Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Purpose of Life and the Proof Pointing Us to God According to St. Gregory Palamas

The Purpose of Life

"The reason mankind was brought into being by God was so that they might apprehend with their senses the sky, the earth, and everything they contain, as visible objects, and by means of them, go beyond them with their minds to invisible beauties, that they might sing the praises of God, the one Creator of all."

- St. Gregory Palamas 
(Second Homily on the Entry of the Theotokos into the Holy of Holies, 16)

Proof Pointing Us To God

"Let us admire Abraham and the far-famed Melchizedek, who turned to God of their own accord - after they had already attained the age of reason. They had observed that great proof pointing us to God: this universe; the earth; what surrounds it; the combination of elements; the noble harmony of opposites; the vast boundary formed by the heavens which encircle the visible portion of creation; the multitude of stars fixed therein; their varied and wonderful disposition and their movement, which is neither simple nor conflicting, but harmonious, orderly and lyrical; their progress around their orbits; their conjunctions; their shared paths; their alterations; the significant formations which result, according to what experts in these matters tell us. These things and everything else which happens according to nature's law proclaim God who is eternally above them."

- St. Gregory Palamas 
(Second Homily on the Entry of the Theotokos into the Holy of Holies, 28)

Friday, October 18, 2019

Biology, Bioethics and Biotheology (Metr. Hierotheos of Nafpaktos)

By Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

The Orthodox Church has its own realm where all the applications of the teaching and work of Christ take place. The Church cures people and helps them to overcome all problems, even death itself and the fear of death.

Christians also live, however, in a world that has its own peculiarities. In the first centuries there were major persecutions and Christians were taken to be martyred, as happens in the Middle East in our own era. They also suffered from the great Christological and Trinitarian heresies, but even today there are many forms of heresy that afflict the body of the Church. Many other social and scientific problems exist as well.

It has been noted that during the early centuries the Fathers of the Church faced problems originating from classical metaphysics, particularly from Neoplatonism, and for that reason they had to define dogmatic terms, so that revelational truth would not be altered. Today there are similar problems due to more recent philosophy, the Enlightenment, existentialism and German idealism.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The Purpose of the Creation Account in Genesis According to Cyril of Alexandria

By St. Cyril of Alexandria

The divine Moses does not appear before our eyes as one who composed doubtful stories, nor one who launched himself out on this road from simple ambition. He had in mind primarily to contribute to making lives led better. And in fact he did not attempt to discourse subtly on the nature of the things, by speaking about what the first principles are named, or about the elements which proceed from it; these things are, in my opinion, too obscure, and inaccessible to some minds. His goal was to form the spirits of his contemporaries with the doctrines of the truth: because they were being misled and had taken to worshiping each according to his imagination. Their extreme ignorance made them ignore the one God, God by nature, and to worship his creations. Some thought that the sky was god, others the disc of the sun; there were even some wretched enough to allot the glory of the supreme nature to the moon, the stars, the earth, to plants, to the watery element, birds, or to brute animals! They had come to this, and such a terrible sickness had affected all the inhabitants of the earth, when Moses came to their help and revealed himself as the initiator into knowledge of great value for all. He proclaimed clearly that there exists by nature only one Creator of the universe, and radically distinguished Him from all other realities which He had merely brought into being and existence. Considering what was useful, and as clearly as possible, neglecting every excessively subtle point, he restricted himself to deal only with that which was strictly essential.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Science and the Orthodox Church in 18th and Early 19th Century Greece: Sociological Considerations

The complete 18-page text can be read here.

This was a paper read at the XIXth International Conference for the Sociology of Religion (Tübingen, 25-29 August 1987), written and presented by Vasilios N. Makrides.

It consists of the following sections:

1. Introduction
2. Orthodox Traditionalism and its Social Impact
3. The Specific Reasons for the Conflict
4. Social Consequences of the Conflict

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Movie Trailer: "The Current War" (2017)

The Current War is a 2017 American historical drama film directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon and written by Michael Mitnick. The film presents the story of the "war of the currents" between electricity titans Thomas Edison, and partners George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla, which determined whose electrical system would power the modern world. The film stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston among others.