Friday, April 28, 2017

America as a Theological Problem During the (Neo)Hellenic Enlightenment

Sebastian Münster's map of the New World, first published in 1540 ~~ Sebastian was a German cartographer, cosmographer and a Christian Hebraist scholar.

"Ἡ Ἀμερικὴ ὡς θεολογικὸ πρόβλημα τὴν περίοδο τοῦ (νεο)ελληνικοῦ Διαφωτισμοῦ"

"America as a Theological Problem During the (Neo)Hellenic Enlightenment"

Ἑῷα καὶ Ἑσπέρια (Athens) 2 (1994/96) 9-70.

By Vasilios N. Makrides


The discovery of America contributed not only to the radical expansion of human knowledge and to a reorientation of man's place on earth, but caused some theological problems too. These difficulties appeared mainly because of the existence of indigenous populations in the New World. What was the origin of these people? Were they descended from Adam and Eve? Were they affected by the original sin? Had Christ saved them? Why are they not mentioned in the Bible? What was their relation to the inhabitants of the already known world? Among the various answers to these questions in Western Europe, the Preadamite theory by Isaac La Peyrère (1596-1676) should be mentioned here. La Peyrère suggested a polygenetic theory and argued for the existence of human beings on earth before the creation of Adam and Eve. Despite harsh criticism and countermeasures by the religious establishment of that time, La Peyrère s theory tried to reconcile the biblical information with the new discoveries, exerted strong influences in the long run and paved the way for the wider dissemination of polygenism (e.g., by Voltaire).

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Life and Faith of Louis Pasteur (1822 - 1895)

Who contributed more to the saving of human lives than any other scientist? Who has been called the greatest biologist of all time? Who revolutionized medicine and public health with his discoveries? A Christian – Louis Pasteur. Let no one claim that faith in God is detrimental to science; you need look no farther than to this great man who said, “The more I study nature, the more I stand amazed at the work of the Creator.”

Pasteur was a humble, godly Catholic who served God and his fellow man through science. If you enjoy milk that doesn’t spoil in a day, if you enjoy a wide variety of healthy foods, if you can take a quick shot and then live without fear of deadly diseases, if you enjoy a longer life than your ancestors did, you should thank the good doctor from France, because you owe much of your physical health and safety to him. But your ultimate thanks should go to the Great Physician, who taught the Israelites many principles of good health and sanitation in the Bible. Pasteur merely rediscovered and elaborated on two basic ideas from the Old Testament: (1) uncleanness causes disease, (2) life was created, and propagates after its kind.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Can a Scientist Believe in the Resurrection? Three Hypotheses.

By Ian Hutchinson
MIT Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering

I’m a professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT, and this weekend, I’m celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. So are dozens of my colleagues. How can this be?

Hypothesis one: We’re not talking about a literal resurrection. Perhaps it is just an inspiring myth that served to justify the propagation of Jesus’ exalted ethical teachings. A literal resurrection contradicts the known laws of nature. Maybe scientists can celebrate the idea of Jesus’s spirit living on, while his body remained in the grave.

But the first disciples attested to a physical resurrection. How could an untruth logically support high moral character? How could it have sustained the apostles through the extremes of persecution they experienced founding Christianity? And is celebrating a myth consistent with scientific integrity?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Docudrama: "Newton: The Force of God" (2016)

The dying Sir Isaac Newton recounts the major events of his life to his faithful friend John Conduitt: the political context, the natural philosophy, the religion, the enemies, the losses and victories that laid the foundations of the myth of one of the most eminent natural philosophers of all time.

"Newton: The Force of God" produced by Eugenides Foundation and directed by Panos Anestis, is the first Greek docudrama regarding Sir Isaac Newton's life and works.