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‘Scholars & Saints’ Christmas Ornaments

G.K. Chesterton on your Christmas tree

Here’s something fun you can buy: A G.K. Chesterton Christmas ornament for your tree. Order it by December 12 to guarantee Christmas delivery.

They also have a Dante one, which I’ve just ordered:

A C.S. Lewis one is also in the works. They advertise a St. Augustine one, but I can’t find the page on which to order it:

Order all of them here, from Mud House. [1] The artist is Kevin Lindholm, who teaches at Sequitur Classical Academy [2] here in Baton Rouge. Mud House is affiliated with the school. Lindholm and school headmaster Father Brian Daigle are big Chestertonians, by the way.

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19 Comments To "‘Scholars & Saints’ Christmas Ornaments"

#1 Comment By Ted On December 6, 2018 @ 10:26 am

I always imagined Augustine as clean-shaven, Roman style, with one of those Julius Caesar fringes. Not working for me.

#2 Comment By Ms On December 6, 2018 @ 10:44 am

Lovely idea! But am I a grinch for my strong feelings that Augustine should be beard free? I really dislike depictions of Augustine with facial fuzz. Unhistorical. (Ok I don’t like facial hair. I am aware that Jesus chose to be born in a society w facial hair. I have learned to live w that, and cherish the Roman depictions of Jesus as a youth, carrying the lamb on his shoulders. I presume that the Beatific Vision will take care of all that!)

#3 Comment By ginger On December 6, 2018 @ 11:04 am

I can’t wait to hear Uncle Chuckie’s commentary on the cause of the expression on Chesteron’s face.

Dante is my fav. He has that regal look about him.

#4 Comment By ginger On December 6, 2018 @ 11:13 am

Ms: “I really dislike depictions of Augustine with facial fuzz. Unhistorical.”

How did I miss that St. Augustine had a smooth face?! I honestly never knew that. I did read the Confessions way back in the day, but if that fact was in there, I missed it.

Augustine and other early Church Fathers seemed to think the beard was pretty important to masculinity:

“The beard signifies the courageous; the beard distinguishes the grown men, the earnest, the active, the vigorous. So that when we describe such, we say, he is a bearded man.” (Exposition on Psalm 133, 6)

[3]

Indeed, reading some of those early fathers, it is hard to imagine they wouldn’t have been horrified to see all the smooth-faced men of the modern world. It sounds like going beard-free may have been one of the earliest gender-bending grooming habits known to man. LOL

(In the interest of full disclosure, I much prefer men who are free from facial hair. What that says about me, I am no longer sure ;))

#5 Comment By Christopher Jones On December 6, 2018 @ 12:00 pm

It is traditional for priests and bishops to be bearded. In particular, portraying clergy as bearded is part of the Church’s iconographic tradition. Even if, historically, a canonized bishop did not, in fact, wear a beard, he would be portrayed with a beard on his icon. Iconographers tend to be (and certainly should be) very faithful to the conventions of the iconographic tradition.

Besides, if St Augustine were clean-shaven, how would we know? Personally, I think it highly unlikely. The tradition of bearded clergy was very strong in the early Church; it’s hard for me to imagine that Augustine would have flouted it.

#6 Comment By EngineerScotty On December 6, 2018 @ 12:15 pm

I want a Chucky ornament for my tree. Of course, while he may be a scholar, he tends more to “sinner” than “saint”…

#7 Comment By Bill Cynch On December 6, 2018 @ 12:17 pm

Awesome!! I love Chesterton, but given the size of his bust it just might tip the tree over. Be careful.

#8 Comment By MH – Guardian of 10^-21 Percent of the Galaxy On December 6, 2018 @ 12:18 pm

No Nietzsche?

#9 Comment By charles cosimano On December 6, 2018 @ 12:24 pm

On the matter of Augustine’s beard. He should have lived in the First Century when the Romans viewed beards as a sign of homosexuality and Great Nero was roundly criticized for wearing one. That was one of the reasons early iconography depicted Jesus as clean shaven.

Chesterton always got that look when the furniture collapsed under him or Shaw got to the table before him and ate all the food.

Of Chesterton, “I swear that man is the biggest pompous ass in an island of pomposity and I mean that literally.” unknown critic.

#10 Comment By Ms On December 6, 2018 @ 12:54 pm

Romans wore/didn’t wear beards at different times in the Republic and Empire (and under the kings). Augustine lived at a time when a Roman man would be clean shaven. So I maintain, clean shaven is good. Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Warren Harding … oh wait.

#11 Comment By ginger On December 6, 2018 @ 1:18 pm

“I want a Chucky ornament for my tree.”

I would, too, except for the fact it would probably spontaneously combust next to all those angel ornaments and burn the house down.

#12 Comment By Ted On December 6, 2018 @ 1:29 pm

Christopher Jones: “Iconographers tend to be (and certainly should be) very faithful to the conventions of the iconographic tradition.

“Besides, if St Augustine were clean-shaven, how would we know?”

It’s a Christmas tree ornament.

And I said I always IMAGINED Augustine as clean-shaven. And there’s a good chance he was: the Chuckster is right. Beards were Greek, the razor was Roman. Julian the Apostate grew his and this was noteworthy enough for Gibbon to transmit the news (it was verminous, Julian’s beard, that is).

#13 Comment By Karl Keating On December 6, 2018 @ 2:48 pm

Alas, to me this Chesterton looks more like H. G. Wells, but I appreciate the detail of the artwork.

#14 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 6, 2018 @ 2:51 pm

Stop it with the joy-killing ideological overlays. Christmas trees are for beautiful colors, shiny irredescence, bright lights, beautiful angels, and tiny toys, not for propaganda statements in the expressions of ugly old men. (By the way, at first glance I guessed your photo showed H.L. Mencken.)

#15 Comment By MikeCLT On December 6, 2018 @ 3:10 pm

No St. Benedict? Tell the artist to start reading your blog and get with the program!

#16 Comment By MikeCA On December 6, 2018 @ 3:57 pm

Well,our newest Christmas ornaments aren’t quite as cerebral- though you might appreciate them. Pure Canadian/Québec icons: one of a smoked meat sandwich, another of poutine,a tin of maple syrup, a pint of blueberries,etc. 8 in all. They’re fabric stuffed with batting to give them a 3D effect. Found them on Etsy made by a nice lady in Calgary. I suspect there’s a Cajun equivalent somewhere out there- maybe a po’ boy?

#17 Comment By charles cosimano On December 6, 2018 @ 4:01 pm

“I would, too, except for the fact it would probably spontaneously combust next to all those angel ornaments and burn the house down.”

No, all the angel ornaments would explode.

#18 Comment By charles cosimano On December 6, 2018 @ 11:10 pm

Siarlys said, “Stop it with the joy-killing ideological overlays. Christmas trees are for beautiful colors, shiny irredescence, bright lights, beautiful angels, and tiny toys, not for propaganda statements in the expressions of ugly old men. ”

Now Siarlys, we have to remember that in the heart of every traditionalist is the haunting fear that someone, somewhere, might be enjoying their life and not worrying about this stuff. Still, this collection just cries out for the spirit of Nick Charles and an air gun.

#19 Comment By artsandcrafts On December 7, 2018 @ 4:50 am

Siarlys Jenkins–what a nice vision of a Christmas tree, especially the tiny toys! I wouldn’t want to look at those sour old men either.