|Chartres Cathedral: Good Samaritan Window Overview|
Many medieval images reinforce allegorical interpretations (e.g., of Irenaeus, Origen, Augustine, and others) that the parable of the Good Samaritan symbolizes fallen humanity, Satan’s attacks, the Law’s inadequacy, and Jesus’ mercy. Such symbolic elaborations are found, for example, in 12th century stained-glass windows in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Chartres. These twenty-four images physically and theologically integrate the parable with the Fall of Adam and Eve: Jesus, as the true Good Samaritan, restores fallen humanity (the wounded man) after being attacked by Satan (the thieves) to a right relationship with God, which the old dispensation (the priest and Levite) cannot provide.
The next few posts will follow story told by this "luminous sermon" (Stoksted) and how it elaborates the parable. Then I follow up by analyzing how stained-glass windows in the Cathedral of St. Etienne in Bourges advance this allegorical interpretation by adding stories of Moses.