By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upturned Faces

In reading Ovid's Metamorphoses in a new translation by Stanley Lombardo, I came across these lines:

Still missing was a creature finer than these [animals],
With a greater mind, one who could rule the rest:
Man was born,  . . . .
And while other animals look
on all fours at the ground
He gave to humans an upturned face,
and told them to lift their eyes to the stars.

Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 1, from "Origin of the World" (ll. 5-89), translated by Stanley Lombardo (bold added).

Contrary to some mistaken stereotypes, the Christian and Catholic view embraces the common spiritual instincts and intuitions found in other traditions, whether past or present. That is why European culture was able to bring together the best of the classical, pre-Christian Greco-Roman civilization with the Judeo-Christian tradition. The idea of the virtuous pagan was and still is relevant. 

Ovid speaks of some unknown "god" who fashioned the earth. Paul would not have hesitated to identify that unknown "god" with Adonai (see Acts 17:22-34).