Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Hätte man den Auferstandenen fotografieren können?
Dogmatik, a book by Archbishop Müller, the new Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith contains the following sentence: ". A film camera running would have neither captured the Resurrection event ...nor the Easter appearances of Jesus to his disciples in sound and vision '(p. 300)
Thus he finds himself in good company with Hans Küng, who has also claimed this in regard to the resurrection of Jesus: "Taking pictures and recording, there was nothing." (On being a Christian, 1974, p 339). Similar statements are found in many modern theologians.
Lest anyone think, we have have left anything important out of the Müller quote, something which is marked with inverted commas at this point, is mentioned : "... this is at the core of the actualisation of the personal relation of the Father to the Incarnate Son in the Holy Spirit ... ". This drivel obviously has the purpose to confuse and intimidate the reader, so he does not dare to object to what is said. The art of disguising with pompous verbiage, when moving away from the teachings of the Church, Müller perhaps learned from Karl Rahner, who was certainly a master of the art.
Now, if a film camera had really recorded nothing of the resurrection event, then they would have to show that Jesus' body still lay in the grave! But this is not the opinion of Müller, for he writes: "In any case ... , the mighty deed of God in Jesus also implicated the dead body. The statement that Jesus' body still resting in the grave would have been in irreconcilable conflict with the Easter proclamation. "(P. 303) Thus, a running film must at least show how the body abruptly disappeared, right?
As a reason why a camera would not have been able to record the Risen One, writes Muller, "Technical equipment or also animals lack the possibility, in contrast to human reason, of a transcendental experience, and hence of being responsive through the Word of God in the mediation sensually tangible phenomena and character. "(p. 300) Certainly a camera could not show the truth that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. That, it would have also not mastered before the Resurrection. Why could it also not record the physical sense-phenomena of the Risen One? That would only be the case if the encounters with the Risen were pure vision, cognition images, which God puts in the minds of believers, which do not correspond to the physical senses.
That would contradict the very teachings of Scripture. The Gospel tells how Jesus, as the Apostles doubted and that they perhaps only saw an apparition, said, "See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle, and see: for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as you see me to have. "(Luke 24:39) The apostle Thomas is asked to put his finger into the wounds of the hands and his hand into the wound in his side (Jn 21.27 ). The Risen eats several times with his disciples in order to convince them of the reality of his bodily resurrection. Therefore, it would be in principle possible to film the Resurrected One or photograph Him. A contrary assertion evaporates the fact of the resurrection into an unbiblical spiritualism.
An exception, however, we must make: We read of the Risen One, that he could and change his appearance. The glorified body has lost its natural clumsiness, and is entirely under the direction of the soul, he has taken on spiritually similar properties. Therefore, Jesus if he had wanted to coule actually prevent a camera from recording him. But this is something quite different from the fundamental impossibility of a photo, as claimed by Archbishop Müller.
It is noticeable, moreover, that the Müller does not speak of glorified body. Although he writes about the "salvation and perfection of the man Jesus in all people belonging to the essence of the metaphysical constituents of mind and matter", but does not let this be "translated into a space-time continuum viewpoint" (p. 303). What "the symbolic inclusion of the dead body of Jesus in the resurrection of the glorified form of the Lord" (p. 304) means is not explained.
This leaves a general impression, that both conservative and modernist theologians can live with the text of Müller. The conservatives will find peace of mind that Müller denies neither the Resurrection nor the empty grave, while the progressives can point out that Müller does not speak about the Resurrection in the traditional way, and thus is open to new interpretations.