From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Monday, April 24, 2017

Athena couldn't have done better

The Parthenon   (Photo by Steve Swayne)
Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, learning and knowedge (also war, but that’s another story), had many a temple (not the least of which is the Parthenon) built in her honor.

Nevertheless, some say these can’t compare to Washington D.C.’s “Temple of the Book.” More commonly known as “The Library of Congress,” this building “is the largest library in the world with over 118 million items on more than 500 miles of shelves.” 

Enshrined within its walls are numerous items of religious significance.  Biblical references abound:  a panel featuring the Genesis quote “Let there be light,” a pillar inscribed with the Leviticus quote “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,” bronze statues of Saint Paul and Moses, a tablet with the Proverbs quote “Wisdom is the principal thing,” plus others.

Featured quotes from secular sources also point to the heavens.  From Pope’s Essay on Man:  “Order is heaven’s first law.”  From Shakespeare's Henry IV:  "Ignorance is the curse of God."  And from Sir 

Thomas Browne:  “Nature is the art of God.”

The mystic philosopher, Novalis, sidesteps the whole concept of architectural-based devotion.  He insists that there is but one temple, and one temple only:  the human body.  His quote to that effect ironically adorns the Great Hall.

Copyright April 24, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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