved as to order them to be broken. (…)»

De alguma forma, a mente medieval, imagética e simbólica, terá sido informada por esta ideia de que a imagem encapsula significado para as massas iletradas incapazes de aceder ao conhecimento por via da palavra escrita. Na atualidade, as massas fundamentalmente letradas, mas incapazes de devotar mais que um punhado de minutos a um qualquer assunto, encontram na imagem, nos memes e na caricatura, a sua narrativa do mundo, refugiando-se da desorientante complexidade contemporânea na superficialidade efémera e reconfortante da imagem. Eis que, num ápice, percebemos (ou convencemo-nos que percebemos)… Uma vez mais, a narrativa é dominada por criadores de bonecos que contam uma história ao povo.

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Source. Translated by James Barmby. From Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Vol. 13. Edited by Philip Schaff and Henry Wace. (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1898.) Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight. <http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/360211013.htm&gt;.~

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