Johannes of Damascus
Johannes of Damascus (approx. 650 - 5. December 749), with the surname Chrysorrhoas (Χρυσορροας “of the gold flowing”), Arab Johannes ibn Mansur, Latin Ioannes Damascenus, was an important orthodox Christian church father. It was born and grew on in Damascus, and lived toward end of its life most likely in the monastery southeast from Mar Saba, from Jerusalem. Its native language was Greek, although it spoke the Syrian colloquial language at that time Aramäisch in the everyday life probably also.
Table of contents
practical all information about life of the Johannes of Damascus originates from the recordings of the Patriarchen Johannes from Jerusalem. These data from that 10. Serve century, thus about 200 years after Johannes' of own lifetime, as only source of the biographic information and are therefore from reduced historical importance. From Johannes' own writings can be inferred hardly information about its person.
Although Johannes of the government of the Islamic realm in Damascus ( the Kalifat of the Umayyaden) was subordinate, this circumstance did not affect its Christian faith and that its family; rather he enjoyed in the eyes of the Muslim environment of high appreciation: its father Sargun ibn Mansur dressed a high hereditary office as a treasurer of the Kalifen “Abdul Malekunder” (meant probably is Abd aluminium-Malik), apparent as a boss of the revenue office for Syria and Johannes was a play companion of the son of the Kalifen, the later Kalifen Yazid. After Yazid between 642 and 647 was born, Johannes might have a similar age. The excessive quantity corresponds to that that it is to have died with 104 years. When Johannes was twenty-three years old, its father looked for a Christian instructor, who could grant the optimum academic training for its children. After the excessive quantity it met a gel honouring seed Italian-Greek prisoner of war, a Sicilian monk named Kosmas. The father of Johannes arranged the release of this man and appointed him the Tutor of its son. Under guidance of Kosmas Johannes made large progress in the areas of the music, astronomy and theology. Already soon he is to have studied and understand sizes such as Diophant about Alexandrien in algebra and Euklid in geometry.
After the death of the father took over Johannes of of Damascus the office of the Protosymboulos or main advice of Damascus. By the discrimination of the Christians using with Kalif Kalif Abd el Malek (685-705) broke off his public career.
Together with its adoptive brother Kosmas it still occurred before 700 the monastery Mar Saba with Jerusalem. The Palestinian monks were however substantially less interested in education than the yard of the Kalifen in Damascus, and different legends tell, Johannes, which was with its entrance into the monastery a publicly well-known man, from the letter had been prevented initially. After some years developed however numerous works, in particular hymns, prayers and other liturgical texts, which are until today in the orthodox church used.
By the Patriarchen Johannes V. it was geweiht by Jerusalem to the priest. Numerous lectures are received from it.
In this time the so-called Byzantine picture controversy with the ikonoklastischen policy of the there emperors broke loose and subjected the realm church of a burst test in the eastRoman realm. Regardless of the protests of the Patriarchen Germanus of Konstantinopel emperor Leo of the Isaurier issued his first edict in the year 726 against the picture admiration and for the outline of icons at all public places.
Johannes wrote, probably between 730 and 741 three “apologetischen papers against the Verächter of the holy pictures ". It is an irony of history that these argumentations, which are a substantial basis of orthodox icon theology in the area of the Islam it developed, which forbids pictures strictly.
The fact that the emperor intrigued against Johannes and thus had induced the Kalifen to chop off Johannes the hand which grew then by a prayer before an icon again, a later legend might be, since Johannes was at present the picture controversy already long in the monastery.
Johannes died 749 as an honoured father of the church.
Johannes of Damascus wrote altogether 150 works of most diverse kind.
Oktoechos (service book of eight tones) and an details list of of the orthodox faith, a summary and systematization dogma tables of the writings of of the early church fathers, which became into the medieval Scholastik, whose methodology partly already anticipated it, one of the most important bases.
Its three speeches are most well-known over the “defense of the icons”, which it wrote during the Byzantine picture controversy,
the exact statement of the orthodox faith, the third volume of the three-restrained work “well of the knowledge”, have in the orthodox church for instance the value like (substantially longer) the “Summa Theologia” of Thomas's von Aquin in the Roman-catholic church and are considered as the best systematic theology of the orthodox church and summary of the theory of the church fathers and the Konzilien to Chalcedon. It served also as model for many newer works systematic theology.
Johannes was also an author of hymns, numerous of which two are in the English version ökumenisch and in the orthodox church until today used, most well-known is the Hymnus “in you, o of grace-full” in the Basilius Liturgie and its Requiem of prayers.
Johannes as a theologian clearly in the orthodox tradition, which assumes the Christian faith was given “once and for all” by Jesus Christ and at the most still more precisely must be defined - there are no theological new developments for him. Correct theology is the Bible, as it was laid out in the tradition by the Konzilien and by the Konsensus of the church fathers. It is to be referred by therefore it substantially in a theological argumentation to these interpretations. Theological innovations, from which the church fathers did not know anything, are regarded tendentious as Häresien.
Already very early eastern Christians began themselves to employ Mohammads with the person. One of the first writings to the Islam originates from the feather/spring of the orthodox theologian Johannes from Damascus. This written at the beginning of the respected century a large of dogma table work, in which he also already expressed himself over the Muslims. In this a Unterbuch with the title is “over the Häresien “into which a chapter over the sparkling wines of the “Ismailiten “is. Hereby the descendants Ismails are meant, thus the Arabs, herein are also information about Mohammed. The theologian calls Muhammad in his treatise “wrong” prophet, which brought erring teachings into being. In the opinion the Christianity cannot it other revealing than Jesus to Christ give.
Johannes describes its work for the “well of the knowledge” as follows: “Like a bee I will collect everything, which agrees with the truth, and even assistance from the writings of our opponents to receive. ... I offer not my own conclusions but those, which were compiled by the most outstanding theologians to you, while I had only collected and as far as possible in a paper had summarized them. “
Its main argument in the picture controversy was: The picture prohibition in the old person will is justified there expressly with the invisibility of God. Jesus Christ is not however now, although it is the Inkarnation of God, invisible after the certification of the Bible by any means, but visible humans. As God made itself in Jesus Christ view and seizable, the picture prohibition is waived; who fights the pictures, thereby the God humanity of Jesus, which is located in the center of the Christian faith, denies.
754 met the emperor-faithful council of Hiereia in Konstantinopel, which condemned its writings in Bausch and elbow, Johannes only with its Arab name Mansur designated, and him paradoxically as “sarazenisch gesinnt” insulted, although his defense of the picture admiration can actually hardly be considered as Islamic colored; but its post in the Islamic government was sufficient for nationalistic gesinnten circles in the Roman realm probably to regard it as unpatriotisch and thus already nearly ipso facto as Ketzer. However the second council Johannes rehabilitated by Nizäa , which 787 met and applies in the east as in the west as seventh Ökumeni council, explained the earlier council for invalid, and took over Johannes' argumentation for the icons. Nevertheless it should last still to 843, until Johannes' opinions had become generally accepted to a large extent in the church.
The well of the wisdom was one of the few orthodox works, which was present in the Middle Ages in Latin translation, so that Johannes of of Damascus one of the few entrances of the Scholastik to the Greek church fathers was. With its many quotations and its thorough considerations of opposite opinions the work anticipated also the methodology of the scholastics already in the core. From therefore it it had an important position in Roman-catholic theology. It applies in the west occasionally as the last one of the church fathers.
A Trilogie of Homilien on the Koimesis (passing away) Marias, which was taken up to the collection of the monastery Reichenau, might have strongly affected the Roman-catholic view of the Ascension Day Maria.
1883 were appointed Johannes in the catholic church the church teacher. In the orthodox church he is always an important church father and holy, its icon theology is today valid until, and also the Oktoechos is still the used.
its anniversary in the Roman-catholic, anglikanischen and orthodox church is the 8. December.
- “three written defenses against those, which reject the holy pictures.” Benno publishing house, Leipzig 1994, ISBN 3746205530.
- “The holy Johannes of of Damascus exact statement of the orthodox faith”, over. of Dionys Stiefenhofer, from the row “library of the church fathers”, Kösel publishing house, Munich 1923.
Web on the left of
- Bautz: Johannes of Damaskos
- Apologia OF sp John OF Damascus Against Those who Decry Holy image (English)
- at Exact exposition OF the orthodox Faith by pc. John Damascene (English)
- Catholic Encyclopedia: Pc. John Damascene (English)
- Balamond University: Pc. John OF Damascus, would run, Writings, Icons