relaxing with words

Today I have the first day off I have had since coming back from California. Yesterday was particularly strenuous. After doing church, I came home and made lunch for my fam, then hugged my brother and his wife good-by and went played ballet classes for three hours. Whew.

Singing at church was a bit on the weak side. Many of the regular attendees that sing strongly were missing. Despite this, I was satisfied with the introduction of my new piece of service music, “Emmaus Fraction Anthem: The Disciples knew the lord Jesus.” I think it’s going to work fine but I want to hear how the boss thought it went from her perspective.

Still reading J.R. Watson’s The English Hymn: A Critical and Historical Study and by Diarmaid MacCulloch’s Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years.

Watson’s book is $99 new. The Kindle version is hilariously priced at $94. I’ll probably pick up a used copy if I  decide to keep reading it.  His take on Hymnody combines a conservative academic understanding with a current literary sensibility. His goal is to examine English Hymns technically and objectively in a poetic sense within the context of sung prayer. He is trying to avoid the approach that many church people use which is colored largely by their own devotion. I’m enjoying it.

McCulloch seems to approach history largely via language and words. I like that immensely. In my reading this morning I ran across these word facts.

from my notes:

Greek concepts imp to Christianity

polis – city state
ecclessia – the assembly of citizens of the polis who met to make decisions

He relates polis to the words politics, police and polity.

Metro - mother

use of the word, ecclessia, in Christianity is similar to its Greek origins but expanded

a local representative group of a larger identity but also can be used to refer to the larger church and “lurking in the word” is the idea that the faithful themselves have a collective responsibility for decisions about the future of the polis

the greek word, kuriake, means belonging to the Lord (Kyrie)
from which church and kirk are descended

tension between the two concepts is a strain that runs through the history of Christianity – ecclessia of the people, versus kuriake of the authorities

kuriake must relate to Kyrie, eh?

I particularly like his comment on the word, metaphysical.

Aristotle “discussed abstract matters such as logic, meaning and causation in a series of texts which, being placed in his collected works after his treatise on physics, were given the functional label meta ta physica, ‘After The Physics’. And so the name of metaphysics, the study of the nature of reality, was born in an accident.”

His interpretation might be a bit dubious. When I consulted the OED, it suggested that an early understanding of meta ta physica was not that it literally followed the treatise on physics but that the teaching of it should come in that order.

Either way it’s cool.


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