Theology

Fathers, Sons, Parricide…

February 25, 2011


This is a different post than usual. Not sure if this is a complete idea, or if I buy what I’m saying or reading. It just struck me and has been on my mind, and I need to write it down or I won’t be able to get any homework done. Thoughts, questions, or critiques are much welcomed.

Ran across some interesting thoughts on Fathers and Sons tonight. In his blog, Peter Leithart quotes the Russian mystic Nikolay Fydorov:

 “The task of the fathers, the parents, ends with the upbringing of the children; then begins the task of the sons, who restore life.  In giving birth to and raising their children, the parents give life to them, while the task of resurrection belongs wih the returning of life to the parents.”
So parents give life to their children, then in turn, children (after growing up) return that life to their parents. There seems to be a couple different ways this could be done. Sons continue the family name and thence give life to their father before them. Also, there seems to be the idea that sons carry on the legacy of their father, whether that is their reputation, or business, or occupation, etc. So in some way, fathers live on in their children. This is ironic for me, since my dad’s name is “Jay” – and my name is “Jason” (“Jay’s-son”). My father lives on in my name. Hopefully, he lives on in my lifestyle too: I stand for what he stood for – I love what he loved – I teach what he taught – I devote myself to the Word as he devoted himself for to the Word.

The sad thing is how our culture treats our parents. How do we give life back to our fathers? We put them in nursing homes and leave them for others to care for them. Is that giving them life?

Leithart makes the comment that:

“Freud and Dostoevsky are right: Parricide is the story of humanity.
Am I giving life to my father? Or do I join with humanity and our culture in a form of parricide? That’s an ironically graphic thought. 
I’m curious about the implications of God reversing this idea as the Father forsakes the Son on the cross, yet then it is ironically the Father who is always the one who “raised Jesus from the dead”…

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1 Comment

  • Reply Jacob February 26, 2011 at 4:18 am

    This reminds me of Edmund Burke's famous line: "Society is a partnership between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are yet to be born." He, like the Romans of old, saw the inter-dependency of generations much more clearly than we do.

    Since I got married and the prospect of having children of my own has become a likely reality, I've given more thought to naming children, and I do think it might be good to visit some old family names.

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