9 Comments

  1. Brad Minick

    I have not yet had a chance to read “The Genesis Round Dance” or “The Cosmic Ring-Dance of the Angels: An Early Rite of the Temple”, but I am very much intrigued with the topic. Reading your post immediately brought to mind 1 Nephi 1:8, wherein it reads: “And being thus overcome with the spirit, he was carried away in vision, even that he saw the heavens opened, and he thought he saw God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angles in the attitude of singing and praising their God.” I’m interested in learning more. Thank you Bryce for your outstanding work.

  2. Rob Sloat

    Frederick Huchel’s , The Cosmic Ring-Dance of the Angels’s, is a 30 minute talk given at Margaret Barker’s Temple Studies Group in London. He references a more in-depth 100 page study giving much more details of early Christian references. Wondering if any one knows if the more detailed paper has been published or Frederick’s email????

  3. Justin Martyr Jr

    Fra Angelico’s depiction of the “Last Judgment,” as some of his other paintings, preserves some aspects of earlier Christian mysteries. Fra’s works, “Christ as pilgrim,” preserve some aspects of Christ’s world wide trek, derived from (Matthew 25); plus his “Christ’s descent into limbo”; shows different types of hand & wrist grips too.

    Fra’s “Last Judgment,” painted about 1429 during his stay at Fiesole, for the Camaldolese monks of Santa Maria degli Angeli; now in the Academy, Florence; shows more temple evidences. Fragments of the doctrine of deification= becoming gods, is also preserved, to a certain extent in the way Fra Angelico depicted the “saved” as having their faces shine! Commenting on “The Last Judgment,” painting, Albert E. Bailey, cites without a reference to Old Testament Prophet Daniel 12:3. “They that be wise shall shine as the sun, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever.”

    Irenaeus, AD 120-202, Bishop of Lyons, a disciple of Polycarp, who was St. John’s pupil; quotes Daniel to suggest that the deifieds’ faces would shine with great glory & light.

    Bailey: “Some of the shining ones act as ushers to lead the new-comers to the celestial garden-party already going on in the pastures of the blessed.”

    Off to one side, the far right side of Christ’s right hand, symbolic of the right hand path, in contrast to the left hand side of Christ. Those on Christ’s right hand side are in the process of being deified, perfected & glorified. Those on Christ’s left hand side are being demonified, the opposite of deification, for they are becoming more like the devil & demons.

    Light shines from a heavenly city, towards which two shining souls float towards, it’s light of the celestial city, “Jerusalem the Golden” that shines through the entrance way. The saved are also depicted as if joining a sort of hand clasping circle dance with the angels.

    Synesius, in one of his Hymns has this to say about the soul: “Soon commingled with the Father Thou shalt dance a ‘god’ with God.”

    Sources:
    Fra Angelico. The Last Judgement. c.1431. Tempera on wood. 105 x 210 cm. Museo di San Marco, Florence, Italy.
    http://www.abcgallery.com/A/angelico/angelico39.html

    Fra Angelico. Christ as Pilgrim Received by Two Dominicans. c.1441. Fresco, 108 x 145. Museo di San Marco, Florence, Italy. Two monks welcome the wandering Christ, guised as a Pilgrim, by grasping Christ’s wrist.
    http://www.abcgallery.com/A/angelico/angelico45.html

    Fra Angelico. Christ in Limbo. c.1450. Fresco, 183 x 166. Museo di San Marco, Cell 31, Florence, Italy. Adam(?) is the first to grasp Christ’s right hand, as Christ rescues souls out of limbo.
    http://www.abcgallery.com/A/angelico/angelico63.html

    Albert E. Bailey, The Gospel In Art, by 1916, Pilgrim Press, Boston & Chicago, p.415-421; The Ante Nicene Fathers, 1:488-90, & 497, Irenaeus; The Nicene & Post Nicene Fathres, 5:502, note 4, citing Synesius. See also: Encyclopedia of World Art, Vol.I, pl.63, The birth of the Virgin, Panel, Munich, Pinakothek, Pub. in 1959, by McGraw-Hill Pub., Co., Lon., Also in 1958 by the Istituto per la Collaborazione Culturale, Rome, this art work shows angels in the air, in a circle clasping hands. Compare: Clement of Alex., Cohortation ad gentes xii, in Migne, PG 8:241; The Collected Works of Huge Nibley, Vol.4, Mormonism And Early Christianity, 1987, Pub. by FARMS, & DBC., Provo & SLC., Utah, chap.3, pp.45-99; earlier published as: The Early Christian Prayer Circle, by FARMS, BYU Studies XIX, #1, 41-78 (Fall 1978). See also: Art of the Early Renaissance by Michael Batterberry, 1964 & 1968, by Fratelli Fabbri, Ed., Milan Italy, pp.78, 80-1, & 184, fig.79; The Encyc. of Visual Art, Vol.3, p.273, angels in a circle in the air clasping hands.

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