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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 19, Issue 10, 2009
Return of the Polish Brethren in the Perspective of a New Stage of Universalism

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Displaying: 1-8 of 8 documents

1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 10
Brethren with an Appeal
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2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 10
Zbigniew Ogonowski, Lesław Kawalec Socinianism in the Intellectual History of Europe
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The article is preceded by “Introductory Remarks”, in which the author, for the sake of comparison, outlines the situation of Socinianism (in the 17th and 18th centuries) in Holland, England and France. The main part of the article is devoted to the discussion of the German scene, and describes the subject in seven points, namely: 1. The 17th century—the orthodoxy of the Protestant Germany in its fight against the Socinian phantom; 2. Leibniz; 3. The 18th century: orthodoxy and the Neologians; 4. The stance of Lessing; 5. Socinianism as seen through Kantian-tinted spectacles; 6. Otto Fock: the first modern, scientific monograph of Socinianism; 7. Wilhelm Dilthey on the role of Socinianism in the intellectual history of Europe.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 10
Jerzy J. Kolarzowski, Lesław Kawalec The Community of the Polish Brethren, also Called Arians, as Seen by a Psycho-historian
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The Community of the Polish Brethren operated in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1563–1658. Over this period the condition of toleration worsened from acceptance to the decree of banishment. The author analyzes the dynamics of the religious movement: its objectives, achievements and the conflicts with the society they were part of. The evolution, both within the community and in external relations, required the inclusion of the elements of Social Psychology into historical narration.
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 10
Maciej Sienicki Mikołaj Sienicki (1521–1582): A Polish Brother at a Time when All the Szlachta Were (Still) Brethren
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In the tradition of the Cracow Academy, Mikołaj Sienicki tried to establish a practical link between critical humanism and religious Reform by leading his compatriots from orality to literacy, from the culture of the spoken language to the culture of the written language. In his speeches he combined new conceptual maps with pragmatic objectives and demonstrated how these were referred to in the existing texts, both legal and religious. As a speaker he was able to satisfy the emotional needs of his multicultural, partly pagan audiences by a skilful use of the spoken discourse and, at the same time to inspire them with a critical and rational approach to new European realities; to reconcile Sarmatism with the rule of law.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 10
Wiera Paradowska, Ryszard Paradowski Universal Pattern of Culture and the Dialectical Metaphysics of Choice
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The article presents the original concept of “dialectical metaphysics of choice”, founded on a “dualistic” idea of divided primary being (divided into “me” and “notme”) and “metaphysical experience” of this division. “Metaphysical choice” of the treatment “me” and “not me” by themselves and by each other is the way of the creation of values. The presentation of the metaphysical system is preceded by a non-religious interpretation of the Book of Genesis, leading to the thesis that the Bible as the religious book is just a “half” of the same book as “the book of culture”, containing “universal pattern of culture”, which is compounded of two main principles (authoritarian and antiauthoritarian) and the (suggested) choice between them.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 10
Aleksander Sitkowiecki An Arian in the New World: The Brazil Journal of Christopher Arciszewski
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Christopher Arciszewski (1592–1656), Arian mercenary and man of many facets, conducted a journal in which, it is suspected, he described military campaigns, the state of the colony and other interesting phenomena he was able to observe during his time of service in Brazil. In 1641, Gerard Vossius was completing his magnum opus De theologia. In Chapter 8 of the first volume, Vossius discusses the “cult of the demon” among various peoples. As an example the Netherlander erudite provides a colorful description of such a cult among the Brazilian Tapuya tribe. Since the author never traveled to Brazil, he makes use of the observations of Christopher Arciszewski. How does an Arian, brought up in an atmosphere of intense pluralism and far-reaching tolerance towards other belief systems (or at least imbued with a strong relativism), react when he encounters, first-hand, a culture utterly different, and completely alien to him? His presentation of a hierarchically constructed morality existent among various cannibalistic tribes is, in a sense, an intellectual breakthrough. Instead of treating the nativescollectively as one homogenous culture, as simply “savages”, Arciszewski distinguishes between various cultural units, and treats them individually. The nobleman attempts to convey their own views of morality not on the basis of European ethical systems, but on the local ones in place. In his day, such ideas were nearly unthinkable for most educated Europeans. Cannibalism of any kind was perceived as godless behavior, a sort of devilry, which would eventually be abolished with coming of the “light of Christianity” to the New World and the inevitable Europeanization of the natives. The reader can marvel at the extent to which Arciszewski is willing go in his relativism, to the point of sympathizing with the Tapuya. He allows them to explain to the reader the functioning of theirendo-cannibalistic culture. Arciszewski adds to the rationalization of cannibalism a detailed description of the death-rite among the Tapuya, presenting these ceremonial customs in accordance with their own beliefs, as something potentially interesting for humanistic intellectuals back in the Old World. Vossius’ book also discusses the question of the tribe’s spiritual beliefs: their conceptions of good and evil, deities, etc. The reader once again witnesses Arciszewski’s readiness to accept beliefs and deities completely unknown to European religion. The author does not prima facie discount the possibility that the “universal laws” operating in the Old World have no place in the Brazilian wilderness. His philosophical outlook, demonstrated by his rationalization of what had before been considered “magical” or “irrational”, is surely a foreshadowing of the rationalism of Enlightenment, whose modes of thinking constitute the core-foundation for alllater philosophical and scientific inquiry. Arciszewski, as an Arian brother par excellence, essentially operated with such conceptual tools as relativism, toleration and universalism, and his intellectual arsenal did not altogether differ from our own. As such, Arciszewski, and Europeans like him, helped free the Western worldview of its mediaeval philosophically limited conceptions of the cosmos, and propelled it in new directions of inquiry. This led eventually to a decided shifting of the European worldview away from superstition towards reason: the most definitively crucial moment in European intellectual history.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 10
Lesław Kawalec Ethos of the Polish Unitarians: A Chance for Today
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This article sets out to propose some characteristic features of the intellectual and ethical attitudes which, in the popular belief and scholarly communities alike, stand for ideals worthy of promoting as ones which could underpin a modern society where both believers and unbelievers can feel at home. The “ethos” is construed to be about the sort of behaviour logically stemming from a tolerant outlook on the one hand, and an intellectual commitment to a noble cause worthy of one’s efforts, on the other.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 19 > Issue: 10
Janusz Kuczyński Afterword: The Return of the Polish Brethren in the Perspective of a New Stage of Universalism
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