This was originally not just a translation used for philosophy, but was also commonly a translation for logos in the sense of an account of money. The meaning of the word "reason" in senses such as "human reason" also overlaps to a large extent with " rationality " and the adjective of "reason" in philosophical contexts is normally " rational ", rather than "reasoned" or "reasonable". Philosophy can be described as a way of life based upon reason, and in the other direction reason has been one of the major subjects of philosophical discussion since ancient times.
There is some value in providing such an outline, given the current rise in popularity in Orthodoxy, as witnessed by the many defections from more liberal denominations for example, churches that ordain women and, on a scholarly level, the interest and deference given to the medieval Greek patristic tradition especially such figures as Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Was religion the only reason why and to various themes and ideas in Orthodox theology and spirituality such as theosis or deification, apophaticism and social trinitarianism.
It is important, in other words, to counter some of this almost uncritical and romantic perception of Orthodoxy with a more rounded and realistic account.
But I want to go much further than this. Like Russell, it is Christianity itself, and not merely the Orthodox part of it, that I no longer find acceptable. Although my position here is not particularly innovative, I do hope to briefly raise some crucial philosophical questions that are often neglected in historical scholarship on the central texts and claims of Christianity.
I will then turn in the final part of this article to the even more radical view at which I have arrived recently, where commitment to any institutionalised form of religion, Christian or otherwise, is regarded as incompatible with the pursuit of truth and wisdom.
Again, many others - from Russell to the New Atheists - have said likewise. But unlike these secular thinkers, I am not advocating the wholesale rejection of religion. My main target, rather, is only religious traditions and communities with highly developed systems of belief and power, exemplified best but not solely in the "big five" religions of the world Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism - these, I contend, threaten to undermine the philosophical life.
Against Orthodoxy Raised in a Greek migrant family in Melbourne, I had a fairly conventional Orthodox upbringing, including the mandatory infant baptism, observance of the major feasts and customs of the Christian calendar, such as the forty day fast leading up to Easter, the occasional communion and confession, and so on.
Most members of the Greek community in Australia would be content to leave matters there, regarding the Orthodox Church primarily as a custodian of ethnicity, tradition and morality. But no thinking person could be satisfied with that, and I soon began to delve deeper, in the hope of discovering if there was any truth to the grand claims made by the church.
So I embarked upon a course of study in philosophy and theology, including a four year stint at St. There I was introduced to some wonderful scholars, including the eloquent, softly-spoken and Oxford-trained John Chryssavgis who connects spirituality with ecology, and currently serves as advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues and the comparatively tempestuous American-educated Themistocles Adamopoulo a specialist on the apostle Paul, now in Pauline fashion undertaking missionary work in Sierra Leone.
But my attention was initially caught by the fiery and much maligned leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakiswith whom I shared a love of poetry and of our fellow Cretan, Nikos Kazantzakis.
I well remember how he shocked us in our very first class when he warned that the study of theology will either turn us to God or turn us into atheists. He was not entirely mistaken.
Strangely, however, the archbishop's words proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it was the very attitudes and teachings imbibed by us that led me and some of my fellow students and even teachers to suspect that something was deeply amiss in Orthodoxy. There was, for example, little freedom to genuinely question or to express doubts, at least without being deemed a "heretic.
In what follows, I will outline some of these challenges faced by the Orthodox Church in the modern era I am very much indebted to Vrasidas Karalis's withering critique of contemporary Greek Orthodoxy in The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity.
Exclusivism To begin with, there are challenges arising from the prevalence of exclusivism among Orthodox leaders, where this involves an attitude of triumphalism and a sense of superiority towards other religious faiths, and even other Christians. The Orthodox Church, to be sure, has been a significant member of the Ecumenical Movement.
Representatives from the Ecumenical Patriarchate have attended meetings of the World Council of Churches since its establishment inand at present almost all Orthodox Churches are full members of the World Council of Churches.
Nevertheless, Orthodoxy tends to be highly exclusivist, adopting a stance towards people of other faiths that ranges from missionary to polemical and apologetic. Even if it has not always thought that only if one is Orthodox can one be saved though there are many Orthodox who accept thisit is standard to think that the fullness of divine revelation is to be found only in the Orthodox Church.
And then a conflict between dogmatism and dialogue ensues. Is genuine dialogue possible if I as one partner in the dialogue am already convinced that I possess the fullness of truth, and so the other does not have something to tell me which I could not in principle discover from my own tradition?
Wouldn't dialogue, in such circumstances, be nothing more than a thinly disguised apologetics? Timothy Warea prominent Orthodox convert, has stated: If the Orthodox already possess the truth, then in what sense could they genuinely listen and learn from others? Ware's response is that, by listening to non-Orthodox others, the Orthodox stand to better understand the truth they have been entrusted with.
This is a very selective form of listening: If we do not believe that, then entering into dialogue would be a waste of time. Christos Yannarasone of Greece's leading Orthodox theologians and public intellectuals, has put forward a "contamination model," according to which nearly everything that has come from the West beginning with the translation into Greek of Thomas Aquinas's Latin writings in the fourteenth century has contaminated the purity and authenticity of Orthodox tradition.
What has unfortunately emerged here and in many other segments of the Orthodox Church is a psychopathology of defensiveness and victimization related, no doubt, to the church's struggle for survival under oppressive Ottoman and communist regimesallied with a propensity towards traditionalism, where this often takes the form of a naive romanticism about the Byzantine past.All the leaders of every other religion, need Christ as their Savior as well as their followers this is more of a statement than reason as to why its better than all the others, and its also kind of arrogant.
For all those readers frustrated with the late posts, Why I Can’t Post On Time. “Wash your face before bed so the angels will come down and kiss you while you sleep.” That’s what my grandmother told me when I was a child staying over at her house.
I was about five years old, and not only did. After all, religion isn't the only belief that's armored against criticism, questioning, and self- correction. Religion isn't the only belief that leads people to ignore evidence in .
The reason religion exists is to help people make sense of events which would otherwise be incomprehensible by relying on unseen, hidden forces.
This inadequately addresses the social aspect of religion, though, depicting . The Origin of Philosophy: The Attributes of Mythic/ Mythopoeic Thought.
The pioneering work on this subject was The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man, An Essay on Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East by Henri Frankfort, H.A.
Frankfort, John A. Wilson, Thorkild Jacobsen, and William A. Irwin (University of Chicago Press, , -- also once issued by Penguin as Before Philosophy). Religion and Humanism, The Sophists to Secular Humanism.
He says somewhere that man is the measure of all things, of the existing, that they are, and of the non-existing, that they are not.