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1. Philotheos: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Deepa Majumdar Revisiting Bréhier – Differences between Plotinus’ Enneads and Advaita Vedānta
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Bréhier revives the possibility of Indian Upaniṣadic influence on Plotinus, specifically in the area of mysticism – asking what in Plotinus’ philosophy is foreign with respect to the Greek philosophical tradition. After Bréhier there are vigorous defenses of Plotinus’ Greek origins – not all of which respond directly to the key issues he raises, or address Plotinus’ mysticism specifically. My purpose in this paper is not to answer Bréhier, but to revisit him, for the purpose of delineating paradigmatic differences between Plotinus’ metaphysics and that in Advaita Vedānta. Starting with differences in their respective texts and conceptions of the Divine, I explore concrete concepts (Māyā, tolma, the forms, gun․as, etc.), so unique to each tradition that they comprise the heart and essence of their differences. I assert as well that their metaphysical distinctions imply dissimilarities in their modes of mysticism. In this effort I uphold numinous experience above historical influences. This paper therefore has four parts: (1) Revisiting Bréhier, Armstrong, and Others; (2) Defining Terms: Texts, Methods, and Conceptions of the Divine (Striking Similarities); (3) Contrasting Advaita Vedānta and the Enneads (Paradigmatic Differences); and (4) Conclusion.
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2. Philotheos: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Aleksandar Danilović The Ruddy Boy in the Words of the Golden Mouth: Patristic Reception of the Narrative of David and Goliath in the Works of Saint John Chrysostom
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There is almost no Christian who has never heard about John Chrysostom, one of the greatest preachers since the Apostle Paul himself. He is honored as a saint, and his Liturgy is the most celebrated one in the Byzantine Rite even today. On the other hand, the story about the Gittite Goliath and a young boy named David, the future king of Israel and the one from whose royal line Christ will be borne, is one of the most read and used biblical stories. Art, music, popular culture, even sports, and politics – all of them, in their own way, used this story to tell how a tiny ruddy boy can win the giant. But how was it in the time of Saint Chrysostom? How did he read this story? If one knows the difference between the Greek and Hebrew version, which one did John read and preach to his community? Can his approach to this biblical text help us better understand Church Fathers’ exegesis and the Bible itself?
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3. Philotheos: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Aleksandar Milojkov The Concept of Synergy in the Triadology and Anthropology of Saint Augustine
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In this paper, we are going to try to present the concept of synergy in the triadology and anthropology of Saint Augustine. Through the analysis of Augustine’s original texts, we are putting effort to highlight the synergistic interpretation of Augustine’s triadology instead of the essentialist interpretation, which is based on de Régnon’s paradigm as а mainstream exegesis in Orthodox theology. After the triadology, we are making an attempt to analyse the concept of synergy in the anthropology of Saint Augustine – i.e, to interpret the relation between God’s grace and man’s free will in a synergistic key, criticizing the Calvinist monergistic interpretation.
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4. Philotheos: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Kaveh Nassirin Der eigentliche Heidegger. Kontinuität statt „Kehre“: Zur Abkehr von einer Legende der Forschung
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Although it is one of the indispensable standards of relevant research that Heidegger shortly after Being and Time made a „turn“ („Kehre“) in the development of his thinking, it can be shown that this is merely due to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation that began in 1949/50 with an at least incorrect reading of the corresponding passage in the Letter of Humanism. But if this legend of research can be proven as such, the question arises as to what consequences this will have for the comprehension of Heidegger’s thinking, for it is said that with the „turn“, the transcendental approach was given up in favor of an aletheiological one with which it was possible for Heidegger to overcome subjectivism. In rejection of this by now equally canonical interpretation scheme it is shown here that the aletheiological approach is merely a recourse to conceptions important to Heidegger even before Being and Time and that after the failure of its third section – Time and Being – subjectivistic features were rather transferred, partially into a being that was increasingly thought of as an active one, partially into concepts like that of the „first thinker“ („erster Denker“) or the „messenger of being“ („Botenganger des Seins“). All in all, it is argued that the paradigm of „Heidegger‘ s turn“ should be abandoned in order to enable an unobstructed view on Heidegger’s thinking.
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5. Philotheos: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Rastko Jović God’s Disability and Human Ability
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Resurrected Christ comes to the Apostles bearing signs of His torture. His body is a perfect body, but yet his “glorious body of the resurrected Christ is disfigured and disabled in that it still bears the marks of crucifixion.” His ribs have obvious signs of injuries. Resurrected Christ has a perfect body that passes through the walls, and yet with visible wounds, “and by his wounds we are healed” (Is 53:4). United apostles have been with no fear, because His visible “defects” convinced them that eschatology entered present time. It is because of his bodily “imperfections” that they believed in Him. Wounds became a powerful symbol of faith, motivation and conviction. Disability, sickness and other conditions of human beings became incorporated into God, participating in His suffering body.
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6. Philotheos: Volume > 21 > Issue: 1
Milesa Stefanović-Banović Views on the (Serbian Orthodox) Church Calendar as an Element of Cultural Heritage in Serbia: Attitudes on Online Platforms
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The Serbian Orthodox Church is considered by a number of Serbian citizens to be the “guardian” of tradition and cultural heritage. Issues related to church reforms are thus often particularly sensitive, and are perceived by some of the public as a danger to the preservation of cultur­al and religious identity. On the other hand, there are opinions in favor of reforms. In this context, the issue of church calendar reform is of special interest. Although it has been raised for more than a century, it is still as relevant as in the first attempts at the reform thereof. This paper explores the attitudes on online platforms in Serbia on this issue. Is the church calendar perceived as an integral part of the cultural heritage? What are the pros and cons of calendar reform? What would be the consequences of its potential change?
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7. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Abbas Ahsan Analytic Theology and its Method
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I shall present an analysis of analytic theology as primarily characterised by Michael Rea (2011). I shall establish that if analytic theology is essentially characterised with the ambitions outlined by Rea, then it corresponds to a theological realist view. Such a theological realist view would subsequently result in an onto-theology. To demonstrate this, I shall examine how an onto-theological approach to a God of the Abrahamic Faiths (namely, a transcendent God) would prove to be (theologically) incompatible and even hostile. In essence, my argument shall demonstrate that providing analytic theology is essentially characterised with the ambitions Rea alludes to, it is discordant with a transcendent God of the Abrahamic Faiths.
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8. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Marina Ćakić Philo’s Version of the Origin of the Septuagint
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Philo’s work On the Life of Moses contains the story of the origin of the Septuagint (section 2.8–65). The scholars have examined this passage from two different perspectives: explaining the connection between Mosaic Law and the law of nature (2.12–14 and 2:45–53) or examining the very process of translation (2.25–44). Even though dealing with the different aspects of the story, both groups of scholars have come to the same conclusion: Philo claims that the Torah has universal significance. The starting point of this paper is that the two approaches, when taken separately, are insufficient. They both raise two essential questions. First, considering that Philo was using the LXX and not the Hebrew Bible, could it be possible that his claim that the Torah is “an excellent copy” of the law of nature also refers to LXX? Second, even though the Torah is finally translated into Greek – the lingua franca of its day – why would its laws be relevant for the people outside the Jewish communities? In this paper, the analysis of Philo’s story on the LXX origin is compared with the LXX origin account in the Letter of Aristeas. The comparison will demonstrate that the changes Philo introduces into the story are indicative of his two major concerns: the universality of Mosaic law and divine intervention in the process of translation. The contribution of this paper is the acknowledgment that the two mentioned aspects – the universality of the Mosaic law and the divine intervention in the translation process are dependent on each other. The latter made the LXX not merely a translation but the same Torah that was once already given to Moses. Consequently, if the Hebrew Torah and the LXX are equal in every regard, that would mean that the LXX also perfectly reflects the natural law, which makes it relevant for all people.
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9. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Milan Kostrešević Religion, Ethnizitat und Politik im Kontext der Rede über Beschneidung (Gal 5, 2 – 6)
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Paulus spricht das Thema der Beschneidung zum ersten Mal im Galaterbrief 5, 2–6 ausdrücklich an. Die genaue Bedeutung der Beschneidung, sowohl historisch als auch exegetisch, wurde jedoch in der paulinischen Forschung viel diskutiert. Wenn es um die Beschneidung und die Argumentation des Gal geht, geht es um mehr als das, was die Neutestamentler normalerweise betont haben. Historisch gesehen war die Beschneidung auch mit der Unterwerfung von Gedanken und Leidenschaften unter den Willen Gottes sowie mit Idealen der Vollkommenheit und Heiligkeit verbunden. Exegetisch ist Paulus in Gal 5, 2–6 gegen die Beschneidung, weil dies die Aufrechterhaltung der fortwährenden Glaubenserfahrung der Gläubigen, d. h. der Heiligung, gefährden würde. Paulus antwortet auf die Sorge, seine Erfahrung in Christus aufrechtzuerhalten, indem er schreibt, dass der Christus durch seine völlige Hingabe an Gott durch Glaube erkannt werden sollte, eine Hingabe an das heiligende Werk des Geistes, das im Leben des Gläubigen Früchte trägt. Daher analysiert diese Studie, die sich der zeitgenössischen Diskussion der paulinischen Theologie anschliesst, Paulus’ Beziehung zur Beschneidung in Gal 5, 2-6 im Kontext der galatianischen Welt des neutestamentlichen Zeitalters.
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10. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Aleksandar Danilović The Giant and the Underdog
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The story of David and Goliath is one of the most famous biblical stories. It had an impact on many branches of contemporary art. It is also an inevitable part of religious education and general education in all schools. Knowing the fact that the Church Fathers have an essential part in the lives of many Christians today (in the Orthodox Church, they were role models from the very beginning), it is interesting to see how did they, these original theologians, read and interpret the story of David and Goliath. Was it for them, in the time when the Bible was the most sacred book for all, important as it is for us today? Did people during the sports events of that time talk on the markets about the underdog who struck the giant? Additionally, if one looks at the ancient Greek and Hebrew text, one will find out that the Hebrew version, which was used as the source for most modern translations, is 40% longer than the Greek one. Could the works of the Fathers help us to determine which version of the story is the Holy Scripture for Christians today?
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11. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Srećko Petrović Is Nicholai Velimirovich the Author of the Book Words to the Serbian People Through the Dungeon Window?
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Bishop Nicholai Velimirovich (1881–1956) spent WWII in Nazi captivity. After the war, in 1946, he left for the United States, where he lived for the rest of his life. During his life, he enjoyed great spiritual and moral authority, both in Eastern Orthodox Church as well as in a wider international and ecumenical context. However, his public image was significantly changed 30 years after his death, i.e. after the publication of several pieces attributed to him posthumously, and especially after the book entitled To the Serbian People Through the Dungeon Window was published. In the present paper, we will consider some aspects of this book, with special reference to the questions of the authenticity of this work.
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12. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Todor Mitrović Heights We Live By: On the Religious Coherence between Space and Cyberspace
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This paper deals with the latent religious aspects of the tremendous impact that the Inter­net manifests in every single segment of contemporary culture. Through comparative research of the ways primordial, archetypal cognitive matrices migrated throughout different modalities of our thinking and behavior in the 20th and 21st centuries, the following research argues that deep religious longings might have been hidden (ignored, even abused) in the various ways the planetary informational network is exploited in our times. As a consequence, an alarming need for philosophical and theological rethinking and re-inspiring of this prodigious, unprecedented and omnipresent social prosthesis is recognized.
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13. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 2
Đurđina Šijaković Maidanik The Powerful and Disturbing Touch: Gendered Supplication in Euripides’ Hecuba
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This paper proposes a reading of two episodes of Hecuba's supplication in Euripides' drama Hecuba. I am hoping to show that the female protagonist Hecuba, when begging for mercy, uses the ritual potential of the supplication act, while the two male characters secularize the primarily ritual act, with the result of escaping from it. The dramatized rite of supplication can serve for examination of normative engagements in the sphere of religious issues and gender roles, and the relationship between speech and gesture on stage. I am examining some aspects of the supplication rite and analysing chosen sections of the dramatic text, with the goal of mapping them within the coordinates of ritual/secularized, gestures/words, female/male.
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14. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Wolfgang Speyer Zur Bewusstseinslage des heutigen abendlandischen Menschen
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15. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Anđelija Milić Clarification of the meaning of doctor in New Testament through the example of St. Luke
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This paper develops the meaning of a doctor in the wing of the Christian tradition, by starting the thesis from the best and first known physician in the New Testament: St. Luke. Then the premise he was even in a doctor is questioned. However, the whole paper continues to follow the symbolism St. Luke indubitably has not only as one of the Evangelists, but parallelly as a physician, so it then questions what such an expertise would mean when one of the establishing figures is attached to a particular profession. Medical effort is then connected to the notion of Christus medicus as a primary healer. From that point on, a question of the miraculous healing and its effect on human approach to God emerges. This problem occurs when freedom as a central to the acceptance of God’s deeds is installed. In this case, I discuss it on the grounds of a passage from The Grand Inquisitior. Finally, the problem of freedom in the multifaceted context of healing is to be circled in the discussion about the problematic positions both doctors and patients encounter, and ultimately medicine itself.
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16. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Romilo Knežević Freedom and Personality in the Theology of Maximus the Confessor: A Modern Question to a Church Father
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17. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Andrej Jeftić John the Evangelist as the Forerunner of the Word: Reading St Maximus the Confessor’s Ambiguum 21
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The paper deals with the Amb. 21 of St Maximus the Confessor in which he attempts to resolve the ambiguity posed by St Gregory the Theologian calling John the Evangelist ‘the forerunner of the Word’. Maximus’ solution is analysed in detail as it provides significant insights into not only his understanding of the iconic nature of the Gospel as it relates to the world to come, but also into the way he develops his theological reasoning, as well as his understanding of the authority of the patristic authors.
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18. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Spyros P. Panagopoulos Arethas of Caesarea’s Platonism in His Commentary on the Categories of Aristotle: Aristotelianism vs. Platonism in 10th Century Byzantium
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19. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Abbas Ahsan The logical inconsistency in making sense of an ineffable God of Islam
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With the advent of classical logic we are continuing to observe an adherence to the laws of logic. Moreover, the system of classical logic exhibits a prominent role within analytic philosophy. Given that the laws of logic have persistently endured in actively defining classical logic and its preceding system of logic, it begs the question as to whether it actually proves to be consistent with Islam. To consider this inquiry in a broader manner; it would be an investigation into the consistency between Islam and the logic which has been the predominant driving force of analytic philosophy. Despite the well documented engagement and novel contributions made in the field of logic by Arab and Islamic theologians/logicians, I think this question deserves examination not just in terms of classical logic but also from perspectives which go beyond classical logic, namely, non-classical logic. Doing so, would I believe, retain this inquiry within the purview of analytic philosophy despite the reference to non-classical logic. To be more specific, this question would be directed toward the Islamic theologian who espouses the system of classical logic in attempting to make sense of an absolute ineffable God of Islam. The inquiry would seek to determine if classical logic is consistent (amenable) in making sense of an absolute ineffable God of Islam. This would principally involve an analysis which determines whether the metaphysical assumptions of the laws of logic (more specifically the law of non-contradiction) are consistent in making sense of an absolute ineffable God of Islam. I shall argue that it is inconsistent. I shall establish my position on this matter by demonstrating why classical logic is inconsistent (not amenable) with an absolute ineffable God of Islam. Although, I am principally concerned with classical logic, my argument is as applicable to all earlier systems of logic as much as it is to classical logic. This is on the basis that both systems of logic, namely, all preceding systems and classical logic, consider the laws of logic as defining features.
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20. Philotheos: Volume > 20 > Issue: 1
Markus Enders The phenomenon Sadhu Sundar Singh (1888–ca. 1929) and its relevance for Christianity in India and Europe
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