Christian Platonism

Rediscovering Ancient Wisdom

Pseudo-Hippolytus on Cosmic Significance of the Cross

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An Easter Sermon of Pseudo-Hippolytus on Cosmic Significance of the Cross

Pseudo-Hippolytus is an anonymous author of the 4th century.

“This tree is for me a plant of eternal salvation. By it I am nourished, by it I am fed. By its roots, I am firmly planted. By its branches, I am spread out, its perfume is a delight to me, and its spirit refreshes me like a delightful wind. I have pitched my tent in its shadow, and during the heat I find it to be a haven full of fragrance, […] This tree of heavenly proportions rises up from the earth to heaven. It is fixed, as an eternal growth, at the midpoint of heaven and earth. It sustains all things as the support of the universe, the base of the whole inhabited world, and the axis of the earth. Established by the invisible pegs of the Spirit, it holds together the various aspects of human nature in such a way that, divinely guided, its nature may never again become separated from God. By its peak which touches the height of the heavens, by its base which supports the earth, and by its immense arms subduing the many spirits of the air on every side, it exists in its totality in every thing and in every place.”

Source:  De Pascha Homilia 6, Migne PG 59 (Chrysostom, Spuria) 743f.

English translation: Alister E. McGrath, The Christian Theology Reader, Blackwell Publishing, 2006, p. 291. Cf. Hugo Rahner, Greek Myths and Christian Mystery, Biblo & Tannen Publishers, 1971, pp. 66-67; Edwin Oliver James, The Tree of Life: An Archaeological Study, Brill, 1967, p. 162.


Written by John Uebersax

January 9, 2009 at 9:54 pm

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