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Question about a Saint in the OC

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  • Dave W.
    I don t know how to nicely ask this, but I found an interesting story about the Venerable Joasaph the Prince of India at the following OCA site:
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 23, 2009
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      I don't know how to nicely ask this, but I found an interesting story
      about the Venerable Joasaph the Prince of India at the following OCA
      site:
      http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=103329 and
      I need to ask if the description of this man is not uncannily like
      that of Gautama Buddha, who lived much earlier. Is it possible that
      the converted Indians wrapped some of the story of Buddha's life into
      the life of Saint Joasaph? Is that something their culture would do,
      or is something else going on here? I would hope that the OC would
      never consider calling the Buddha a Christian Saint. That would call
      into question the validity of Saints across the board. Forgive me, if
      this isn't exactly an Lutheran-Orthodox topic, but I am Lutheran and
      inquiring about Orthodox Holy Tradition.

      Dave
    • Christopher Orr
      When reading the lives of saints one finds many echoes and parallels across time. One can chalk this up to hagiography or borrowing, or one can see that the
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 23, 2009
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        When reading the lives of saints one finds many echoes and parallels across
        time. One can chalk this up to hagiography or borrowing, or one can see
        that the spiritual life has patterns (we aren't all as different and unique
        as we like to think). Some patterns are more common in some cultures than
        others. For example, there weren't a lot of Sylites in Russia, there were
        peculiarities in Syrian monasticism, Passion bearers were very common in
        Russia, Fools for Christ common in some days over others.

        St. John of Damascus wrote the lives of Sts Ioasaph and Barlaam, which is
        the story you are referring to. St. John is commemorated on the LCMS
        calendar, too. I don't think the story idealizes particularly Buddhist
        doctrines, even if it does retell the Christian portion of the story of the
        Buddha, in Christian form to Christian ends. Perhaps it is simply a parable
        using non-Christian source material in the way Greek and Roman mythologies
        have been used to express Christian truths. Then again, perhaps this was
        merely a spiritual pattern common or noteworthy in Indian culture that was
        repeated by the Sts the Damascene tells us of. The whole 'Go West, young
        man' / roadtrip / 'On the Road' thing is an American trope; this may be an
        Indian trope. I can't remember if they are commemorated on the calendar or
        not.

        Christopher



        On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 9:43 PM, Dave W. <dkwiech@...> wrote:

        > I don't know how to nicely ask this, but I found an interesting story
        > about the Venerable Joasaph the Prince of India at the following OCA
        > site:
        > http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=103329 and
        > I need to ask if the description of this man is not uncannily like
        > that of Gautama Buddha, who lived much earlier. Is it possible that
        > the converted Indians wrapped some of the story of Buddha's life into
        > the life of Saint Joasaph? Is that something their culture would do,
        > or is something else going on here? I would hope that the OC would
        > never consider calling the Buddha a Christian Saint. That would call
        > into question the validity of Saints across the board. Forgive me, if
        > this isn't exactly an Lutheran-Orthodox topic, but I am Lutheran and
        > inquiring about Orthodox Holy Tradition.
        >
        > Dave
        >
        >
        >


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Dave W.
        Thank you for the wonderful clarification. I continue to to be stunned by the profound knowledge and insight of members on this board, and you ve helped put my
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 23, 2009
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          Thank you for the wonderful clarification. I continue to to be stunned
          by the profound knowledge and insight of members on this board, and
          you've helped put my mind to rest on that point, Christopher.
          Obviously, as a Lutheran I have the built-in need to "dot my i's and
          cross my t's" to test everything new. I certainly mean no disrespect
          in my questions. I of course want to understand as best I can before I
          would take that final leap of faith into the OC, if that is where the
          Holy Spirit leads me.

          Again, with thanks,

          Dave




          --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, Christopher Orr
          <xcjorr@...> wrote:
          >
          > When reading the lives of saints one finds many echoes and parallels
          across
          > time. One can chalk this up to hagiography or borrowing, or one can see
          > that the spiritual life has patterns (we aren't all as different and
          unique
          > as we like to think). Some patterns are more common in some
          cultures than
          > others. For example, there weren't a lot of Sylites in Russia,
          there were
          > peculiarities in Syrian monasticism, Passion bearers were very common in
          > Russia, Fools for Christ common in some days over others.
          >
          > St. John of Damascus wrote the lives of Sts Ioasaph and Barlaam,
          which is
          > the story you are referring to. St. John is commemorated on the LCMS
          > calendar, too. I don't think the story idealizes particularly Buddhist
          > doctrines, even if it does retell the Christian portion of the story
          of the
          > Buddha, in Christian form to Christian ends. Perhaps it is simply a
          parable
          > using non-Christian source material in the way Greek and Roman
          mythologies
          > have been used to express Christian truths. Then again, perhaps
          this was
          > merely a spiritual pattern common or noteworthy in Indian culture
          that was
          > repeated by the Sts the Damascene tells us of. The whole 'Go West,
          young
          > man' / roadtrip / 'On the Road' thing is an American trope; this may
          be an
          > Indian trope. I can't remember if they are commemorated on the
          calendar or
          > not.
          >
          > Christopher
          >
          >
          >
          > On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 9:43 PM, Dave W. <dkwiech@...> wrote:
          >
          > > I don't know how to nicely ask this, but I found an interesting
          story
          > > about the Venerable Joasaph the Prince of India at the following OCA
          > > site:
          > > http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsViewer.asp?SID=4&ID=1&FSID=103329 and
          > > I need to ask if the description of this man is not uncannily like
          > > that of Gautama Buddha, who lived much earlier. Is it possible that
          > > the converted Indians wrapped some of the story of Buddha's life into
          > > the life of Saint Joasaph? Is that something their culture would do,
          > > or is something else going on here? I would hope that the OC would
          > > never consider calling the Buddha a Christian Saint. That would call
          > > into question the validity of Saints across the board. Forgive me, if
          > > this isn't exactly an Lutheran-Orthodox topic, but I am Lutheran and
          > > inquiring about Orthodox Holy Tradition.
          > >
          > > Dave
          > >
          > >
          > >
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
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