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Friday, June 26, 2009

Christ in "The Soul of Man"

To make his argument for a shift in society, Wilde uses the teaching of Christ, which he characterizes by the expression "Be thyself." (p. 27) Ultimately, Christ wanted man to realize that true riches were what a man possessed not in material things but in the "treasure-home of your soul," riches that could never be stolen. (p. 28)

Though Christ does not villanize wealth, he conveys that "man is complete in himself" (p.28) and that "the spiritual needs of Man (are) greater" than his material needs. (p. 29) In other words, wealth and private property are needless burdens with which man need not trouble himself because "it hinders you from realizing your perfection," for which man should strive.
The above painting is based on the etching "Christ Preaching" (1652) by Rembrandt.

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