Introduction to Philosophy

How and what to teach in an introductory philosophy course? I suppose, given the two basic approaches you mention, I’d be inclined to follow the first: the historical rather than the topical. The latter gives the impression that ideas come in neat and tidy little...

Was Christ a Martyr?

It seems to me you and your friend could both be right, depending on how one wishes to use the term “martyr”. As you know, “martyr” means “witness”, and it’s clear from the Gospel that Christ Himself was a witness. He tells us, for example, that He came to do “not my...

Cutting the Knot

It’s a Gordian Knot. Don't try to “untie” it. Just cut it. Cut through to essentials. You are yourself getting tied up in knots over peripheral issues. Is there a longstanding prejudice in the Church against Origen? Sure. Is there, in certain quarters, an...

Imagination: Seductive or Sub-Creative?

I’m not sure there’s quite the dispute or divide you imagine (!) between the Romantics and the Orthodox. You’re right, of course, that many Fathers, both ancient and modern, often warn against the distracting dangers of imagination. To pick but one example, St Maximos...

Perpetual Virginity and Pain

As you no doubt know, the three stars on the Virgin’s maphorion (mantle) in Orthodox icons—one on Her head, and one on each shoulder—are intended to signify Her perpetual virginity: (1) before, (2) during, and (3) after the birth of Christ. The “during” often puzzles...

A Question of Translation

What’s the best way to render the French déifuge when translating Schuon? Previous translators (myself among them) have generally opted for the literal transposition, “deifugal”, but you’re thinking about “theofugal”, you say, or else simply “God-fleeing”. As I see...

An Extraordinary Visitor

Your information is correct: the Kursk Root Icon has indeed been traveling throughout the Southeastern United States in recent days. In fact we were very fortunate to have had it in our home one evening this past week; here is one of the photos we took. From the way...

Not Just Harps and Nightgowns

Yes, it’s true—I say this based on my own personal, though very limited, experience, as well as (much more importantly!) the consistent teaching of the Orthodox Church—that our prayers and other spiritual work can have a healing impact on others, including those who...

Perpendicular to Time

Is “the present moment” perpendicular to the line of time? Interesting question. It seems to me a good answer depends on which sort of “present” you mean. I have in mind the medieval distinction, going back at least as far as Boethius, between two distinct forms of...

The Lower Depths of Higher Ed

As a follow-up to my last post—Logismoi—I thought you might be interested in the following recent article by George Will. So perhaps things aren't so bad after all at your university?! WASHINGTON (26 November 2015)— Give thanks this day for some indirect blessings of...