Theological Studies and Culture

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Theological Research Interest 1 (Christianity): The Possible identity of Santa Claus stated in New Testament - The visit of the Magi (in MATHEW 2 and LUKE 2)[edit]

Research Background[edit]

Reviewing some articles introducing 'Father Christmas', or 'Santa Claus', or 'Christkind' in Wikipedia and their talks following , we can find a great amount of debates are existing about the true identity of Santa Claus. (Wikipedia introductive articles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus ; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Christmas; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christkind) Regarding with these statements, we can also find some elements summarizing religion beliefs, local customs, folk legends and diverse cultural differences, from Europe to America, and then all around the worlds, have been inputted, which made this topic in Christmas holidays spread the magical, beautiful and vivid impressions attacking not only adults, but young teenagers and children's interests.

If it comes to the traditions of Christianity, yes, Saint Nicholas 'was famous for his generous gifts to the poor' was of a great possibility to be trusted the right one by many places, which was also taught by my grandma in the course of Global Bible Study in Newcastle. (We used to present a small discussion, which deeply open my horizon and enlighten my mind-seed in thinking about this topic) Besides him, some other possibilities, such as the import of god Wodan from other ancient religion in Northern Europe then into Christianity, can also take a seat to be Santa (Father Christmas) in Christmas. However, if it was in Christianity, one fact we can ensure is Father Christmas's existing must content the relationship with Jesus's birth on Christmas Eve.

[1] 

Methodology: Documentary research of Bible - New Testament[edit]

If further deeply applying this topic into the category of theological academy, in order to recover some lost facts, documentary collections of words from Bible for matching custom phenomena & historical experiences with what have already been taught in holly book is still a good principle. Following it, another possibility can be extracted out:

Participant-observing words in Bible[edit]

Collections from MATTEW 2:

'The visit of Magi: After Jesus was born in Bethlethem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, ' Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him' ... 'Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared... After they had heard the king, they went on their way ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then, they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh ... ' [2]

'Visitors from the East: ...And so they left, and on their way they saw the same star they had seen in the East ... They went into the house, and when they saw the child with his mother Mary, they knelt down and worshiped him. They brought out their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, and presented them to him...' [3]

Collections from LUKE 2: The Shepherds and the Angels And there were shepherds living out in he fields near by, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord ... 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests ... So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart ... [4]


Analysis for researching Santa's possible identity[edit]

In these words collected, we can find: no mater spiritual messages or solidified treasures, as gifts, 'Magi from East (other ancient religion area )', 'angel (sent by Lord)' and 'Shepherds (sending message-gifts to Mary)' have all played the role of Father Christmas (Santa), of whom 'Magi from East' is of the most likelihood to be Father Christmas (Or, we can say Christmas man indicated by Father). Further more, histories taught us: 'Magi', from East, have been researching Celestial stem and Earthly Branches who could have explored the top of which Christmas tree baby Christ's birth star would land upon and what it stood for. ( Wikipedia introductions: Celestial stem [1]; Earthly Branches [2]). After many readings and participant-observations, the identity of Christmas Father has an increasing possibility to be one 'Magi' from East. Following, another question was about Christmas Father's Identity. We can make further considerations that Santa's historical functions were including: 1. Calming down Mary's emotional instability in that dangerous situation; 2. Bringing this message - Christ was born, of full joyfulness, to all the worlds that Christ was born; 3. Sending prepared gifts to baby Christ and his mother Mary (I can also remember Jesus has taught that only children or someone with child mind - as the innocent lamb can come to heaven, which is also reflected his own gift received from Eastern Magi indicated by Lord, when being a baby).

Final part of this case: Wishing you can enjoy a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS in the coming CHRISTMAS for 2017 NEW YEAR and 2018 NEW YEAR!

Best Wishes!

Musical research and collection, from local applications for Theological Worship[edit]

1. 'Prelude' from Bach's 'Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 846', after spreading to China, and other local cultures from Europe, was usually seen, symbolized and applied for Christianity usage of imagining and worshiping Jesus's Holly Mother - Virgin Marry. When analysing this work, we can find Broken Root-Chordal Progressions (vertical) and their solutions (horizontally) were strictly produced in music theoretical tonality, motif by motif and wave by wave. It can be compared with visualized imageries of Mother's Holly Spirituality (love) to her son and his 'not-easy life experiences in mortal world' (both sufferings and happiness). When playing it, the keyboard-touching techniques of dynamics levels' controllability need to be specially trained, in each of which the attached long time-value root-notes of every group (heads of each slur) need to be softly kept and gently down-pressed (released) the force in each 'central weights' (created by two long-notes: a minim and a semi-quaver-cut minim following ) and let it wave up (in tendency) from one end of left hand to the other end of right head naturally. It needs to be matched and heard as a whole in one hand through energetic Wrist-rotating. In this procedure, your prayers to Peace, Health and Love to people surrounding you - your parents, friends, important persons in heart, Lord Trinity God, Jesus, His Holly Mother and so on, can be input alongside forces-pressing and love-energy's spreading... As paragraph's going-on, the depth of timbre has been enlarged, and some 'unhappy sufferings' might be thoughtfully reflected out with colour's grey and emotional pains, which can be seen as Jesus's mortal sufferings in Mother's Eyes. Finally, it's holly mother's love carrying the spirituality, wave by wave, transformed to be composer's musicality that drove away those unhappy memories and make broken Chordal Progressions threaded together, to be peaceful impression of 'universal harmony' to all. Comment: In some cultures, when, making the self-reflexivity of European music culture and Baroque Era, this peaceful piece has always been collected in piano's or other instrumental praying list for worshiping Virgin Mary's contributions of love to Baby Jesus. (Yes, though St. Virgin Mary wasn't the most important one, her merciful love associated Jesus in touching away 'paints of hurts' brought by mortal world...) The most hard technique is broken chordal progressions' threading should be made through not only physical forces, but spiritual worships or relative imaginations of musicality. I tried to make one piece in piano classroom, my heart if true and would like to share in Wikiversity. However, for more professional information and expertise edition, please review Wikipedia introductions (Virgin Marry: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary,_mother_of_Jesus; Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 846: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prelude_and_Fugue_in_C_major,_BWV_846), especially the harpsichord edition -(Performed on a French harpsichord tuned in equal temperament by Robert Schröter) Even without theological purpose, we can also make a self-reflexivity of musicality to imagine mother's peaceful love towards us.

Classroom plays of Sir Johann Sebastian Bach's Prelude of 'Prelude and Fugue in C major, BWV 846' in piano edition for Educational purpose of cultural exploration (from a local piano classroom), techniques discussion and theological learning. In the second edition, after I got a perfect & beloved paper Piano-Educational Manuscript-Researching Book from America, imported by SMPH, Shang Hai to China in 2017 - «J.S.BACH WELL_TIMPERED CLAVIER VOLUME I» (Willand a. Palmn edited; Zhe, Tang Bilingual translated) by Alfred Publishing Co., Inc., I have paid much time and energy to research out possible piano techniques in my local classrooms to realize those notation-requirements which summarized many Sir Bach's Hand-manuscripts and his fellows' researching results.

As from heart-respects and piano-researching nature, I need to make a reference of this beloved manuscript paper-book accordingly mentioned in the second edition of our background music and our Portal (You knew, it's sweet-smelling and texture when in hands) - [5]

2. Swan's Praying - Artistic Perfection across Death to peaceful door of heaven: (When playing, you would feel two 'rough hands' in body, but reflected a pure soul facing Heaven-door)

It's a piano edition of Camille Saint-Saëns's 'The Swan', or we can say 'The Dying Swan', submitted up as a remembrance of Traditional Tomb-sweeping Festival of China. The inspiration of playing this piano edition was from a movie named Black Swan (Wikipedia introduction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Swan_(film) ) deeply attracted my artistic appreciation & enthusiast. Where is the artistic perfection? Maybe, it's only in dreaming heaven... however, after one character can manage two totally & extremely opposite roles - a death-breathing black swan deluded by Satan (Wikipedia introduction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan) and a holly-dreaming white swan guided by Angel (Wikipedia introduction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angel); afterwards, she could really get her Artistic Perfection from life but crazily make a repayment of death. Meanwhile,Le cygnet Performed by John Mitchel did give me some direct feeling of violin-piano dialogue (Wikipedia introduction: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dying_Swan)

2. White Peace Dove - Praying for Lord's Love of Peace and individual love for life:

La Paloma: In English, it's called 'No More' composed by Sebastián Iradier (later Yradier) in the 1850s, and with a funny 1930 Cartoon, just known through reading and learning in Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/La_PalomaIn my life journey coming here, the story (Cultural Phonomenon) should be like: Since Childhood, I have heard this song through musical learning and loud KTV-singing (one type of karaoke room with TV in the middle for singing some pop songs and watching MTV movies). After I learnt English, the memory usually taught me: its musical imagery should be matched with a White Peace 'Dove' for 'Love'; but on each of two sides, only a pair of feet were kissed by waves, and only the 'Missing' travels across a deep blue sea... Then, tenderly, with a song sounds from the depth of heart-sea... Jason, why did you play it with a deep emotional expression? Did you have a lover, or some lovers? No...no... I am not quite sure... about Love. From my culture, I should keep it implicitly as my own heart's secret, and wait... You knew, if conditions and fate didn't permit, how can your things be going to be. (Heart-beating fast) Just, just...my piano-teaching classroom gave me an educational task - to realize it through hands. And, I began to pick it up and research large octave-chords' 'smooth bridging-way' as to breathe in sentences.However, there was a real deep blue sea over there...; and in Bible, there was also a Whilte Peace Dove who picked up Olive Branch for 'Flood's Down', Peace's coming, and Lord's Love all around the world. Those were what I knew as knowledge... Hi, Jason, we still would like to know about you? Oh, forgive me... I didn't know when I could be sure (If I can, I should... someday)Smiling, watching the deep blue sea, and listening toA Dove
  1. Wikipedia (2016) Wiki-entry 'Saint Nicholas' Searched from Wikipedia. ,Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License: Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Nicholas. Accessed: 15th, December, 2016
  2. The GIDEONS INTERNATIONAL in the British Isles, Global Bible Study and NTV (2006)' The visit of the Magi', Mathew 2, Collected from New Testament & Psalms. Website: www.gideons. org. uk
  3. United Bible Societies (eds.) (1975, 1979,1995, and modified as the 3rd edition - 2016) ' Visitors from the East', Mathew 2, Collected from The New Testament. English text and all English helps for the readers: American Bible Society in New York USA; and National TSPM & CCC of mainland China. Local print: JSE - 0001371
  4. The GIDEONS INTERNATIONAL in the British Isles, Global Bible Study and NTV (2006)' The birth of Jesus', LUKE 2, Collected from New Testament & Psalms. Website: www.gideons. org. uk
  5. J.S.BACH WELL_TIMPERED CLAVIER VOLUME I (eds.in times: 1st edition in April of 2017; Now-11st edition in March of 2017) (eds. in authors: Willand a. Palmn edited; Zhe, Tang Bilingual translated) (2017) 'Part 2: Words In terms of J.S.BACH WELL_TIMPERED CLAVIER VOLUME I: pp.5, pp.16-17 - Ornamentation (trill.), pp.27-Dynamics Signals, and pp.28- Sustaining pedal ', Part 3: Notation-manuscript: pp.29- BNV846 and its notes. Imported: SMPH; Copyright at: MMIV by Alfred Publishing Co., Inc. Local print: ISBN 978-7-80667-986-9/Jˑ942