August 26, 2010

Florin Caragiu and Mihai Caragiu: "Elements of Iconic Anthropology at Fr. Ghelasie Gheorghe and Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae")

Current Landmarks in the Dialogue between Science and Religion [1]

Fresco painting (detail) by Fr. Ilie (Dantes) Bobăianu
English translation: Alice Butnar

Paper published in the volume Ierom. Ghelasie Gheorghe, „Medicina Isihastă” („The Hesychast Medicine”), Platytera Publishing House, 2007, pp. 271-301)
Previously online on English Corner/ Iconic Renaissance

A. Introduction
B. Elements of Triadology
C. Elements of Iconic Anthropology
D. Remarks
E. Iconic Anthropology versus Naturalist Scientific Theories on the Nature of Mind and the Problem of Consciousness
F. Several conclusions
G. The arrow of time
H. Natural law and spiritual freedom in the conception of Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae

Abstract: We consider Iconic Anthropology as a proper place for an integrative approach to theology and science. The triadological and iconological perspective emphasized in the works of Fr. Ghelasie Gheorghe and Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae is highly relevant for the Christian orthodox tradition. We apply it to indicate the insufficiency of some outstanding naturalist theories regarding the nature of mind and the problem of consciousness. In the same light we discuss the long debated problem of human freedom and natural law. The Christian gnoseology presents a double methodology in a unitary view, avoiding the temptation of a reductive monistic or dualist approach. To explain the level of integral movements of the soul in its undivided simplicity the discursive character of thinking does not suffice. The area of science is that of created energies and decomposable levels of reality. Science cannot give direct evidence on the soul itself, a realm which is beyond its domain of competence. Theology has as principal goal man's salvation in communion with God and its efforts have a holistic and liturgical, Eucharistic finality. But science is inseparable from theology as soul is inseparable from its movements and their partial reflections in the realm of multiple energies.

A. Introduction

At the turn of the twentieth century a Romanian Father has brought to light one of the most important synthesis of patristic theology, with prolifically generative implications as regards the dialogue between science and religion [2]. Hieromonk Ghelasie of Frăsinei (1944 2003) is a prominent representative and exponent of the Carpathian hesychast tradition.
The sheer scope and coherence of his mystical theological vision, the richness of associations and the accuracy of his comparative approaches to other lines of thought – traditional and modern, philosophical and scientific – are utterly impressive. His writings are indeed a promising panorama of the living Christian tradition in the present day world.
Fr. Ghelasie acknowledges the restraints that inevitably occur in the dialogue of science with religion on both sides: theologians and scientists. The first party is “afflicted by the fear of science which desacralizes the mystery”, while the latter “are afraid of and associate religion to mystification” [3].
Knowledge is presented from a Christian dialogical perspective, as an integral knowledge which allows the two distinct modes of knowledge to retain their specificity. Creation has an iconic and dialogic background on the divine support and in the orientation towards the participation at the divine mystery.

August 24, 2010

Grigore Leșe - Nu-i lumină nicări

Nu-i lumină nicări (bis)
Or murit tăţi oamenii (bis)
Numai la mândruţa me (bis)
Arde lampa ca şi-o ste
C-o gândit c-oi me la ie
Ş-atâta m-oi duce în noapte (bis)
Până m-oi tâlni cu moartea (bis)
Să mă puie-n copârşeu (bis)
La un loc cu Dumnezău (bis)
Copârşeu cu scânduri ude (bis)
Unde moartea nu pătrunde
Nici dragostea nu răspunde
Nu-i lumină nicări (bis)...
Să mă puie-n copârşeu
La un loc cu Dumneză 
Copârşeu cu scânduri late
Unde moartea nu străbate
Copârşeu cu scânduri ude
Unde moartea nu pătrunde.

August 23, 2010

Alephs (poem by Florin Caragiu, English translation: Simona Sumanaru)

photo: Andreea Mureşan

when a spider weaves its web and you tear it down,
it patiently and carefully redoes it...
if you tear it down several times in a row, it will make it again,
but with obvious flaws; if you still tear it down
repeatedly, it can no longer do it,
it will chaotically send threads of silk into the air as if it had forgotten how it’s done
and it will end up starving to death...

Cantor was convinced that the transfinite numbers
had been whispered to him by God
he knew he would face grief
which would make his joy even greater
Kronecker thought that irrational numbers don’t exist

at this point you look for something to surprise you
a row of infinities hidden behind a title written in red,
deliberately misleading,
which doesn’t even indicate the most important thing:
the power of the continuum
the inconsistency of the multitude of all multitudes
or the freedom to follow the Truth
wherever the descending light may take you
an impossible prediction gravitating around
the limit points

your apparitions change my mood,
upon the impact questions move from one orbit to another,
touching the healing blaze of the paradox

(poem published in the volume "catacombe. aici totul e viu" ("catacombs. everything is alive here"), Vinea Publishing House, Bucharest, 2008, pp. 58-59. English translation: Simona Sumanaru.)

Previously appeared online on English Corner/ Iconic Renaissance