Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Liturgical illuminations: Discovering received tradition in the eastern Orthros for feasts of the Theotokos
by Kimball, Virginia M., S.T.D., International Marian Research Institute, 2010, 716; 3437791
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation develops a method of discovering and theologically evaluating the ancient Christian tradition in the liturgical texts of the Eastern Orthodox Orthros (Morning Prayer) of Feasts of the Theotokos inspired by the recommendation of Pope John Paul II who urged the search for beauty and truth in the ancient liturgical texts. The study utilizes liturgical theology with a mariological perspective, built on the principle of "lex orandi, lex credendi" demonstrating that the words of prayer show the way of faith. Revelation is built on Holy Scripture and on Tradition; this thesis explores the wealth of the liturgical tradition in relationship to other sources of tradition.

The methodology of this dissertation is to look for the Received Tradition in the conceptual illuminations that the ancient liturgical texts provide. The methodology developed rests on the idea that there is a mysterium silentio abiding in Christian liturgy and that all aspects of tradition draw on this source of the mystery of faith. Each of the feasts of the Theotokos are examined for their context and their relationship to the cycle of time, the synaxarion (anonymous commentary in Orthros), history of the feast, related shrines, and devotional activities for each feast. Also, and importantly, the inter-relationship of the feasts with other sources is examined: iconography, biblical texts, apocryphal writings, patristic writing and conciliar documents. The hymns and prayers of each feast's texts are studied in relationship to their translation and original authorship.

As a conclusion, the study provides an analysis of all the theological illuminations identified and how they demonstrate the ancient tradition of Marian doctrines. In addition, the dissertation provides a specific method of properly describing these theological illuminations in the use of lex orandi by applying 12 principles to assure authenticity for the conclusions.

The methodology of the study is introduced in the Prologue. Justification for examining Orthros and a review of existing literature on applicable liturgical theology is found in Chapter One. Chapter Two provides an in depth examination of the Feasts of the Annunciation, Nativity, Synaxis of the Nativity, and Hypapante. Chapter Three studies the Feast of the Dormition. Chapter Four investigates the Feast of the Theotokos of the Life-Giving Fountain and Chapter Five covers the Feast of the Virgin of Protection at Blachernae. Conclusions, description of the overall Marian illuminations, and guidelines for valid use of the method are given in Chapter Six. Bibliography and extensive Endnotes are provided.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Buby, Bertrand
School: International Marian Research Institute
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 72/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Theology
Keywords: Icons, Les credendi, Lex orandi, Liturgy, Morning Prayer, Shrines, Theotokos
Publication Number: 3437791
ISBN: 978-1-124-37870-1
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