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1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Hamideh Amiryazdani God or Goddess? Neopaganism and Feminine Tendency
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The modern manifestation of paganism is called the neo-pagan movement to distinguish it from the great mass of ancient or aboriginal religions that are also lumped together as pagan. The distinguishing feature of the neo-pagan movement is that it can trace its roots through the publications of various authors beginning in the 19th century. One of the most important new religious movements is the Dianic tradition. It started in the United States in the 1960’s during the feminist movement. While it can claim its roots all the way back to Stone Age matrilineal cultures – and while goddess worshipping (women focused religions can easily be identified across the ancient world) -it was really the combination of Starhawk and Z. Budapest that launched what is known today as the Dianic “tradition”. However, they stood on theshoulders of the neo pagan revival of the 19th and early 20th centuries. There have been tensions between neopaganism proper and feminist spirituality that have tended over the long run to make neopaganism even more tolerant, andfeminist spirituality more open.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Evgeny Arinin Philosophy of Religion and Religious Studies in Russia: Case of “Religiovedenie”
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The Scientific and Philosophical (“non-Orthodoxy”) researches of religion in Russia as well as in Europe begin in XIX century. In additions of that time for the name of the new and special sphere of the scientific interest, the common European terms “the History of Religion” and “the Science of Religion” were used. The Russian term “religiovedenie” for the first time was used in 1908 (by Leo Tolstoy) and 1932 (in the preface of the book edited by A. T. Luckachevski). The authors of the edition in 1932 had already opposed their “harmonious successive dialectal – materialism theory of religion by the Marx-Engels-Lenin” to alien “bourgeois religious studies”. Then the given term was practically forgotten till 1960. Dmitry Ugrinovich, the author of the first monograph in Russian, including the term “religiovedenie” (1973), opposed the “Bourgeois Religious Studies” and “Marxist Religiovedenie” (‘Marxist Scientific Philosophy of Religion’). In the “post-communist” Russia there appeared and spread a great number of new approaches in Religious Studies and Philosophy of Religion: “Comparative Studies”, “Exclusive-Holistic” (‘Orthodoxy Religious Studies’, ‘Esoterically Religious Studies’, etc.) and “Dialogue” (‘Meta-Theology’, ‘General Theory of Religion’, etc.).
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Timur R. Atabekov Christian Ethics and Inter–ethnical Relations
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This paper examines the impact and the special place of Christian ethics in inter-ethnical relations in society. The author shows that great importance to the proper understanding of the issue of inter-ethnic relations is an understanding and the presence of moral and ethical principles that are lost in modern society. Therefore, the paper shows how it is possible to maintain and develop a system of moral and ethical values through practical understanding and application of the principles of Christian ethics and true Christianity. Specifically, by sequential analysis of the two main commandments of Jesus Christ about sincere love to God and to neighbor, on which rests the whole basis of Christian ethics. Furthermore the author gave a short analysis of the influence of the spread of early Christianity, in the format of inter-ethnical relations at that time, and also the main points of Russian orthodox clergy in this matter.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Harsha Badkar Mahatma Gandhi’s Philosophy of Religion
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Religion has always been a very important aspect of human life. Different religions dictate peace and good will and make an attempt to direct human beings towards morality and spirituality. In spite of this so many battles have been fought under the name of religion. The major problem is, why is it that there is so much of violence, intolerance, hatred and cruelty exhibited by religious believers? Why do so many acts of terrorism take place under the name of religion? And the answer is the dogmatic or fanatic approach held by religious believers that represents unwillingness to recognize or respect differences in opinions and beliefs. It rejects the possibility of critical evaluation of religious beliefs. And it is here that the significance of philosophical approach to religion becomes significant. The purpose of this paper is to introduce Mahatma Gandhi’s way of philosophizing about religion which has the capacity to resolve the religious conflicts that are tearing apart the world today through its violent and terroristic tendencies. The path of Religious Tolerance paved by Gandhi has the potential to become the source of light in the darkness of violence that surrounds the whole world today.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Milenko Budimir Historical Religious Indifference and its Links to Contemporary Apatheism
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The term “apatheism” was coined in a May 2003 article in the Atlantic magazine by Jonathan Rauch and was used to describe a certain attitude towards religious belief described as “[…] a disinclination to care all that much about one’s own religion, and an even stronger disinclination to care about other people’s [religion][…]”. Rauch explains that both religious believers as well as non-believers can be apatheists, arguing that apatheism is not a new position alongside theism, atheism, and agnosticism, but rather an attitude one has towards religious belief or non-belief, and that this attitude is a new and most importantly a positive development in human culture. In this paper, I will compare this contemporary view of apatheism with similar manifestations throughout different times in the history of ideas, including the idea of practical atheism as well as the Western Christian concept of indifferentism and Pascal’s treatment of that concept. I’ll also describe what these historical precedents have in common as well as how they differ; concluding with what I believe is the chief difference between them, namely, that the sense of apatheism that Rauch is advocating is inherently positive as opposed to the negative connotations traditionally associated with such a stance.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Anish Chakravarty God Neither Loves Nor Hates Anyone
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The title seems to suggest that God is neutral or indifferent to the universe that it permeates. Its neutrality being necessary for its immanence is acceptable but not its indifference. Following Spinoza’s monistic thinking we explore here the question as to how the ultimate reality, can or cannot be indifferent to its own self (the universe). Permeating the universe, God becomes a universal form or concept into which the human can imagine any version of thought-extension in accordance with the nature of his/her need. Indeed, Spinoza finds God formal it is the supreme substance which can and does inspire man’s polytheistic practices, as sustained by panentheistic faith. Moreover, for Spinoza relation between God and the universe is one of rational causality - God permeates the manifest universe, and the universe through its intelligibility illustrates God. The phrase in the title is not a denial of God’s desirability for man. Rather, it is a reaffirmation of God’s openness to the whole universe, by virtue of which it is one with Nature and vice versa. Each becomes explicable in terms of the other as both seep in rationality validating Spinoza’s ‘deus sive natura’.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Stéphane Courtois On What Grounds should Religious Practices be Accommodated?
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In this paper, I seek to challenge two prevailing views about religious accommodation. The first maintains that religious practices deserve accommodation only if they are regarded as something unchosen on a par with the involuntary circumstances of life people must face. The other view maintains that religious practices are nothing more than preferences but questions the necessity of their accommodation. Against these views, I argue that religious conducts, even on the assumption that they represent voluntary behaviours, deserve in certain circumstances certain kinds of accommodation. In the first part of the paper, I explain how religious conscience should be understood and show that they must be understood as one possible expression, along with nonreligious or secular beliefs, of a person’s convictions of conscience. In the second part, I demonstrate that the main ground for religious accommodation is the need to protect fairly, through such rights as religious freedom and freedom of conscience, the ethical commitments and conscientious beliefs of all citizens.
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Susmita Rani Das, Jitendra Nath Sarker Religious Globalization: A New Concept
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We live in an age of globalization, which aims at one world. Naturally a question arises in a modern-mind: “What then should be the religion of one world?” The present paper will aim at finding out a reasonable reply to this question. This task, therefore, presupposes a philosophical investigation into the nature of religion. Religion has been explained in this paper as the asset of human soul, a unique realization achieved through strenuous spiritual exercise of humans belonging to any faith. A faith or creed is mere a way or means to achieve what religion really means – not religion itself. Knowledge of self, a unique spiritual achievement, which enables someone to behold all others in himself/herself and himself/herself in all others, is our expected religion of one world. Religion as it is explained in this paper, therefore, is love for all. And the most suitable and conducive social environment of attaining this ‘love for all’ is a multi-inter-religious society or the society of mosaic religious cultures by which, we mean a new society consisting of all traditional religious communities, each of which will be respected as equally honorable irrespective of the number of their followers – none of them will be dominating or dominated.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Petros Farantakis Mind and Religious Self: A Convergence?
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Since mind is not a physical entity, we may assume that it is the awareness of consciousness that takes place within the brain. That is, perception, memory, imagination, emotion and thought. On the other hand, chemical structures are stored, in the complex dynamic system of the brain, forming information in sets of synaptic connections. Furthermore, self includes essential traits which constitute person’s uniqueness and independency. If we come to define spiritual identity, we may say it is the permanent sense of self that addresses vital questions about nature, the purpose and the meaning of life. What can lead us to spiritual life is both religion and philosophy. If we isolate spiritual life from the rest forms of life, we don’t have an overall picture of science and the world. However pure religious knowledge is not founded only on natural evidence but mostly on revealed information. Hence ecclesial hypostasis accepts our biological nature but wishes to hypostasize it in a non-biological way, to give it eternal life. In this way man is disclosed as a person contributing to the idea of an open ethical consideration.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Marian Hillar The Stoic Logic and Egyptian Divine Metaphysics as the Sources of the Tertullian Doctrine of the Trinity
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Tertullian (ca. 170- ca. 220) was the first to coin the Latin term trinitas for the description of the three divine entities in his doctrine of the Trinity. He translated the Greek term trias which was used in describing the Christian triad. Before Tertullian, Justin Martyr developed the Logos Christology and described the Christian Triad in terms of rank or order (taxis) of its members. The term goes back to Pythagoras and can be found in many cultures as representing groupings of three divinities. Tertullian’s innovation was that he developed the concept of a triune God applied to the Christian myth and changed the meaning of the original term trias. Tertullian shows in his writings enormous erudition and knowledge of cultures and literatures of his time, a familiarity with Egyptian religion, and mystery religions, Greek as well as Egyptian. He found useful the Egyptian concept of the trinity for interpretation of the Christian biblical mythology and, at the same time, he explained it in metaphysical terms using the Middle Platonic Logos doctrine and the Stoic logical categories. His theory is based on the assumption of unity and unchangeability of the substance i.e., the spirit as the substance of God and the relative distinctiveness of the three members of the divinity.
11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Ivan Kaltchev Religion – A Very Contradictory Phenomenon
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In this research the problem of liberty is considered in the context of religion as I am searching for an answer of the question if religion is not the main reason for limitation of freedom? My research is based on the work of John S. Mill “On liberty”. An essential specification for this analysis is the fact that it will be mainly interested in Christianity and to rather less extent in the other religions. There are a great number of studies on the question about religion which are inevitably influenced by the historical time, events and public attitude. Tendencies of limitation of researches are noticed as well as periods of rapid advance of discussions and elaborations on similar issues. As a significant may be determined the event in which during the centuries of most rapid advance of the Christian church – for example the Middle Ages, the studies in the area of religiousness are highly limited, one might even say forbidden, as a form of heresy, under the threat of punishment. In present days when church has now weaker influence on social life, the discussion of issues of religious nature is not only within the church figures, but is also freely, regardless of the religious doctrines. This is also the reason to go to more radical concepts, inadmissible for the Christian doctrine.
12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Zaphira Kambouri The Enablement and Importance of Religious Syncretism in Ancient Greece
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In my paper I will explore religious syncretism in Hellenic mythology and religion. I will attempt to present why we are led to religious syncretism in Hellenic world, how this was enabled by the loose social stratus and the lack of a priestly clan. Most importantly how it affected Hellenic society and civilization. Could it have been the motivating power – or at least one of its constituents - behind the marvel of Hellenic civilization and its achievements? How can this knowledge of syncretism in Hellenic religion and its evolution aid us today in a world of growing religious tensions, religious intolerance and holy wars?
13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Nadezhda Katunina Levels of Spirituality of the Person
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Traditionally philosophers distinguish three levels of spirituality: personal, social, transcendental. The subject of the given research is the inner world of a person. Complexity of studying the nature of spirituality of a person is that in the very subject (inner world of a person) there is disintegration of subject and object. The consciousness of a person (mind and reason) acts as the subject of cognition of the inner world; an object is the sphere of the unconscious which the internal life joins in. The problem of distinction of levels of spirituality of the inner world of a person is connected with differentiation of consciousness and spiritual life.
14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Seung Chul Kim Buddhist Appropriation of Darwinian Theory in Modern Northeast Asia
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This paper inquiries into the way in which the worldview of natural science was received by the Buddhist world in modern Northeast Asia, focusing on the figures of Han Yong Woon (1879-1944), a Korean Zen monk, and two Japanese Buddhist scholars, Kiyozawa Manshi (1863-1903) and Minakata Kumagusu (1867-1841). These distinguished Buddhist scholars lived through a turbulent period in the histories of Korea and Japan when the two countries faced demands to modernize in their encounters with Western civilization. My paper deals with the questions of why and how the three scholars became interested in understanding social Darwinism as a worldview rooted in the Darwinian model of nature. Part of this story has to do with Northeast Asia’s interest in progress made in the natural sciences and how the methods of Western science were appropriated in distinctively Korean and Japanese ways that remain of interest even today.
15. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Victor Koppula Babu Yoga in Bhagavath Gita and its Relevance in the New Millennium
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“The Gita is not only my Bible or my Quran; it is more than that, it is my mother. I lost my earthly mother, who gave me birth, long ago, but this eternal mother has completely filled her place by my side ever since. She has never changed. She has never failed me. When I am in difficulty or distress I seek refuge in her bosom”1, says Mahatma Gandhi the father of India(Anand T. Hingorani and A. Hingorani (eds.), The Encyclopedia of Gandhian Thoughts (New Delhi: All India Congress Committee, 1985, p. 136). Gandhi considered it as a kind dictionary which he consulted constantly to solve his problems of life. This sacred book influenced the life of Gandhi very much. The influence of Gita can be seen not only in the life of Gandhi but also in the life of many important personalities of modern and contemporary India. It is because of the uniqueness of this sacred book. The essence of the Hindu religion is found in thy source. It is both philosophical and devotional in nature. Its content is theoretical as well as practical. Many great people in India sought in Gita inspiration for their lives and action. It has been the source of strength for people from all walks of life. Bhagavad Gita can be studied from many angles. Its subject matter consists of many interesting themes. One of them is yoga. It is dealt at length in it. It is also an important theme. Many important teachings of Gita are centered around this theme. This paper tries to present some of those insights on yoga. This article is divided into four parts. The first part deals with yoga and its origin. The second part explains about Karma yoga. The third part throws light on Jnana yoga. The last part explains Bhakti yoga.
16. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Uen-fu Kuo Whitehead on God and the World (as a Chinese Sees It)
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This paper is intended to combine Whitehead’s three brilliant and splendid work: 1) Science and the Modern World, 2) Religion in the Making, 3) Process and Reality; an essay in cosmology. This is to show Whitehead’s insight with sympathetic understanding and reinterpretation in contrast to The Chinese View of Creative Creativity. “God and the World” is the title of the last chapter of Whitehead’s Process and Reality which indicates the relation between God and the world being the last issue with which Whitehead’s metaphysics tries to deal. God is of dipolar nature; the primordial and consequent nature of God is closely associated with eternal objects and the transient world respectively. As Whitehead maintains, it is as true to say that God is permanent and the world is fluent, as that the world is permanent and God is fluent. Whitehead envisages a harmonious and comprehensive relationship between God and the world such as to consume all kinds of apparent contradictions.
17. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Claudia Melica Greek Art and Religion and their Relation to Ethical Life in Hegel’s Phenomenology of the Spirit
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The aim of this paper is to analyse the critical interpretation of Greek art and religion provided by Hegel in the “Religion in the form of art” section of Chapter VII of his Phenomenology of the Spirit (1807). The study will, thus, commence with an overview of the role played by art in the religion of ancient Greece, and then examine the reasons for the historical decline of this special phenomenon and the rise of Christianity, a religion referred to by Hegel as a “visible religion” as it is required to “disclose” and manifest its contents: the spirit (defined as the mark left by the events of the life of each member of mankind). Having focused special attention on the relationship between the people of ancient Greece and their gods and the role played by the concept of the ethical life (Sittlichkeit), the paper will then proceed to investigate the relationship between the individual, the population and the ancient polis or Greek State as illustrated in the early works of Hegel and in the Phenomenology of the Spirit (Chap. VI, A), in which Hegel develops his theory of ethical relations in ancient Greece as exemplified in the model of sibling relations within the family. The paper continues with an examination of Hegel’s criticism of Greek rituals and the inability of the modern world to understand such practices from the perspective of the life of the time, concluding, in line with Hegel, that our experience is now an external process as we no longer embrace the interiority of the ethical life of the past. Indeed, as Hegel considers the “spirit of destiny offered by those [ancient] works of art” to go beyond the ethical life of a nation, the fact that those works of art are no more considered useful and important is a tragic event, even though this destiny has shown us the spirit within them, and thanks to this tragic end, we have finally been able to reunite all the Greek gods in a single Pantheon in which “the spirit is conscious of itself as a spirit”.
18. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Pavlos E. Michaelides Silence: The Religious Proof of Socrates’ Wisdom in Plato’s Apology
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This paper explores Socrates’ realization that the silence of his divine sign (daimonion) sanctions that ‘something good’ was born interiorly from divine ignorance (Ap. 40b). In effect, rooted in ignorance the Socratic daimonion points the way to the god by way of silence. Foremost, the god speaks directly in silence, is silence-in-itself. The daimonion either speaks by tramping Socrates’ morally unwarranted actions, even in small matters (40a4-6), apotreptically reducing him to silence; or else speaks by its very silence through lack of intervention as on the day of his trial (40b-d). Either way, daimonion, divinely grounds and confirms the good and virtuous ex silencio. The daimonion, wholly asymmetrical utterly non-rational and mysterious, constitutes the crux of Socrates’ enigmatic profession of ignorance initiating his perpetual state of aporia; but more positively, is here explored as that which unceasingly initiates the interior realization of virtue and knowledge, engaging transformative silence steeped in thauma –wonder– personal encounter, dialogue, philosophical inquiry, eros and enthusiasmos (to be filled with the deity, theion ti daimonion ti —, something godly, morally ingenious). Socrates himself, points to the silence of daimonion on the day of his trial and during the entirety of his defense, as great proof (mega tekmerion – 40c2) that his speech and actions were right and divinely sanctioned; that the happening of his death is likely to be “a good thing” (40b7). Mostly, Socrates’ divine silence conceals the moral-religious proof of his exemplary philosophic way of life, his freedom of speech ignorance and wisdom.
19. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Makoto Ozaki Religion and the State from Tanabe’s Dialectical Perspective
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Tanabe Hajime, the Kyoto School philosopher of modern Japan, proposes a new idea of the relationship between religion and politics in terms of the triadic logic of species that is motivated by the religious moment of repentance. Even the state existence has the inherently radical evil as in the case of the individual person, due to its duality of the species level of being. This means that the state existence is on the way of actualization of the genus like universality, while always involving in the regression into the past substrative being which prevents it from realizing its own universality. In other words, the state existence is not absolute as such but rather a balanced being between ideality and reality, absolute and relative. This entails that politics is in need of perpetual reformation in connection with the religious act of repentance for sin and evil deeply lurked in human beings from time immemorial. Tanabe’s Logic of Species as the dialectic elucidates the negative mediation of politics and religion from the metanoetic perspective and sheds a new light on the relation of world religion and politics today.
20. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 61
Michele Paolini Paoletti Naturalism (Almost) Self-defeated
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In this paper, I shall try to present and defend some arguments against naturalistic evolutionism that are partly inspired by A. Plantinga’s well-known evolutionary argument against naturalism. I give two different characterizations of naturalistic evolutionism: according to the first, it is the view for which, for every human activity, that activity is governed by adaptive functions and nothing else (N.E.1); according to second, it is the view for which, for most human activities, those activities are governed by adaptive functions and nothing else (N.E.2). Both versions of naturalistic evolutionism fall in trouble when they have to ground the truth of metaphysical beliefs, even including the beliefs that N.E.1, that N.E.2, that N.E.1 is true and that N.E.2 is true. Thus, it seems either that naturalistic evolutionism is false and self-defeating or that its defense is a huge metaphysical task to undertake than one could expect.