Applications of Trinitarian Analogy in Contemporary Thought and the Potential for Eucharistic Encounter in Olivier Messiaen’s Music

Applications of Trinitarian Analogy in Contemporary Thought and the Potential for Eucharistic Encounter in Olivier Messiaen’s Music

Kirsty Beilharz
University of New South Wales
 
Abstract: This paper examines the potential of art (especially music) for providing an experiential Eucharistic illumination of the Divine Trinity, an alternate modality (to language) for Trinitarian encounter and revelation. It ponders the dialectic between Calvin’s sacramental concept that views communion as both participatory and symbolic, in opposition to Karl Barth’s concern that abstract metaphor without concrete links to Christ of the Bible (who is the sole path to salvation) is potentially heretical and distracting from the Gospel and Barth’s criticism of traces of the Divine Trinity evident in human creativity and creation (Vestigia Trinitatis). It is hoped that this clarification preserves a case both for the mysterious illumination and Eucharistic theosis found in Eastern Orthodoxy and Roman thought, together with the Biblical witness of Christ – the true Logos, that the Reformers such as Calvin, and Barth in the twentieth century, so assiduously wanted to protect.