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articles in english
1. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Theresa Angert-Quilter St. Thecla, Apostle and Martyr
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This presentation focuses on the story of the most famous woman of early Christianity, Thecla of Iconium. Reading from the more original Tischendorf text brings to the fore a number of ethical matters that were important in the development of early Christianity. In this presentation, I will focus on matters of healing and grief, matters of filial obligation, freedom and matters of victim-offender relationships. In particular, the matter of blaming the victim is addressed in the ancient document, the Acts of Thecla. The kindness of companionship in a time of grief leads to healing and the Gospel is described as freedom and joyful service. Thecla stands as an example of faith, courage and freedom. She is a model of women’s leadership in Christianity. She models women administering the sacraments, teaching, traveling as a missionary and healing. She is known as the first martyr and as an apostle equal to St. Paul of Tarsus. Her role in the Early Church helped legitimate women in leadership positions. In today’s world the memory of her example gives purpose and meaning to ordained women of the Christian churches.
2. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Jarosław Babiński Irreligion as a Contemporary Phenomenon
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Irreligion is a new phenomenon in the modern world. According to Prof. Bartnik (famous Polish theologian), it may be understood as referring to anti-religion – in opposition to religion. The socio-economic changes during the 1960s and 1970s are the main sources of irreligion, especially in business ethics, which spill over into our personal life and workplace: a difference between personal life and the world of work. Nowadays irreligious ideas exist in almost all areas of human activity. Negative attitudes to religious elements, particularly to Christianity, are present in philosophy, art, exact science, socio-political life and the media. Irreligion constitutes a very serious threat to traditional value systems and has a great impact on the relativization of truth. It calls into question the Christian-cultural meaning of the heritage of European civilization and destroys the boundary between good and evil. In the name of unlimited freedom, irreligion insists on the necessity of making use of the pragmatic category of usefulness and profit. Irreligious trends bring a great challenge to many modern people and their faith. They should be aware of the dangers and stand up to everything that would cause the loss of spiritual religious identity. Such a situation determines all the efforts in the reading of the signs of the times as well as activity in all dimensions of human existence. The lack of faith in our own capabilities and in the effectiveness of the activity of state democratic institutions, socio-political apathy, and quietest thinking in socio-political spheres are a great reproach to the faithful of the modern era because they create conditions for the introduction of religious ideas and their legalization.
3. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Dan Chițoiu Inquiry as an Existential Attitude: The Way of Eastern Christian Philosophizing
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The Eastern Christian philosophy can be described as a radical inquiry in the phenomenological acceptation, and one reason is the fact that the philosophy in this cultural and spiritual tradition is understood as an experiential approach. The scope of philosophical life is not a gain of true or ultimate knowledge, but the union with the ultimate personal reality. Yet, the attaining of this goal not only implies a continuous and gradual change in the human, but also the activation of potentialities (or virtualities) that present what we call ‘world’. This unusual understanding for modern times was active for over a millennium in Eastern Christianity and can be especially productive today, when we comprehend more and more thanks to quantum physics, the active and complex influence of man on physical reality. Philosophy is not a passive reflection on reality, but an inquiry with active consequences on reality.
4. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Gary Stephen Elkins A Trinitarian Response to the Euthyphro Dilemma
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The “Euthyphro dilemma” poses the question of whether the good is “holy because it is loved” or is the good “loved because it is holy?” The first option suggests that the good is the subjective whim of God. In principle, an act of murder could be good simply because God declares it to be good. The alternative (i.e., the good is “loved because it is holy”) suggests that even God, it would seem, is subservient to external moral standards. Thus, we have the Euthyphro predicament. This paper will present a Trinitarian response to the problem. It will argue that the doctrine of the Trinity avoids the pitfalls of divine command theory, because certain features of the Trinity (e.g., truth-bearing, life-affirming) make sense of morality only if there are persons with essential metaphysical and moral attributes who perfectly co-exist together throughout all eternity. Thus, the Trinity offers the most reasonable, non-circular, explanatory stopping point for morality. The Trinity is not subject to some eternal moral standard; otherwise, the Trinity would lack perfection. Nor is morality the result of mere divine impulse. Rather, the best explanation to the dilemma posed by Socrates is that morality flows from three perfectly holy, loving, omnipotent and omniscient persons who have co-existed together in impeccable harmony throughout all eternity.
5. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Roberta Franchi Philosophy as a Way of Life: The Life of Macrina by Gregory of Nyssa
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With the Cappadocian Fathers the term ‘philosophy’ finds a new meaning: Christian faith and asceticism. In The life of Macrina by Gregory of Nyssa, the first biographical writing with a female protagonist, a girl left the secular dimension and decided to turn to monastic life, a life with philosophical dimension. Her progress towards holiness was marked by the death of many relatives of hers, a sequence of sorrows she faced like an undefeated athlete, according to Paul. She was able to let reason prevail against passion; she turned to rationality (ch.10), and became an exemplum of patience and fortitude. She became even the spiritual mother of her own mother, α ‘didaskalos’ for her brothers; she was also compared with the male model of patience as great as the biblical Job (ch.18). She reached the third and final step of the way to perfection, the angelic life, the way of living, typical in angels, completely detached from physical needs and desires (ch.22). The ideal presented by Gregory in The life of Macrina is the one of philosophy: as stated in the prologue, Macrina had reached the highest degree of human virtue in the name of philosophy. Philosophy allows reaching the perfect monastic ascesis of a mystic progress.
6. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
George Heffernan Augustine on Memory and Lethargy: A New Approach to Book X of the Confessions
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It is generally accepted that in Book X of his Confessions Augustine formulates an argument for the role of memory in knowledge, especially of self and of God. Yet it is not widely acknowledged that this trenchant treatment of one of the mind’s major functions also represents a subtle investigation of the power of the human being to forget, that is, lethargy. In this paper I argue that a careful reading of Book X of the Confessions shows that Augustine attaches as much importance to lethargy and forgetting as to memory and remembering and that therefore any interpretation that does not take this fact into account is one-sided and thus inadequate. In fact, the detailed account of memory in Book X amounts to a lengthy prayer by Augustine to God to grant him the grace to forget the thoughts, actions, and habits that threaten to make his life after conversion lapse into his life before conversion: flesh, lust, and sex. In conclusion, I am suggesting that the holistic purpose of Book X of the Confessions is to emphasize both remembering and forgetting. Therefore, the standard interpretation, according to which it is about memory without further ado, has forgotten something.
7. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Ryszard Kozłowski About the Masculine Soul in the Philosophy of Edith Stein
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Although the issue of the masculine spirit is not the direct object of Stein’s reflections, she does give us, men, a few suggestive hints referring to the matter of “what” (of being a man). A man’s main purpose is to reflect the image of God the Father in himself. ‘I and the Father are one’ (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit). The fact that the masculine spirit differs from the feminine spirit in its inner characteristics is the starting point for Stein’s reflections over feminine duties. Their difference brings up the question posed by Stein in the final parts of her Endliches und ewiges Sein (Finite and Eternal Being).
8. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Jerzy Lewandowski Ended Life and Life Saved: Antinomies of Human Existence
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Human life in all its complexity, despite of all earthly experiences has its definite end. This would be true, if hope and faith were inexistent. The Holy Word thoroughly informs the whole of mankind that there is much more to life than its episode here on earth. It portrays human life as a journey through all kinds of experiences. The “valley of death”, which is mentioned in Psalms, always appears as a fragment of the existential journey. Human life, lived with hope and faith in consideration to its greatest gift of freedom, can result and lead to salvation. The metaphor of the Psalm 23 indicates that man’s living place deprived of hope is a “valley of death” stretched over his entire life span. Christianity presents a project of life and death in which faith and hope, despite of psychological wound, can overcome the feeling of hopelessness. Hope is the key that opens the doors of freedom, salvation and in the end a great journey of eternal happiness. Today emphasizes the anthropological aspect of reflecting human desires and satisfactions. ‘To imagine ourselves outside the temporality that imprisons us and in some way to sense that eternity is not an unending succession of days in the calendar, but something more like the supreme moment of satisfaction, in which totality embraces us and we embrace totality—this we can only attempt’ (Spe Salvi, no12). My text is an analysis of life in hope and hope in life in the context of “Spe Salvi” of Pope Benedict XVI.
9. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Jishan Lin The Christian Ethics of Sex from the Perspective of the Bible
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God Himself and the Bible do not promote asceticism. However, asceticism is promoted by most people toward the Christian ethics of sex. This paper analyzes the reasons for this phenomenon. It relates to the early condition of the Christian church, its teachings, and the monasticism that began in the 3rd century AD.
10. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Vasiliki Mavroska Supplementary Cogitations on Anthropology of the Early Christian Philosophical noesis
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The dynamic of the early Christian noesis is based on the unified language of the philosophical knowledge and the holy revelation. The theological approach of the uncreated God and the created universe as one reality is being conversed with the ancient classical world, whilst inside a great number of elements are gestated. They overcome the notion of ingenerated (αγέννητος) and generated (γεννητός) and man, as ontology, is regarded eschatological within the dramatic path even from his very early birth. The Christian cogitation on anthropology touches the motives of the classical philosophical rhythm and uses technical terms - sometimes the same sometimes differentiated - studying the analysis of the role of God and his relation to his creation, especially to human beings. It enters the frames of ktisiology and distinguishes theology from oikonomia, so that complex beliefs and simultaneously become so simple, when they are a part of the ecclesiastical community, where, after all, they become a civilization.
11. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Hitoshi Ochiai Riemann Surfaces of God, Love, and Death
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This article is an attempt to explain logically, as a consistent set of axioms, the root creed of Christianity that is the infinity of God, the incarnation of God, and our resurrection, articles of faith that truly appear to be as illustrations of religious absurdity. To that end, this article will construct geometrical models for the infinity of God, the incarnation of God, and our resurrection. As a model for the infinity of God we shall consider the complex plane; for the incarnation of God we shall consider the sphere; for our resurrection we shall consider the open disc; in other words, the three most basic Riemann surfaces as the models for the three major creeds in Christianity. By considering these Riemann surface models of Christianity we are sure to understand the creeds of the infinity of God, the incarnation of God, and our resurrection as a logically consistent set of axioms despite their contradictory external appearances.
12. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Rodica Pop Why is Plato Painted on the Walls of the Orthodox Churches?
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For the Christian believer the thought constructs belong to an inferior level of knowledge, any rational investigation being futile, because of the mind, which is situated within the heart, discovers the truth directly and easily, and comes in communion with God. Then, how come the great Christian theologians were interested in the profane philosophy, which deals with rationalization, defining, implementing ideas in discourse, troubling of the mind, and therefore the act of thinking? The fact that Christians treasure classic philosophy cannot be doubted, and a sign of this appreciation are the pictorial representations of some heathen Greek philosophers on the walls of Orthodox churches. My text intends to develop and clarify the peremptory connection that exists between the classic philosophy and the Christian theology. The pretext and at the same time the starting point of this step is represented by the justification of the presence of heathen philosophers that are painted on the walls of Orthodox churches, such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Plutarch, Thucydides, Solon, Hippocrates, to name just a few. They are painted in the house of a God in which they did not believe, as they lived some hundred years before the birth of Jesus.
13. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
William Sweet Evidentialism, Fideism, and John Henry Newman
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Many studies in the philosophy of religion have focussed on the (cognitive) character of religious faith and whether there is place for a rational demonstration of religious belief. These studies frequently pit ‘evidentialists’ (e.g., W. Paley, W. Clifford, and today both W.L. Craig and the ‘new atheists’) against ‘non-evidentialists’ (Pascal, and in the late 20th century D. Z. Phillips and, arguably, A. Plantinga). Interestingly, these issues were of central concern to the 19th century philosopher John Henry Newman - principally in his Grammar of Assent (1870) and his Oxford Sermons (31872) - where Newman attempts a ‘via media’ between these two extremes. In this paper, my focus is not so much on the adequacy of Newman’s via media, as on his analysis of religious belief, and on what he takes belief and the epistemic standards relevant to determining the meaning and truth of religious belief to be. I will argue that Newman’s account provides a novel understanding of the relation of grounds for belief to faith than provided by many of his (near) contemporaries (e.g., Paley, Whately, James), and that its attempt to be a via media has a surprisingly contemporary character.
14. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
William White Theological Determinism and Petitionary Prayer
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Theological determinism can make good sense of petitionary prayer. Answered prayers are a good thing, so God has reasons to create them. Thus, when a supplicant prays, she gives God a reason to create an answer to her prayer. When he does answer a prayer, he creates the prayed-for results as a means to the fulfillment of the petition. In this way, the prayed-for results are genuinely answers to prayer, even as God has also determined the supplicant to make the request. This result holds whether or not God would have had sufficient reason to bring about the prayed-for result, had the petition not occurred. Thus, the theological determinist can hold all of: a) when a prayer is answered, it is always at least partly answered because of the prayer, b) God would have brought about some prayed-for results whether or not anyone prayed for them, and c) God would not have brought about some (other) prayed-for results, if someone had not prayed for them.
articles in german
15. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Ulrich Fritz Wodarzik Versuch zur philosophischen Rechtfertigung der christlichen Trinität
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Die Trinitätslehre hat ihren Ursprung im griechischen Denken, christliche Elemente befinden sich bereits bei Platon.1Mit dem Neoplatonismus erfolgte eigentlich die geistesgeschichtliche Wende zum Christentum. Damit ist prinzipiell gemeint, dass das Naturdenken sich immer mehr zum Geistesdenken transformierte. Die philosophische Rechtfertigung der christlichen Trinitätslehre (Vater, Sohn, Geist) durch die trinitarische Ontologik, die uns Platon und der Neoplatonismus hinterlassen hat und von Hegel weiter entwickelt wurde, ist das Ziel dieser Arbeit. Vater als das Allgemeine, Sohn als das Besondere - und der Geist als die Einzelheit der Idee Gottes. Die Systematisierung des spätantiken Neoplatonismus erfolgte durch Proklos mit seinem dynamisch-zyklischen Dreischritt: μονή-πρόοδος-έπιστρoφή.2 Diese Trias bedeutet Insistenz, Existenz, Reinsistenz.
articles in spanish
16. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Viviana Félix Philosophy as Inquiry and Way of Life in Justin Martyr
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In the autobiographical story that Justin writes in the prologue of his Dialogue with Trypho, he introduces a paradigmatic identification of philosophy with a way of life. His philosophical search is existential, the questions he asks the teachers of the various schools of thought concern the axes of life: God, happiness and how to achieve them. These claims, although permanent in the history of philosophy, point out the peculiar concern of his days, to which Justin echoes and responds in a new way, integrating the proposals of some schools, especially with what is called Middle Platonism, with the Christian message. This paper attempts to highlight the distinctive features of the response Justin develops within his epochal context.
articles in russian
17. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Anna Koteneva Христианская философия здоровья личности
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The personality’s health is the complex spiritual-psychological phenomenon, which must be studied in the context of the spiritual-moral formation of man, his self-realization, development of capability for adaptation and psychophysical functioning. The investigation of a personality’s health was accomplished from the views of Christian anthropology. The concepts of health, its value for man, are connected to the understanding of sense and purposes of human life – the rescuing of soul and spiritual personality’s transformation. In this tradition, the concept of health indicates, first of all, spiritual health. Holiness is its ideal state. Health - this is chastity - is the highest state of moral perfection. Health can also indicate the absence of spiritual, mental and physical illnesses. These ideas led to the understanding of a personality’s health as a multilevel formation, which includes the unity of man’s psychophysical, psychological and spiritual-moral characteristics. The physical and mental health, necessary for man’s vitality - and on the apex, spiritual- psychological health is located on the basis of this system. The highest spiritual level of the personality’s health exerts the changing influence on the underlying levels connected with the adaptation, self-realization and the personality’s growth. Health is the integrative characteristic of personality, which includes the different spheres of its individual existence.
18. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Татьяна Пырова Что происходит с душой игрока Зума?
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The paper focuses on the video game Zuma released in 2003 by PopCap Games. A frog acts as the one and only avatar of the player in this game. Frog operates in several sequentially changing each other milieus: underground water, clinker and finally outer space. I will discuss how the game scenario elaborates ancient ideas about basic elements, which were supposed to be the founding principles of all natural things. Furthermore the frog’s trip reminds representations of a vertical hierarchically arranged world-order. I claim that concerning this point, the analysed game reveals an interesting combination of pagan and Christian theology and stands for the contemporary allegory of the soul salvation. In my paper, I am going to foster the notion of instrumental technology embedded in pocket devices. Instrumentalised religion proves to be yet another instance of the logic of capitalist appropriation of different cultural phenomena.
articles in greek
19. Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy: Volume > 7
Αλεξάνδρα Αναστασιάδου Ο κοσμολογικός και ο υπερβατικός Λόγος στην Ηρακλείτεια και στην Ιωάννεια διανόηση
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Η αρχαϊκή ελληνική διανόηση μέσα από άδηλες προοπτικές προέβη διά του Ηρακλείτου του Εφεσίου (540-480 π.Χ) σε ενδελεχή ανίχνευση της απειρότητας του σύμπαντος και του διηνεκούς αυτού γίγνεσθαι, αποκαλύπτοντας στους εν εγρηγόρσει ευρισκομένους ότι υπάρχει ο κεκρυμμένος Λόγος, ως «τὸ μὴ δῦνόν ποτε». Στη διαχρονικότητα της φιλοσοφικής ανέλιξης o χριστιανικός στοχασμός διά του Ευαγγελιστού Ιωάννου ταύτισε τη «νόησιν της νοήσεως» προς τον αΐδιον Λόγον, οπότε και προέκυψε το ερώτημα της προελεύσεως της εννοίας του Λόγου στην Iωάννειαν θεολογία. Η παρούσα ανακοίνωση θέτει υπό κρίσιν την άποψιν του νεοπλατωνικού Αμελίου συμφώνως προς την οποίαν ο Ιωάννης εμπνεύσθηκε την έννοιαν του Λόγου, διά της οποίας προσφωνεί τον Κύριον Ιησούν, ως μόνον εκ των συγγραφέων της Καινής Διαθήκης, ο οποίος απαντά και στη σκέψη του Ηρακλείτου. Προσεγγίζοντας ερμηνευτικά τις σωζόμενες γραπτές πηγές και τις μαρτυρίες, επιδιώκομεν να διαπιστωθή κατά το δυνατόν υπό ποίαν λογικήν και υπαρξιακή διάσταση «ἐν τῇ τῆς οὐσίας ταυτότητι» υφίσταται η ετερότητα εις την έννοιαν του Λόγου.