Introducing Anamnēsis

Anamnēsis (an · am′· nē · sis) n. [Gr. ἀνάμνησις remembering < ἀνά up, again + μιμνήσκειν to call to mind, attend] a recollective ascent or ascensional recollection

***********************************

Welcome to Anamnēsis, the weblog of Dr James S. Cutsinger, a professor of theology and religious thought at the University of South Carolina. Further information concerning him and his work can be found on his website, www.cutsinger.net.

As a teacher and author, Professor Cutsinger regularly finds himself on the receiving end of questions and challenges—outwardly diverse, to be sure, but inwardly connected in one way or another to God and the spiritual life. Some are posed by students, others by readers of his books and articles, and others again by Christian friends or serious seekers from other religious traditions.

The issues he is called upon to address are sometimes theoretical and sometimes practical. Topics range from the perennialist approach to religion, Socratic teaching techniques, and Eastern Christian theology to concerns about personal spiritual practice and the fine points of English grammar—by no means the least of the manifestations of the Logos!

It has seemed to Professor Cutsinger for some time that his responses to a select few of these queries, those having a more general import and thus of potential interest to a wider audience, might be usefully shared in a public forum. Anamnēsis is that forum precisely.

***********************************

Why Anamnēsis? The following quotations, the first from Saint Paul and the second from Saint Plato, convey at least something of the Eucharistic, maieutic, and spagyric resonances Professor Cutsinger has in “mind” in presenting this weblog:

“The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in anamnēsis of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in anamnēsis of me” (1 Cor. 11:23-25).

“All nature is akin, and the soul has learned everything, so that when a man has recalled a single piece of knowledge—‘learned’ it, in ordinary language—there is no reason he should not find out all the rest, if he keeps a stout heart and does not grow weary of the search, for seeking and learning are in fact nothing but anamnēsis. . . . There is no such thing as teaching, only anamnēsis” (Meno, 81d).