by Archimandrite John Panteleimon Manoussakis
Fr Panteleimon is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the College of Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and a priest of the Greek Orthodox Church. He is the author of For the Unity of All and God After Metaphysics.
Clever but he leaves unexamined those on the other side of the divide. I mean the ones who take every defense, or even explication, of the Church’s moral tradition as a sign of trying to draw the Church into the “culture wars.”
But we ought not to criticize (too harshly) an author for the work he didn’t write. 😉
I’m still trying to track down this Zizioulakis fellow. 😉
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The interview with Jean Claude Larchet can be found here.
It’s funny to see people constantly pushing Austrian ideology criticize Orthodox theologians for taking influence from the West.
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Humorous theological essay but also sadly true. Lots of avoidance of different areas of theology and lots of ridicule for not representing pureness of orthodoxy. The method is not important. The prayer is.
The Zizioulakis essays is funny and strikes at some truly bad tendencies I’ve seen hither and yon, but I think it’s unfair to Larchet (and ever so excessively defensive, it seems). Larchet is a brilliant and very helpful patristics scholar. I could quibble with various things, but I’ll just pick one: Suggesting, for instance, that the use of German idealism and existentialism is no different than the use of Platonism and Aristotelianism just dodges the question about what is being used from each philosophy and how, and the question of what is true or helpful from each. “The Fathers used Plato, so we’ll use Heidegger (or whomever)” says nothing about what, exactly is being used and how. It’s like Gregory of Nyssa said about the use of “profane” philosophy, that it “may become at certain times a comrade, friend and companion of life to the higher way, provided that the offspring of this union introduce nothing of a foreign defilement.” So it’s a matter of discernment, not simply using for using’s sake. I have no doubt Larchet knows this and simply sees the Fathers’ use of Plato and Aristotle to be more discerning than perhaps some of today’s theologians’ use of more contemporary philosophy.
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