My article “Theology East and West” translated into Romanian

Romanian writer Ninel Ganea has just rendered my article “Theology East and West” (which was originally excerpted from my book Anatomyzing Divinity by Father Deacon Christopher Banks on his blog) into Romanian here: http://karamazov.ro/index.php/religie/569-teologie-politic-in-est-i-in-vest.html.

Onward and upward,

J. Kelley

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Posted in Apostolic Fathers, Augustine, Catholicism, Christology, Counter-Enlightenment, divine energies, divine essence, Early Church Fathers, Eastern Orthodox Theology, Eastern Religions; Orthodoxy; Eastern Orthodox Theology, filioque, Frankish Royal Religion, Franks, Gnosticism, Greco-Roman History, Greeks, Hellenic Wisdom, Historiography, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Logos as Pronoian: St Athanasius and Natural Science

St Athanasius in Contra Gentes spoke about the illuminated as those who view God’s forethought or “pronoian” by seeing divinity reflected in the pure human nous. In illumination, man views everything in the context of his pure, constant, unchanging union (synaptomenos) with God’s energies, the “divine and thought-perceived things” (Contra Gentes 1.2). Man does not receive scientific knowledge about material beings; rather he finds himself awe-struck (hyperekplettetai) “as he contemplates that pronoian which through the Logos extends to the cosmos” (Contra Gentes 1.2). If the illumination of the nous was a grant of scientific knowledge, then we could cite the great number of scientific discoveries by monks as evidence of the truth of Orthodoxy, but even saying this proves how absurd the whole proposition is. No, knowledge of the logoi is decidedly not knowledge of the motions of bodies in space; it is a participation in knowledge of God as a co-enacting of Trinitarian energies.

So, the illuminated are not ignorant of the rationes seminales, as Augustine called them, the paradeigmata or logoi of created beings; but this knowledge is not mere knowledge about unchanging natural laws à la Newton. One can certainly formulate a more-or-less self-consistent explanation for motion in the universe along with Newton, or below the atomic level, with string theory or other math-based models. And one can, of course, create machines (including more powerful instruments for recording information about the cosmos) based upon Newtonian and other models. This technoscience “works” (however imperfectly), but it does not go beyond the surface of reality, as Giamattista Vico averred (though Vico was addressing the the Cartesian science of his day). St Athanasius shows us that fallen man, man whose noetic energy has lost its purity, is condemned to see created beings indirectly, to see them from the outside-in, as objects of sense tied to phantasia. This is one reason monks flee to the desert. They are fleeing the proliferation of objects (whether these “objects” be people or needless artifacts that pile up around city-dwellers) and the passions that attach themselves to our thoughts about these objects, which become “possessions” in more than one sense!

Posted in analogia entis, Apostolic Fathers, Augustine, Contra Gentes, divine energies, Divine Names, Divine Providence, Early Church Fathers, Eastern Orthodox Theology, Exemplars, Giambattista Vico, logoi, Logos, Newtonian physics, Nous, Orthodoxy, paradeigmata, particle physics, patristics, phantasia, Platonic Forms, pronoian, rationes seminales, Scientific Revolution, scientism, Soteriology, St Athanasius, technoscience, threefold path, uncreated energies, Vico | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Giambattista Vico’s Three Ages: A Brief Exposition

Vico is famous for his teaching that all human cultures inevitably develop along the same three stages: an age of gods, an age of heroes, and an age of men. This Vico calls corso e ricorso. What I am offering in the comments that follow is a short exposition of Vico’s three stages. My simplified sketch will be qualified on almost every point by later posts. The reader will see in the fullness of time, it is hoped, why I have chosen to paint rapidly, and with such a broad brush, in this, the second in my series of posts on Vico.

According to Vico, man started out as a solitary hunter-gatherer who had immense physical and imaginative powers, but had no language and, indeed, no thought![1] Primitive man possessed no shared experience, if by experience we mean conscious memory of events. The ball got rolling once a huge primal storm broke out over the whole “great forest of the earth” where these men were traipsing.[2] In short, man unconsciously invented culture and society out of the awe and fear that the storm drummed up inside of him.

Man’s history can be split into three stages: the age of gods, the age of heroes, and the age of men. In the age of gods, men get their first thought and their first memory by imagining that the thundering sky of the primal storm is a huge body that mirrors their own fears and passions (naturally, these primitives do not know they are projecting their own affections and sensations onto natureit is automatic).[3] The cosmic cloudburst inspires fear in the barbaric nomads, for this sky-corpus is larger and more powerful than their own bodies. Indeed, though men may have feared and avoided more powerful men before the Jove experience, it is precisely the all-encompassing nature of the storm (they are naked and have no shelter from the rain, wind, lightning and thunder) that qualifies the Jove experience as a “break in being”[4]; the whole sky is pressing down upon the whole earth not unlike the Greek creation myth, wherein Ouranos lay upon Gaia before a scythe pried them apart, thus suspending the primal rape and giving birth to otherness (on the anxious side of consciousness) and to ordered movement in space and time (on the serene side of consciousness).[5]

Men just happen to be copulating with feral, unwilling women when the primal storm erupts. Vico says that men, before the first peal of thunder, had no reason to differentiate one object from another; so, men never looked up at the sky before that moment. After looking up at a powerful body that seemed to be threatening them with violence, these beastly men looked down at their women, felt pudor or shame, and so dragged the women to caves, where they solemnized their unions through a ritual auspice-taking.[6] This was the beginning of marriage, and soon men supplemented their monogamy by burying their dead relatives (yes, now we have the first families, since women are quarantined and so give birth to sons of certain parentage) and by creating enclosures (the first cities) that accepted clientes as non-blood relative helpers who were given protection from the remaining feral men outside the enclosure.[7] And that is how society came about.

Words were few in number in this age of gods. The first word was “Jove!” or “Pa!”: an imitation of the sound of the “voice” of the divine body that kick-started them into thinking and feeling.[8] As men’s minds became more able to differentiate the bodies, regions, and qualities that they were sensing, they named each after a different god. By the time we get to the age of heroes, language has evolved from grunts of fretful onomatopoeia like “Jove!” into something more like military commands. Vico uses the example of heraldry: pictures on a flag that represent the virility and joie de vivre of the family or ethnos.[9] The third stage, the age of men, sees the flowering of man’s reason. Now the emblems of the age of heroes are replaced with little marks that have little or no intrinsic relation to anything bodily or even verbal. They represent sounds and are grouped together to stand for spoken words.[10] There is a problem here: In the age of gods, men curbed their physical domination of less powerful bodies out of fear of an inscrutable, huge body; in the age of heroes, prominent men commanded less powerful men through unquestioned directives; in the age of men, concern with force of argument overrides any reliance on physical force. Anything can and is questioned. We are all equal in our rationality (in theory). But, as De Maistre once averred, if we take all of the hallowed truths of society and subject them to pitiless scrutiny, we end up eroding any possibility of consensus.[11] We become reasonably deluded, one might say. Vico thinks that the age of men can lead to a new barbarism, a new age of gods, though this ricorso would not be a return to the ferine peregrinations of the Jovian epiphany.

Notes

[1] Giambattista Vico, The New Science of Giambattista Vico, Third Edition, translated by Thomas G. Bergin and Max H. Fisch (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1968 [1744]), §447, p. 150.

[2] Ibid., §369, p. 112-113.

[3] With the Jove experience, man “enters the first stage [of freedom] through the advent of fear: men start to behave differently from animals, when they stop feeling the mere metus, the mere instinctive fear, and start feeling the fear of something they imagine as superior: it is the metus numinis, the fear of god. Pudor is modesty in the face of the power of a superior being, coupled with shame; man is ashamed of his own nudity and of his bestial life. Pudor brings about the domain of reason over the senses…” (Mirella Vaglio, Truth and Authority in Vico’s Universal Law [New York: Peter Lang, 1999], p. 79).

[4] Donald Phillip Verene, “Introduction: Interpreting the New Science,” pp. 1-14 in Giambattista Vico, Keys to the New Science: Translations, Commentaries, and Essays, edited by Thora Ilin Bayer and Donald Philip Verene (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2009), at p. 10.

[5] Hesiod, Theogony, 126, 137-181. See also James L. Kelley, Orthodoxy, History and Esotericism: New Studies (Dewdney, B.C.: Synaxis, 2016), pp. 142-143.

[6] Vico, New Science, §506, pp. 171-172. See also James Robert Goetsch, Jr., Vico’s Axioms: The Geometry of the Human World (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1995), p. 30.

[7] Vico, New Science, §529, pp. 184-185; §556-557, pp. 197-198.

[8] Ibid., §448, pp. 150-151.

[9] Benedetto Croce, The Philosophy of Giambattista Vico, translated by R. G. Collingwood (London: Howard Latimer, 1913), p. 51.

[10] Vico, New Science, §32, p. 20-21, and §34, pp. 21-22.

[11] Joseph de Maistre, Etude dur la souverianeté, in Oeuvres complètes, 14 volumes (Lyons: Vitte et Perussel, 1884-1886), 1.366.

Posted in body theory, Counter-Enlightenment, Critical Theory, Divine Providence, freedom, Giambattista Vico, Historiography, History of Marriage, History of Sexuality, Jovian Experience, paganism, philosophy, ricorso, Social Theory, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

GIAMBATTISTA VICO: METAPHYSICIAN OF THE HUMAN

Few outside the academy know anything about Giambattista Vico (1668-1744), though he is undoubtedly the greatest Italian philosopher of his time, and is arguably one of the greatest philosophical minds to ever hail from Italy. Before the middle of the last century, Vico typically was seen as a proto-historicist who either presaged revolutionary ideologies such as Marxist-Leninism, or inaugurated a “Counter-Enlightenment” whose anti-Cartesianism found its purest rival in the philosophes who inspired (or were inspired by) the French Revolution.[1] It is perhaps a bad sign for political science that a compelling case can be made for either option! A positive spin, though, can make of Vico a third-option thinker who breathes fresh air into the polarized (because hyperpolitical) atmosphere that typifies today’s public discourse on the history of ideas (such as it is).

Mark Lilla’s 1993 book G. B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-Modern is perhaps the first book-length treatment that does not give short shrift to Vico’s theological fundaments, especially as they are evinced in the Neapolitan’s early works.[2] Lilla’s portrait of Vico as a conservative whose worship of the irrational has had a baleful influence on the history of ideas tells us more about Lilla the American Liberal than about Vico himself. Be that as it may, the brilliance of Lilla’s book is its presentation of Vico’s doctrine of conatus as a metaphysical red thread that connects his earliest essays to his later writings. We distort history if we retroject the Roman Catholic’s Church’s official subscription to Thomism in the late nineteenth century onto the Reformatio Catholica, with its freewheeling, even loose adoption of Scholastic terminology and its often quasi-nominalist moderation. Vico, with his fitful, idiosyncratic synthesis of ancient philosophy, Medieval Scholasticism, and contemporary jurisprudence, fits into this Counter-Reformation milieu as well as anyone. Lilla shows us that Vico’s lifelong goal was to establish that there is a single divine Truth that is fully known only by the Holy Trinity Itself because it is eternally “made” out of God’s own thoughts or logoi (Vico does not use the term “logoi,” but rather “elements” or “ideas”). The Fall occurred when Adam was tempted into mistaking his participation in divine Truth for infinite, perfect knowledge of the forms or logoi in God. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit know their own Truth because they generate it eternally out of themselves and contemplate it as something they make ad intra.[3]

As with all Roman Catholic theology, however, there is a problem when we try to express just how this realm of forms, forever generated inside the divine essence, relates to God’s creation ad extra. Are all of the logoi represented in the cosmos? How is the eternal generation of the Son from the Father different from the eternal generation of the logoi or exemplars in the divine essence, and how are both distinct from the creation ex nihilo of material bodies? When the Son became Incarnate as the Logos, did He contain only the logoi for this cosmos within Himself, or did he contain all possible logoi, a kind of somatic plenum of divine forms? If not, was the Incarnation somehow incomplete?

For Vico, man cannot ever know these ideas in God from the inside. God knows the future, but this does not imply any lack of free will on man’s part (or God’s part!). Man fell from his finite participation in the ideas in God when he presumed to grasp this “knowledge of good and evil” in order to “be as gods.” However, God foreknew that man would fall, and so He created man so that, even when he loses contact with God’s ideas or forms, he can still find God indirectly through conatus. A Scholastic term introduced into modern philosophy by Hobbes, conatus is used by Vico to mean the divine mode or power of creation that ensures that man, despite his efforts to the contrary, will nonetheless find himself participating in divine truth, at least on a lower, though in some sense broader, societal level. Here is the meaning of Vico’s famous “ideal eternal history of the gentile nations”: Ham and Japeth’s descendants literally forgot about divine truth as it was followed by the Hebrews, but Providence in the form of conatus continued to shape how these non-semitic wanderers went about their business. Man did not fall into anarchy, but was instead called back to a kind of baseline order through pagan religion, which man invented as a result of what Vico scholar Donald Verene has termed the “Jove experience.”[4] Inspired by Verene’s adjective “epiphanic” to limn this irruption of a “false,” yet providentially directed experience of the divine, I have coined the term “Jovian epiphany.”[5] What is this mysterious God-man interface, if not a direct experience of the Holy Trinity? After all, Vico is trying to establish that there is a single God-directed Truth that operates in practical human affairs as well as in the interior life of the Trinity.

More on this next time…

NOTES

[1] David L. Marshall, Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), p. 1. On the origin of the term “Counter-Enlightenment,” see p. xxvn1 in Henry Hardy’s introduction to Isaiah Berlin, Against the Current: Essays in the History of Ideas, 2nd edition (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013).

[2] Mark Lilla, G. B. Vico: The Making of an Anti-Modern (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1993).

[3] For Vico, conatus “is the power of moving, and in God, the author of conatus, it is rest; so prime matter is the power of extension, and in God, founder of matter, it is the purest mind. (…) Division is the act of body, but the essence of body…consists of what is indivisible” (Giambattista Vico, On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians Drawn out from the Origins of the Latin Language, translated by Jason Taylor [New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010 (1710)], IV.1, pp. 61-62). Vico refers to this work as his “Metaphysics.”

[4] For the phrase “Jove experience” see Donald Phillip Verene, “Introduction: Interpreting the New Science,” pp. 1-14 in Giambattista Vico, Keys to the New Science: Translations, Commentaries, and Essays, edited by Thora Ilin Bayer and Donald Philip Verene (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2009), at p. 10.

[5] Vico: “…God both founded the true religion of the Hebrews upon worship of His infinite and eternal Providence and punished the first authors of the human race for their desire to know the future, thus condemning the whole race to toil, pain and death. Whence the false religions all rose from idolatry, i.e. from the worship of imaginary deities, falsely believed to be bodies with supernatural force, who give succour to men in their final afflictions” (Giambattista Vico, The First New Science, translated by Leon Pompa [Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002 (1725)], 9, p. 10).

Posted in Amniotic light, analogia entis, Ancient Religions, Antiquity, Catholicism, conatus, conjectural history, Creation, Critical Theory, Deviant Sexuality, Divine Names, Divine Providence, Exemplars, free will, freedom, Giambattista Vico, Greco-Roman History, Historiography, History of Sexuality, Jovian Experience, logoi, Logos, Marc Lilla, Mass Culture, nominalism, Nous, paganism, Social Theory, Uncategorized, Vico | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

LOGOI IN HELL: WHAT IS THE ORTHODOX TEACHING ABOUT ETERNAL DAMNATION, AND HOW DO LOGOI FIT IN?

The Orthodox tradition is silent about whether or not in heaven we will receive any scientific knowledge about proportions in nature that are alleged to correspond to divine forms. In hell, however, we can “live” eternally according to Augustino-Platonic ratios, straining forward in an eternally self-sustaining yet self-consuming effort at solving the ultimate physics equation, namely, “How can I make God fit within man-made concepts deriving from creation?” Dwellers in hell (and may God’s mercy save us from this perdition!) will be eternally self-sustained through contact with God’s life-maintaining energy; this sustenance is also a self-consumption through God’s saving or deifying energy, however. In this way, God is not culpable for man’s choice to experience deifying grace externally, from the outside-in, as it were. We could say that damnation in hell is the mirror-image of deification, but this would risk sacrilege, since deification for the saved is an eternal co-acting of divine energies. In hell, the “deification” of the damned is not fundamentally a co-acting of divine energies; it is rather a continuation of the self-exile from God that was lived in earthly life. The human energies of the damned never cease to resist the unifying and passion-inimical divine energies. It is not because of any limitation of divine power that this purifying soul- and body-wringing goes on eternally, without transforming the condemned into a truly saved being. Human freedom is the precondition for salvation; an unfree creation cannot accept or reject God. An unfree creation would not exist integrally; he would be a phantom, unable either to commune with God or to eternally cast himself away from God.

Hell is a physical and spiritual fire that is the presence of God’s reality within a human being who has gone through the Final Judgement having chosen to be eternally dependent on creation rather than on God. Thus, the actual burning is, in the words of St Maximos, a “self-castigation of witless elements,” or an ongoing rejection of the cure of demonic delusion, though the energies of the Holy Trinity sustain the existence of the wretch, allowing him the type of existence he has chosen. Hellfire is an eternal self-caress that is eternalized and absolutized by coming into contact with the saving energies of God in judgment. The final self-coddling of creation-worship becomes a self-rending that never ends. The damned person is constantly filled with saving energy, but constantly attempts to expel God from his nous, soul and body.

Posted in afterlife, analogia entis, Augustine, divine energies, divine essence, Divine Providence, Eastern Orthodox Theology, eschatology, free will, freedom, heaven, hell, Hellenic Wisdom, logoi, Logos, Nous, Orthodoxy, patristics, perdition, philosophy, Platonic Forms, pronoian, Soteriology, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

AUGUSTINIAN LOGOI VERSUS ORTHODOX LOGOI: A COMMENT

The logoi spoken of by Augustine are “rationes seminales,” the seeds of development that make sure an embryo develops correctly into an adult (but also, they make sure movements of inanimate objects are orderly). This kind of logoi is fine and perfectly Orthodox, but Augustine’s overall anthropology and overall system of thought runs aground when we see the bigger picture. Why? Because there is another component to Augustine’s doctrine of logoi or forms. Augustine proclaims that there is a Truth that is God Himself, His Essence, which humans will know in the next life if they are good in this life (or if chosen by God to get prevenient grace–Augustine says different things in different writings). This is a heresy, since no one, not even angels, ever will know the essence of God. Below God’s Essence are immutable “ideas” of God, according to Augustine. These are uncreated in some sense (a problem since Augustine is not clear about the uncreated status of them, but how can he deny it? How can there be a level of immutable realities that are created? So most interpreters think Augustine places the forms in God’s mind. But how are things in God’s mind distinct from the essence and/or the Divine Persons? Answer to the problem: Augustine does not properly distinguish essence from energies in God, so he cannot place forms or logoi in the energies, as do the Orthodox), and man is equipped with forms in his own mind that correspond to them. There are many problems here. For one thing, Augustine defines the divine forms (later Aquinas makes these into Exemplars, which he equates with the logoi in St. Dion.) as standards by which human beings judge sense experience. This is why Augustine allows that pagan Platonist philosophers had direct experience of the forms or logoi in God, and thus somehow shared in changeless, eternal Christian Truth! For the Orthodox, a pagan does not join his nous to anything uncreated by means of the same mental power by which we distinguish red from blue and pain from pleasure. Such discrimination may be the beginning of purification, but it will be no more than a quasi-medicinal calming of the spirit with no appreciable effect on the nous. Augustine really thinks there is a form called “Equality” that hooks up to a node in our minds which allows us to determine whether two sticks are the same length or not. Most disturbing is Augustine’s inability to distinguish this supposed form-use with the saint’s experience of God. Augustine seems to think that experiencing the forms or logoi is to experience the immutable, but that to experience God, full-stop, one must die and then be merged with the divine essence. As you can plainly see, Augustine is confused about things no one who had experienced illumination of the nous could possibly be confused about. The question will certainly be asked: then Augustine cannot be a saint, right? He can be a saint, since he could have experienced illumination late in life and not written about it, and Augustine could be a saint by having his efforts at being a Christian rewarded by God filling up all that was lacking in his knowledge of God at the moment of his death, etc. But could we not say the same about anyone else who taught errors of theology but who remained within the sacramental bounds of the Church? See, we are already in a dangerous place when we say for sure where somebody is going after death. We cannot refrain from pointing out Augustine’s errors, though. They are the lifeblood of Western theology, and they threaten to undermine the spiritual lives of Western-minded Orthodox people who do not know any better.
Posted in Augustine, Creation, Dionysius, divine energies, divine essence, Divine Names, Early Church Fathers, Eastern Orthodox Theology, Hellenic Wisdom, logoi, modern philosophy, Nous, Orthodoxy, paganism, patristics, perennialism, Platonic Forms, Pseudomorphosis of Orthodoxy, rationes seminales, Scholasticism, Soteriology, St Dionysius, Thomism, Trinitarian heresies, Uncategorized, uncreated energies, Western Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

DESULTORY THOUGHTS, PART THREE: THE PROBLEM OF THE LOGOI OR PREDETERMINATIONS OF GOD

It is very important for anyone who thinks that the logoi doctrine is a bridge between Orthodoxy, on the one hand, and Western metaphysics, on the other hand, to heed what I am about to say: The Orthodox have always used the logoi doctrine in the context of the threefold path of purification, illumination, and glorification, though it is easy to miss if you have not steeped yourself in St. Irenaeus, St. Dionysius, St. Maximos, and St. Gregory Palamas. Before the issue of logoi was posed to me as a theological problem, I had read most of the passages that deal with logoi, but I was not sure how the teaching fit together with the teaching of essence and energies in God. I knew there must be a correct way to think about the logoi and their relation to the energies of God, but I did not want to be too hasty. I knew it had to be in the Fathers, that it most certainly had to be answered in the passages I had already read. However, what I read was not registering as logoi teaching, at least as my mind was, in my earlier reading, filing these passages away under some other heading such as “energy-essence distinction” or “three-fold path”…

Let us start with a discussion of just how the Christian West views knowledge of rationes seminales or logoi. Logoi to Western Christians are entirely different from logoi in Orthodoxy (see previous post), and we need to understand what divides the two conceptions. More research needs to be done on Augustine, but by the time we reach Aquinas, we certainly have, in the Christian West, a God who does not even have to bother knowing created beings directly, since God, in having perfect knowledge of prima materia, automatically knows every possible modification of this apeironic ur-matter. So, God only loves himself, but He has the idea of prime matter inside His essence, so, as I have said many times before, Aquinas leads us from “God so loved the world” to “God so loved a thought in His own head that he showered created grace on various beings whose material constitution is the result of a literal subtraction of realities from prima materia” (the phrase is mine, not Aquinas’).

The Augustino-Thomistic cosmology is based upon analogy of being. If God is good, creation is good, but not in the same sense. This would be “univocity.” To say that there is no connection between the “goodness” of creation and the same quality in God would be, in Scholastic terms, “equivocity.” To the Thomists (and you have to believe in Thomism or be a heretic as far as the RC church is concerned), “analogy” is the middle ground between univocity and equivocity. To them, if “good” refers to God, then it is because there is a similarity in essence between created beings (with their qualities) and uncreated God (and His qualities). This is what David Bentley Hart and the Fordham crew try to weasel around through their massaging of theological terms and their constant shiftings of ground: They do not want to admit that it is a heresy for the Orthodox to proclaim any similarity in being or essence between God and creation. We Orthodox, apparently, are all about equivocity (I am shading into irony here: obviously we do not use this medieval term for theology established by the saints of all ages).

Now I will provide a brief description of a post-medieval development in the West. See if you cannot connect a few dots between it and the Thomistic analogia entis that helped fathered it:

With the scientific revolution, mathematics applied to physics became “the ultimate key to the universe.” We even get poet John Reynolds saying that knowledge of physics will be granted to souls who are ascending to heaven. Here’s how historian Louis Dupré puts it: “In ‘A View of Death, or The Soul’s Departure from the World,’ the poet John Reynolds (1666–1727) looks forward to death when the scientific mysteries of the universe will be fully revealed and the mind will understand that Newton’s attraction is God’s love operating in matter!” (Louis Dupré, Enlightenment and the Foundations of Modern Culture, p. 26).

As opposed to this notion (mediated through Augustine though ultimately from Pythagorean lore about a ratio that links proportions in material structures to so-called “divine proportion”), Orthodoxy declares that the divine light remains unapproachable and incomprehensible (from a rationalistic, philosophical point of view) even while it is participated in by creatures.

Posted in analogia entis, Augustine, divine energies, divine essence, Divine Names, Early Church Fathers, Eastern Orthodox Theology, equivocity, Hellenic Wisdom, logoi, Logos, Middle Ages, Modern Orthodox Theologians, nominalism, Orthodoxy, patristics, philosophy, Platonic Forms, Pseudomorphosis of Orthodoxy, Scholasticism, Scientific Revolution, scientism, St Dionysius, St Irenaeus, St Justin Martyr, Thomism, Uncategorized, uncreated energies, univocity, Western Christianity | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment