Thursday, October 28, 2010

One more thing about Dawn Eden's thesis

In fairness to Dawn Eden, I would like to add that I thought the part of her thesis on the paschal candle was well done. She did some good research there and shows that to attribute any supposed phallic symbolism of the candle is not what the Church intends to do.

I first came across that idea was when I was in high school. I read about it in a column in our diocesan paper. It struck me as a little odd, if not even shocking to my young mind, and so I dismissed it. The problem, though, is that once you hear the idea, it's easy for it to come to mind at the Easter Vigil. Wade mentioned that in his thesis, and it's true. But I think that anyone who's reading this has already heard of the idea, so I hope I'm not ruining their Easter Vigil by this.


Brian Killian said...

I disagree. I think this charge against West is completely specious.

In fact, I just left a comment on CE calling BS.

The words cited from West in support of the charges made against him do not support the interpretations being pushed on his words. Remember that it is Eden that said that West considered the Easter candle a phallic symbol. West did not say this in any of his word cited.

Also, Eden claims that a liturgical commission rejected a 'phallic interpretation' of the candle. But she doesn't tell us what that interpretation is.

How are we supposed to know if the meaning that West gives to the ceremony is the same one that's rejected by commission? Eden and other critics just assume that it's identical. But not a shred of evidence.

Furthermore, I've read the chapter that Eden cites from Fr. Hugo about the Easter ceremony. Although Hugo also rejects something called a 'phallic symbol', he actually supports a meaning of the ceremony that I would argue is identical to the meaning West gives it.

I am considering writing an article on this if CE will publish it.

Sr. Lorraine said...

Thanks, Brian, for your comment here. That part about the rest of what Fr Hugo writes sounds interesting. I'd be interested to hear more about it, since this particular thing has been such a bone of contention.

Brian Killian said...

Shoot, it looks like Google has taken down the baptism chapter from the online portion of the book.

Maybe I'll go to the library this weekend and see if I can dig all this stuff up.

Anyway, this quote pretty much exemplifies Fr.Rahner's thoughts about baptism:

“it is only through the procreative power of the cross that the Church is fructified.”

Now, do the words of West about the Easter vigil sound more like the words above, or like something Pagan?

Sr. Lorraine said...

I'm going to read what Rahner says and see how it relates.