The issue of the origin of the world was one of the most controversial chapters in the dispute between science and religion, for it was reduced until recently to the confrontation between two theories: creationism and evolutionism, the latter claiming the scientific nature. But whether it's creationism or evolutionism, both theories disregard the presence and continuous work of God in creation. In terms of philosophical and religious point of view, creationists are rather deist because they consider God being transcendentally isolated, while evolutionists lean more towards pantheism, believing that the world exists from eternity. Unlike science, the theonomist cosmology of the Eastern Church does not launch into speculation about the origin and movement of the world, but starts from a divine gift, i.e. from biblical narration, which she does not ignore even when engaging a dialogue with the theories of scientific cosmology. The arguments of Orthodox Christian theology proof that the quantum universe was created “out of nothing” and that it’s kept in existence only by God's relationship with creation through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. In relation to itself, the universe is reduced to nothing, because God is in Himself, while any other created thing is dependent upon Him, into an indissoluble connection with Him. From the perspective of quantum physics, the genesis of the universe involves the image of a void space, serving as a stage for the material world.
origin - world - science - Big-Bang - ‘creatio ex nihilo’ - God hypothesis - cosmology - nflationary universe - quantum theory - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
Man has been created at the crossroads between the material and the spiritual things, being given the greatest honour among creatures, since he is the only one edified in God’s image and likeness. With Saint Gregory, the image does not mean, as in Platonism, the rough analogy of the sensitive world in relation to the intelligible world, but participation, a communion, yet without supposing a transfer of substance. There are two levels of the image in his theology: Christ – Logos of the Father, archetypal image, on this level the image supposing the very communion of nature, the hypostatizing of the unique divine being, and man – image of the Logos, level on which the image supposes the ontological distinction, yet simultaneously, by its quality of direct image, of non-mediated reflection, is a faithful image, this image containing in itself precisely the promise of communion, though, by its character, it has to define the eternity of the distinction between created and uncreated.
man - world - divine image - philosophy - Saint Gregory of Nyssa - holiness - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
The purpose of this paper is to analyse the theological reflection on the relationship between man and cosmos. The origin of the world and man is connected to God; God is the Creator and consequently the Author of them both. Unlike dualistic materialistic thinking, according to the Christian conception the whole cosmos is created by God. In search for the cosmos an important chapter was granted for man, considered to be a synthesis of the world. Man, from the theological perspective, is the personal, rational, free, and speaking being that has – through the image of God according to which he has been created –, the tension after perfection. But it pertains exclusively to the relationship with Christ in the light of Whom he really knows himself, and by knowing himself he recognizes the infinite beauty of the Archetype. This is the existential-theological truth, which the content of this paper emphasizes, according to the Bible and patristic teaching.
man - world - cosmos - philosophy - theology - Christianity - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
When we talk about the redeeming work of our Savior Jesus Christ, we have in view His three ministries: that of teacher or prophetic, the one of overseer (archbishop) and that of leader or king. These three ministries define His redeeming work, which is one and unique and is turned to the human nature that He assumed and then to all of us, who are His fellows, and, at the same time, to God as sacrificial attitude, Christ being “the Lamb of God, Who wipes away the world’s sin” (Jn. 1: 29) and brings to us our reconciliation with God the Father.Our Savior Christ has fulfilled His ministry as a teacher directly, namely preaching He Himself the truth of the Evangel, yet, in an indirect manner, His work has been continued, in the Church, through the Apostles and their followers, the bishops and priests whom the Holy Spirit will illuminate for an uninterrupted and correct preaching of the divine truth, until the end of the centuries, according to the commandment that He has given to His disciples: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you all the days, to the end of the age. Amen.” (Mt. 28: 19-20).
Evangel - teaching - Savor - example - theology - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
While, in the 19th century, many servants of the monastic settlements left Wallachia and Moldova, because of the measures taken there, the situation was nevertheless different in the 18th century, when monks from different areas inhabited by Orthodox Christians came to the Romanian Countries, where they encountered an uninterrupted reality of hesychastic renewal started by Saint Gregory of Sinai (1255-1346), due to the fact that the Romanians had known another cultural continuity, different from what had happened, until that century, in the Greek Byzantine or in the Slav world. This reality explains why the revitalization of the hesychastic and spiritual life in the areas north of the Danube is related, in the 18th century, to the Saints Basil of Poiana Mărului (1692-1767) and Paisius Velichkovsky or Wieliczkowski of Neamţ (1722-1794), both of them arrived from the Slav world in the Romanian extra-Carpathian territories. Saint Basil founded many hermitages and trained many disciples in the practice of the prayer of the mind or of the heart, becoming known as a great teacher of this prayer, in the modern times. Just as the Holy Fathers of Mount Sinai (Gregory, Philotheos, Hesychios), but also from other parts of the Byzantine world (Saint Symeon the New Theologian, Saint Gregory Palamas etc.), once again, he draws the attention not just of the monks but also of the lay people on the prayer of the heart, so that in the 19th century it was not the teaching of Saint Paisius on the practice of the prayer of the heart that prevailed, but the teaching of Saint Basil, followed especially in the Romanian and in the Russian tradition. Regarding the monastic life, the activity of Starets Basil can be characterized by the ecumenicity of the Orthodox faith, due to the fact that, on the one hand, he brought together monks from the Romanian and the Slav area, and, on the other hand, he contributed to the enrichment of the Romanian monasticism through the cultivation of the spirit of two Holy Mounts, Athos and Sinai.
Saint Basil of Poiana Mărului - Paisius Velichkovsky or Wieliczkowski - hesychasm - Wallachia - Moldova - monasticism - Orthodox faith - ecumenicity - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
The purpose of this work is to analyse the contribution of the Jewish doctor Isaac Israeli to the medieval reflection on the relationship between man and the cosmos. To this end, starting from the methodological change proposed by al-Yabri for the study of classical Arabic philosophy, I question the usual characterization of the Jewish author as being merely an eclectic thinker, and indicate the most noteworthy aspects of his position. The philosophical texts that have come down to us reveal a philosopher who participates in the great debates of his time, among them: the relation between philosophy and revelation and the nature of the human intellect. Beyond the prophetic aspect, Israeli points to a special logic based on the ability to argue evoking images, a universal way that facilitates the compression of a complex idea or promotes the performance of an action.
Secularization is a phenomenon supposing major mutations on the social level. Thus, based on the principle of rationality, secularization has led to the removal of religion from the social sphere, the desacralization, aiming, ultimately, that the sacred disappear altogether from man's life. Within the globalizing-secularizing society, economics seeks to take possession of the entire social and spiritual life, helped by a policy-aggressive mercantile mentality. Secularization has led to manipulation of man so that he believes he has to build his future by abstaining from religion. The secularized man has come to the conclusion that only by his own forces helped by reason, economy and technology he can be the one who creates progress, namely perfection for himself and for the world he lives in. The hypermodern man is a man of ephemerality, a human being looking for his accomplishment in trifles, who no longer has deification as his final goal. The problems that man is facing today can be solved by taking the eternity as reference system for them.
Many scholars in modernity have accused Saint Paul either for an unrestricted obedience to civil authorities (Rom 13), or for surrendering the divine gift of freedom and human dignity and accepting the status of slavery (1 Cor 7:21; Phlm), or for implying the subordination of women (1 Cor 14:34ff.; Eph 5:22; Col 3:18; etc.). I am referring of course to the well known household codes (Haustafeln, Col 3:18ff. and parallels). It was mainly these cases that gave rise to the criticism that Paul (or the Pauline school) did not resist with all his power as he should to the socio-political status quo of his time, and that he and his school, and Christianity thereafter, tolerated unjust social institutions and structures.
Saint Paul - man - freedom - Christianism - social transformation - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
Humans have studied and have been studying ceaselessly the universe, trying to find out our place in this mysterious cosmos, learning all the time something and as we believe that we have established something, there are other question marks to come. This is probably due to our inability to know everything. Science sometimes seeks and finds answers but not cease to be amazed, to bow before the mystery. However we must accept that there are countless ways to approach the differences between the possibilities of knowledge for understanding the universe
Universe - Man - Expansion - Atom - Time - Big Bang - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
Early Christianity could enumerate only a very limited number of higher educational institutions. One of the best known is Origen’s “academy” in Caesarea (Palestine). Gregory the Wonderworker wrote a speech of praise, ‘Oratio panegyrica’, to his professor when leaving the school after many years of study. The speech illustrates a number of interesting facts about the professor, the students, and the curriculum. The low number of students made it possible to achieve a very close relationship between the teaching staff and the students. The teacher was very much a spiritual father and a friend. Gregory thought that Origen was an example of a godlike person, and thus also an example to be followed. The likeness of God consisted first of all in likeness with God’s Logos. A person living in accordance with reason lives the life of God. The students participating in the tuition provided by Origen came from respectable classes of the society. Both men and women could participate, both young and grown-up people. Many can be classified as seekers, that is, persons looking for an intellectually acceptable world-view.
Origen of Alexandria - Gregory the Wonderworker - Plotinus the Platonist - Biblical hermeneutics - mago Dei - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
The mysticism of the Orthodox Church provides spiritual fulfillment of man in three stages: purification, enlightenment or knowledge, and perfection or union with God. Purification is the removal of passions and their replacement with virtues. For example, the philokalic texts, which are a collection of texts written by 25 Holy Fathers, form a true handbook containing various themes, but all of them educate on “the love of divine beauty” or “the love of virtue”, as the etymology of the chosen title for the compilation. Of these, the study of the mind and its dynamics is a predilection for most authors, some of whom have offered real treatises on this subject. This study limits the presentation of some Church Fathers who have spoken of this argument. The mind is a place where good and evil thought stake on a continuous struggle that positively or negatively influences human behaviour and closeness to God. For this reason, man’s special attention is needed on the mind, that is, a permanent nepsis.
Philokalia - Orthodox - Nepsis - Mind - Vigilance - Heart - Self - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
In the use of the united Church from the late forth century was developed the catechumenate, meaning a long and profound preparation for Christian Initiation, usually received in the Easter Vigil. However, candidates would receive explanation of the rites only after they were performed, namely during the Easter week. This practice was based on the so-called mystagogical method, the conviction that rites speak by themselves in a powerful manner. The Catechesis of Jerusalem (of Cyril or John, his successor), the Catechetical Homilies of Theodore of Mopsuestia along with the Baptismal Homilies of John Chrysostom in the East, but also both treatises (De mysteriis and De sacramentis) of Ambrose of Milan witness with different nuances to the mystagogical approach, namely the introduction into the mysteries and the Mystery itself by means of ritual actions. In the present study, I will focus on John Chrysostom’s Baptismal Homilies, underlining some aspects: their timely framework, their connection with other similar texts and the general structure of the preparation for the Christian Initiation.
Saint John Chrysostom - catechumenate - mystagogical method - catechesis - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
The concept of beauty has theological grounds, because man himself is considered image of God’s Son. The Orthodoxy practiced since the beginnings to the contemporary times an all-inclusive spirituality: the spiritual beauty of the spiritualized person can be seen in the way of living, manifesting itself fully from physical beauty to the beauty of the inter-human relations, of the relation mancreation and of the relation man-Divinity
God - creation - beauty - relation - world - perfection - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
Out of the four fundamental concepts or pillars of Indian religious thinking the present paper aims at disclosing the meaning and significance of the law of universal causality that binds man and cosmos, and condemns the former to an indefinite transmigration, i.e. the law of karma. This pan-Indian term will be underlined as it is reflected in the most important Upanishads and in Bhagavad Gītā, the gospel of Hindu spirituality. On the final part a parallel – between this concept and the teaching about the role of facts in the process of salvation according to the Orthodox Christian theology – will be drawn. In short, karma is a sort of law of causality that makes any action committed by individual leaving behind it a kind of force that causes the joys and sorrows of life, as the action was good or bad. According to Orthodox Church’s teaching good deeds is, along with faith and grace the subjective conditions of salvation, i.e. personal appropriation by every man of the objective redemption brought about by Jesus Christ, the God-man. This appropriation called salvation or sanctification is not simply a gift from God, but a permanent action that lasts throughout human life. If the law of karma acts implacably and independently to the will of man, stamping a fatalist character to life and undermining the human freedom, in Orthodoxy, however, man is not alone, but permanently assisted by the divine grace. But grace does not work irresistibly; it respects human freedom, so the facts present an obvious synergetic character. Therefore, between the Christian teaching on facts and the philosophy of the act, as it emerges from the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gītā is an abysmal distance that comes to differentiate these two religions on this level as well.
The medical world has nowadays become an interesting place of interdisciplinarity, a place where natural, humanist, religious sciences, with their corresponding personalities, come together; they are dedicated to helping the ill / the suffering. The greatest challenge, from this point of view, is precisely the capability of integrating various components so as to provide the patient with the best assistance. However, contemporariness shows us that the development of medical means in a sole naturalist direction has led to objectifying disease which becomes itself a reality, independent, looked upon from an exclusively biological perspective, without the spiritual and moral connections of the person experiencing illness and suffering. This resulted in depriving the ill person of his disease, many physicians treating not the person who is ill, but the specific illness or organ.
physician - patient - ll person - moral - suffering - pain - person - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
The Christian teaching shows that man has been created “in God’s image” in order to attain “God’s likeness”. “The image” means: intellect, will, affectiveness, love, liberty, responsibility, conscience. We cannot talk about true freedom if we do not take into account responsibility as well, namely the obligation of a person to acknowledge himself as free and aware author of his own actions and to take upon himself the consequences and results of what he does.
Christianity - liberty - responsibility - moral imputation - salvation - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
The idea of Santa Claus is a universal one, which has been carried on for generations despite many obstacles. Although related to fantasy and imagination, he belongs to all cultures and for children he maintains a real presence. Cognitive Science examines the idea of this mysterious individual and brings clarification to his existence in society. Because this “superhero” plays a part in society, he needs a mental structure that can be imagined, a particular and specific cognitive structure. The study identifies the cognitive mechanisms by which the idea of Santa Claus is generated. The history of Santa has interfered with religion since ancient times. He is sometimes confused with religious figures. Cognitive Sciences as applied to religion seem to confirm the universality of religious beliefs and a certain similarity between the idea of Santa Claus and that of holy persons, such as St. Nicholas. However, there are opinions within this field of research that differentiate between the two areas: fantastic and religious.
Cognitive Science - Santa Claus - St. Nicholas - mind - deas - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
Over the last few decades, there has been a plethora of literature that has analyzed and discussed the development of doctrine with much of it challenging the theories of Vincent and Newman. Some of the disagreements are not whether tradition should be a criterion or a factor, but rather to what extent it should be so. Coincidentally, just over fifty years ago, Thomas Kuhn, a philosopher of science challenged the traditional view through which science progresses. Opposing Karl Popper’s assertions that science is completely objective, Kuhn believed that although it may follow long periods of stability and steady growth, occasionally there would be watershed moments which would completely revolutionize a particular field leading to a revaluation of long-established idea with not every reason attributed for these revolutions being neither rational nor scientific. Further, there has also been growing awareness in the literature of doctrinal development on factors which influence this progress in Christian teachings. In this paper, the aim is to understand the way some key aspects of Kuhn’s work intersect with some of the contemporary theories in the development of Christian doctrine.
Kuhnian Correspondences - Contemporary Doctrinal - Literature - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
In this poly-prismatic short study is examined historically and totally the diachronic attempts of an approach of “Absolute being” from the side of thinking man. More specifically it is searched philosophical and theological doubting and seeking for the existence of “Absolute being,” as for the – conscious or unconscious – its influences above in human mentality. Also, it is discussed generally if firstly is feasible any approach of „Absolute being” by man. Moreover, the various philosophicaltheological and religious-psychological ways of approach of „Absolute being” are recorded as also and how this “approach” is meant. Finally, it is reported the theological perpetual process of approach of “Absolute being” as the profound reasons of this „approach”.
Absolute being - thinking - relation - world - perfection - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
Education is one of the principal activities supposing in a general manner the process of care for the good training of man. But Christian religious education is actually a meeting of man with Jesus Christ, the supreme Teacher, which is why it has a special character going beyond the rigid scholastic framework and involving the space of the Church. Family, School, Church and society are the main factors, but also along with the environment, where the education and training process of the young begin. Sure, what must be noted is the fact that religious education is a continual process by means of which man covers the road from person to personality, from imperfection to holiness.
religious education - Christ - family - school - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
Reason for being, the significance of the ecclesial ordained ministry, cannot be understood but starting from the Church itself and from the dependency link, from the charismatic-historical life and present at the same time - of Christ who constituted and defined. Starting from this link of the Church with Christ, which is the Body link with His Head through which pours the Spirit life in the whole body, we understand why it exists and must be this ordained, original, «main» or «fundamental» ministry. Starting from here, can be understood, to what extent it is absolutely necessary for preserving the Church’s vocation and its mission and how it is possible to affirm that he belongs to its essential structure, in a word as it is deeply ecclesiastic.
ecclesology - church - signum - convergence - ministry - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology
Icoana Credinței, Vol 3, Iss 5, Pp 101 -106 (2017)
Europe must manage the large number of cultures that practically “collide”. This is the result of increasing migration and excessive emphasis on economic development at the expense of revaluation of spiritual roots of this civilizational space. In this context, the multiculturalism has become a leitmotif of Western policy. In fact, the multiculturalism can be defined as a normative political theory, which wants to regulate the new situation created by cultural minorities. Unlike the cultural pluralism, which aims acceptance of different cultures and the living together in a given society, the multiculturalism promotes the multiplication of diversity, the idea of blurring nationalist trends, the ridding of minorities traditions and our immersion in the hipermodernism. In the reality imposed by multiculturalism matter only the progress that is inconsistent with the idea of cultural heritage. Today, more and more voices in the political world began to criticize the political and social model imposed by multiculturalism and reaffirm the return to spiritual and cultural values that define Europe.
multiculturalism - cultural pluralism - spiritual identity - hipermodernism - cultural minorities - Religious ethics - Doctrinal Theology