A few days ago I made a pilgrimage and a journey of biblical studies with the parish of the Immaculate, we tried to go in the footsteps of Paul and the early Christian communities , across much of Turkey The route started and ended at Antioch in Istanbul where we stayed four days.
Surprisingly it is the most populous city, though not the capital, but a city of contrasts. Two continents, Europe and Asia, a European and Asian population once a Muslim city with a deep Christian past. But traffic chaos, a city with hundreds of people walking the streets, with a range of colours, tastes and smells. Certain neighbourhoods, a little abandoned, but Juan Goytisolo reminded us that beauty overwhelms set, clears the ugliness of its parts. Like a film set, the play of light, with colourful white and green, and the blue sea are always mixed background, surrounding the scene.
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It is called the city of minarets, but despite the Muslim rule, one can delve into the remains of early Christian churches, and even synagogues converted into mosques. Is said to be non-religious, as the Republic of Atatürk, but the muezzin’s voice fills the four corners of the city, despite the commercial or administrative bustle of any city. The few active Christian churches worship, we can find a patio or hidden behind a gate. Although some travellers as Pierre Loti , their coffee is still a tourist attraction and was attracted to the exotic oriental character of Istanbul, criticising its Westernization.
As in Konya, Istanbul, Sufism is present in their spirituality. The musical poetry of Mevlana fills the horizon of their minarets, where the dervishes in privacy, continue turning in his mystic dance to the rhythm of the Suras of the Quran and Platonic philosophy. In Sufism, God manifests within the soul of man. Soul separates from the body to cleanse and reach new heights of perfection. But over the forest of minarets, mosques Blue Suleiman, New, etc. Overwhelms the Christian past in the temple Justinian, dedicated to Divine Wisdom, Hagia Sofia.
|The Mother of God by submitting to the Divine Wisdom|
Divine wisdom is present in Istanbul
Divine Wisdom is very present in the Old Testament, as in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiasticus. It is coming out of the mouth of the highest, founded from eternity. In the book of Wisdom, having seen the Sofia as a breath of divine power and the glory of the Almighty describes the decisive interventions in history since the creation of the first human being. The first Christian communities hand and Juan Pablo develop a Christology of Wisdom court.
So the first Christian communities identified the Divine Wisdom and the person of Jesus Christ. Where He, the Father will be collaborating in creating. It would be something like a God look outwards towards the created world, the world as Divine Wisdom. Where God, have entered the world not only to heal or enlighten. Wisdom is present as from the beginning, ordering it and embellishing. St. Augustine reminds us, anywhere you look, Wisdom speaks over the residues that have printed in his works.
Thus, from these premises is one of the masterpieces of Byzantine artworks constructed. Represents the synthesis between East and West. In it the two worldviews merge and a new, completely original style form with the symbiosis between the dome as a symbol of oriental art, and the basilica plan, whose origin is in the West. Not the Theotokos the protagonist, she introduces us to a child , the Christ, which is the Divine Wisdom . The immense scope that created the vault above the faithful wanted to represent one God and one faith for all humanity.
|Pantocrator Saint Sofia|
Today still, but as a museum, is still there, flirting with stunning mosques, which were inspired by its construction. I do not know, but I come to mind the words of the Dominican theologian Schillebeeckx. There is more truth in the set of all religions into one religion alone. Admittedly, Islam better safeguards the unity of God. But Christianity insists more in the personal dimension and has managed to drink better thought and reason. When religions only drink from your own well, without regard to the prophecies come from outside, may end up believing that the only truth is yours. A thought religion never will slide fundamentalist temptations.
“We seek the absolute everywhere and only found things”
Novalis, Hymns to the Night.