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Austin Farrers Theory of Images - Report Example

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This work "Austin Farrer’s Theory of Images" describes images that have an important role in the natural knowledge of God by conducting a deep analysis of Farrer’s two articles, "Can Myth be Fact?" and "Images and Inspiration". The author outlines the literalist interpretation, various symbols…
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Austin Farrers Theory of Images
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Download file to see previous pages Farrer provides a comprehensively related, though metaphorical, argument. He argues that since the reflection of divine essence overpowers our abilities, we turn to difficult abstraction, help in rational images, and may thus fall into idolization, a threat which revelation aids us to evade: if the power of the passage is observed, arrogance to the position of our abilities can be afforded.
This essay will argue that images have an important role in the natural knowledge of God by conducting a deep analysis of Farrer’s two articles, Can Myth be Fact? and Images and Inspiration. Specifically, the thesis of this essay, as claimed by Farrer, is that neither in rational theology or revelation can we deviate from the image to that which the image implies; we should be satisfied to refer to the truth by comprehending what the image informs us. However, revealed images and rational comparisons regarding God do not operate similarly: the revealed images are unnatural, whereas the rational comparisons are natural figures. The rational comparisons are natural with regard to the assumption that they may be and innately are, natural: unless predetermined elements put themselves upon us as icons of divinity we can have no spontaneous understanding of God. These premises will be thoroughly analyzed in the following sections.
Myth, throughout most of the Christian period, has born the unpleasant undertone represented by the New Testament. According to Farrer, mythology witnessed a grand rebirth through the anthropologist’s discovery of narratives analogous to the stories in the Bible, through the historical critic’s display of practices behind the Bible, and by the Idealist’s stress on the imagination. While expressing that existing mythology saturated the Biblical perspective, Farrer claimed that the Bible itself included no myths for the reason that myths call for multiple gods. This passage strengthens this point (Farrer 1976, 165):
"A myth is a traditional tale which purports to describe real happenings; for example, that the Olympian Gods came down incognito and paid surprise calls on the householders of Lycia to see what entertainment they would get…"
However, the symbolism was unimportant to the old description of myth as narratives about the gods, though it is necessary to the restored interpretation of myth as a symbolic image of reality. The entire Bible is flooded with images, and the Revelation is no exception. Christianity, according to Farrer, is a revival of images, a mechanism that is most visibly distinguished in the Revelation, where John “writes of heaven and things to come, that is, of a realm which has no shape at all but that which the images give it” (Farrer 1986, 17). We may be incapable of precisely linking myth and symbol with reality because they may be the only way by which we can even refer to such truth. This is particularly factual to all reality that is prehistoric, celestial, or yet upcoming, and of which people hence has no actual experience. Those who have been granted images into that reality are quite conscious of their incapability of communicating what they have witnessed. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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