“Two paintings walk into a bar”: more on theological discourse

In his Monologion, Anselm uses the analogy of a painting “imitating” or offering a “likeness” to its original as a way of describing the way creatures imitate the divine Word. In their book on Anselm, Sandra Visser and Thomas Williams extend Anselm’s painting image even further to characterize theological discourse itself:

Try to imagine two portraits talking about what the originals must be like–how they are, somehow, more real; how they can move from place to place without being carried–without having any direct knowledge of things like their originals. The imagined dialogue will inevitably take on many of the characteristics of theological discourse. (Anselm 272n20)

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