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Displaying: 1-6 of 6 documents

1. Philotheos: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Jovana Šijaković

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The paper highlights some related features of allegorical interpretations of Odysseus and Abraham. Both figures were interpreted as souls on a quest. The affinity between exegetical depic­tions of these quests may have prompted the later synthesis of ancient readings regarding Odys­seus’ intellectual pursuits. The comparison of Penelope and her maids to philosophy and lesser dis­ciplines influenced Philo’s image of Abraham as the husband of wisdom, and the mirror image of Philo himself as the husband of philosophy. There are grounds to question whether Philo’s exegesis subsequently formed a background against which Odysseus’ pursuits were expounded. Among the similarities between his Abraham and Eustathios’ Odysseus the philosopher, the portrayal of these characters as stargazers is the most conspicuous.

2. Philotheos: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
James Filler

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The lumen naturale plays an important role in the philosophy of Descartes, particularly in the Meditations. Yet, while its analysis has not been completely neglected, the lumen naturale has hardly received the philosophical examination it deserves. While it is not possible in so short a pa­per to entirely remedy this deficiency, I do hope in this article to provide some insights into Descartes’ understanding of this concept. In this light, I will seek to examine Descartes’ understanding of the lumen naturale in terms of how it functions and its object(s) in order to understand what, if anything, the lumen naturale tells us about the world around us.

3. Philotheos: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Aleksandar Knežević

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There are two reasons why Christian theology introduces the concept of the absolute nothing into its doctrine of creation. Firstly, unlike platonic non-being, the absolute nihil is not eternally co-existent with God and it does not limit His creative freedom. We notice that God’s freedom is identified with the freedom to create. Platonic non-being represented a necessity. To create, therefore, means to be able to overcome every form of necessity. The concept of the absolute nothing, therefore, needs to provide an ontological ground for the creation of the absolute novum. Sergius Bulgakov and Nikolai Berdyaev, the authors I am quoting in this essay, agree that the apology of the world is inconceivable on the level of monistic ontology, for which substance or ousia is the main category. They are aware that simultaneous communion and otherness between God and the world is imaginable only on the level of the person or hypostasis. Christian theology introduces absolute nothing to secure God’s creative freedom. God is free if He can overcome givenness and create a newness in being. But Bulgakov stresses that to “create out of nothing” means that God creates out of Himself. God can create only what is already given in Him. Berdyaev’s God does not create out of Himself but out of uncreated freedom. Berdyaev explicitly confirms uncreatedness of freedom by stressing that this freedom is outside of God. This is why God can break through the givenness of the world and create an absolute newness.

4. Philotheos: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Kirche Trajanov

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Father Sergei Bulgakov (1871–1944), directly influenced by Vladimir Solovyov and especially by Father Pavel Florensky, developed his sophiological concept which takes a central place in his doctrine of Trinity and God's economy. The main failure of the Russian sophiology is that the question of God's Wisdom is not Christologically founded in the spirit of the New Testament and patristic teaching. Bulgakov neglects the theology of God's uncreated energies. He thinks that it does not sufficiently explain the creation of the world as well as the relationship between God and the world. According to him, the creation of the world and its unity with God can be explained only through a mediator who acts as an “ontological bridge” between the Creator and the creation. Bulgakov, using the ontological mediation paradigms that are characteristic for certain ancient philosophical systems, especially Neo-Platonism, develops his doctrine of Sophia. She is immanent to both the nature of God and the creation. This attitude leads Bulgakov to the position of pantheism. In order to avoid this danger, he modifies his teaching introducing two models of Sophia: “Divine Sophia” and “Created Sophia”. Unlike the patristic theology, Bulgakov’s sophiological essentialism does not tend the antinomy of apophatic-kataphatic theology, and thereby he puts into question the ontological difference between the Creator and the creation. It is a failed attempt to interpret the dogma of the creation of the world ex nihilo, through categories and concepts that are alien to the church tradition.

5. Philotheos: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
Michael Arvanitopoulos

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If there is one pivotal epistemological issue the Eastern and the Western Christian churches have agreed upon, this must be the understanding that God’s essence is inherently and conclusively unavailable to humans. This settlement is based on the shared assumption that there is no possible mode of accessing this or any essence, other than either from objective or subjective knowl­edge. Neo-Orthodoxy has preserved the heritage of Pateric apophaticism and has built upon the shared assumption its own, ecclesial accessibility instead to God’s existence. In this exclusivist orientation Neo-Orthodoxy has further proclaimed itself the only true heir to ancient Greece, cutting off the West and criticizing it as a bastion of rational alienation. A phenomenological investigation of Greek statuary art, however, addresses prosody as a third, hitherto unexplored mode of epistemological intelligibility for an access to the essence of “God.” Through the implementation of suprasegmental theory in the phenomenological reduction of a certain statue, we revisit certain key concepts in the discussion between Christos Yannaras, whose works comprise the Neo-Orthodox manifesto, and Martin Heidegger, who claimed that the Greek statue “is the god himself.” Amongst the conclusions emerging from this comparative hermeneutics is the idea that in fact the West may have remained all along more ready than the East to move into the next historical step of man’s self-elucidation in the light of what is Holy.

6. Philotheos: Volume > 22 > Issue: 1
John Mizzoni

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Going back to 1950, several Catholic Popes have stated that believing that evolution takes place in nature does not conflict with believing in God or the Catholic faith. Yet disagreement about theistic evolution persists among Catholics. Several popes have stated that to combine an evolutionary view with a Catholic view we must consider the methods used in various branches of knowledge. To do this, we must keep consciously in mind the distinctions between science, metaphysics, philosophy, and theology. This perspective about the branches of knowledge serves to rebut various charges that Catholicism is incompatible with evolution.