Rzeka jako symbol Kościoła

Hanna Hajdukiewicz,

ks. Leszek Mateja,

Artur Radecki-Pawlik

Abstrakt

River as a symbol of the Church

From the historical point of view of settlement development, the community of people could be linked to the symbolism of a river valley which created the most favourable conditions for human existence and promoted the development of civilization. In the biblical context, the symbolism of the river could be referred to the Church community, based on the image of the river flowing out of Jerusalem, described by the prophets Ezekiel and Zechariah. This article presents an attempt to develop the image of a river as a symbol of the Church based on contemporary geomorphological and theological knowledge and using allegorical method of interpretation adapted by the Church Fathers. The purity of spring waters can be a symbol of doctrinally and morally clean societies that are necessary in the formation of man’s spiritual life. The three-dimensional connectivity of natural river channels could be considered as a symbol of the three dimensions of the Church community: the family, the local community and the universal Church. The need to create communities that go beyond families and refer to the incipient Christian communities should now be emphasized. A multi-thread river is a proper symbol of the early Christian Church, because with the same doctrine of faith and common moral principles, the incipient local Churches differed, among others, in liturgical forms or organizational principles. Contemporary human activities degrading river ecosystems could be compared to destructive actions of a church community. Symbolically, restoration activities conducted in river channels could be considered as a symbol of the necessity to make efforts in the Church to return Christians to the original faith sources. Particular attention should be paid to the need of rebuilding the faith environment of the local Church.

Słowa kluczowe: multi-thread river channel, river connectivity, river degradation, Church community, baptismal waters, early Christian Church
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