Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Philip Edgcombe Hughes, Lefèvre: Pioneer of Ecclesiastical Renewal in France, p. 193:

If there is a single word to sum up [Jacques] Lefèvre's [d'Étaples] profound spirituality it is the term Christiformity, that is, conformity to, or transformation into, the likeness of Christ. This term, though not common, occurs in Nicholas of Cusa's work Learned Ignorance, as we have noticed earlier, and it is possible that Lefèvre picked it up from Cusanus. Another possibility is that he discovered it in a Latin translation of Pseudo-Dionysius, a version of whose works he had published in 1499. But the word is occasionally found from the ninth century onward in some British writings and also in Thomas Aquinas and his teacher Albert the Great in the thirteenth century. Such speculative derivations are of little importance, however, since the concept behind the term as it is used by Lefèvre is completely consonant with the apostolic teaching of the New Testament. The source or seed from which it sprang may well be, as [Guy] Bedouelle suggests, St. Paul's exclamation in Galatians 4:19: "My little children with whom I am again in travail until Christ be formed in you!"

...Lefèvre comments on Colossians 3:1-4:

As many as come to Christ die in his death and rise again in his resurrection; for they do not rise unless they have first died. In this way they are made christiform [Christiformes], so that they may constitute his body. For it is necessary that the members of the whole body should be conformed to the head; otherwise we should have a monstrosity. This sort of conformity in other things is called relationship and proportion, but in the body of Christ it is Christiformity [Christiformitas]. When therefore they rise in the resurrection of Christ they also live by the life of Christ.

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