rss_2.0Perichoresis FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Perichoresis 's Cover and Theodoret on the Temptation of Christ: An Imaginary Dialogue Between Alexandrian and Antiochene Christological Positions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this paper some parallelisms and differences are presented between two ancient theological traditions concerning their model of Christ by comparing two representative figures of both schools, namely Theodoret of Cyrus and Cyril of Alexandria. Since the Christology of the two authors could not be compared in detail within such a paper, the investigation resumes itself to the mode how they interpret the Lord’s Temptation by the devil in the wilderness. The works involved in the analysis include Theodoret’s treatise <italic>On the incarnation</italic> written in 431 before the Council of Ephesus, the fragments of Cyril’s <italic>Commentary on Matthew</italic> as well as his <italic>Commentary on Luke</italic>. The doctrinal conclusion of this comparison is that the two traditions represented by these illustrious theologians—despite their conspicuous and undeniable differences— signify rather complementary than flatly opposing views and that the two ancient traditions have found their revival even in the sixteenth century, and continue to influence the theologians of our time. This is why the author considers Chalcedon as being a corridor (in which both traditions can walk side by side whilst respecting the limits set by ‘the columns’, i.e. the four famous expressions) rather than a narrow path or a tightrope-walking, where only one is able to go through.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00An Evaluation of the Puzzled Syntax of 2 John 1: 5<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The syntax of 2 John 1: 5 is problematic. Six manuscripts, Ψ 5. 81. 642*. 1852 l, try to solve this difficulty by emending the participle ‘γράφων’ to the indicative verb ‘γράφω’. Culy and Leedy on Greek NT diagrams, on the other hand, understand the participle ‘γράφων’ to modify ‘ἐρωτάω’. In the latter approach, the participle ‘γράφων’ serves to modify ‘εἴχομεν’. This last approach, however, is divided into two possibilities: either it functions as a participle of condition or of attendant circumstance. Three English Bibles use a participle of condition (Holman Christian Standard Bible, NET Bible, and Christian Standard Bible). The other English translations, however, employ the function of attendant circumstance participle. Despite these syntactical discrepancies, this research offers a fresh reading of the puzzled syntax of 2 John 1: 5.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00U. S. Political Economy on Migrants-Citizens Relations: State-Raids Vs. Church-Sanctuaries (Charity Re-Privatization)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This is a Political Economy study on migrants-citizens relations management in the United States of America, with special attention to the religious factor and the pendulum effect. There is a model switch, from integration policies (open doors and melting pot agenda, with expropriation of charity by Public Sector) to official persecution (state-raids and deportations, with re-privatization of charity), under a high social opportunity cost. Also, there is a split between the State and civil society (including the church), causing civil disobedience and sanctuary network across the country. The paper focuses on the development of the Sanctuary Movement, as a case of popular action against to the power elite policies and their sanctions. There was a revival of this movement during the values crisis or 2008 recession, but at the same time there was a critical division into the movement, with higher tension for the migrants.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00To Touch or to Be Touched. Doubting Thomas in the Bible, Apocryphal Texts, and the Arts. A Literary Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In Christian tradition, the name of the Biblical Thomas is connected primarily to the story of John 20: 27 in which the apostle in invited by Jesus to touch his tortured body. This invitation is the result of Thomas’ prior scepticism to the reality of the resurrection. Contrary to popular belief, the text of John does not indicate clearly if Thomas accepts Jesus’ offer. John creates a narrative gap for the readers to fill in, stimulating the reader to contemplate the relationship between the notion of seeing, touching and believing, and their mutual dependency (or the lack of it). In this historical-literary article, the author investigates this literary dependency in the synoptic gospels, John’s gospel, several apocryphal texts, and four famous paintings, all focussing on the character of Thomas, in search of the different ways in which these authors and artists try to fill in John’s apparent narrative gap.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00A Sign of the Types: A Critical Reflection on the Church-Sect Typology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Religion comes in many shapes and sizes, and the classification of religious movements may help scholars understand how these groups form, develop and change. One of the most common tools used in the sociology of religion to do so is the church-sect typology, which is rooted in the basic idea that religious movements can be placed along a continuum according to their degree of congruence with mainstream society. This article provides an overview of how this kind of thinking developed, in order to show how the church-sect typology has been widely accepted and built upon, as well as being heavily criticised by other sociologists. The first part consists of a survey of early versions of the typology, contains different methods of classifying religious movements and provides further explanations where necessary, especially where the term ‘cult’ is concerned. The next section is focused on the many criticisms of the church-sect typology as a whole, after which some possible solutions are offered, and it will end with some recommendations in the form of a new theoretical framework.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00 as a Hermeneutical Key to Ontology: Social Constructionism, Kierkegaard, and Trinitarian Theology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>If humans are created in the image of a trinitarian God, then we might consider that the fundamental ontology of humans would be relational, furthermore to some degree perichoretic. If <italic>perichoresis</italic> is somehow reflected in human relations (notwithstanding all Creation), <italic>perichoresis</italic> should be evident analogically in our social relations, theology, and various disciplines of thought. This relational concept of the Church Fathers failed to be further developed because the concept of the Trinity fell from theological focus over the centuries. Today subtle but radical changes are occurring in the field of social psychology and communications theory. Whereas it was once common for modern paradigms to dominate the field, social constructionists have begun to react against the preponderance of typically modern themes as the primacy of the subject or ontological discourse framed exclusively in the language of subject-subject. On the other hand, their work offers a unique opportunity for Christian theology to expand its understanding of <italic>perichoresis</italic>. For Kierkegaard the relationship itself becomes a positive third term that intensifies the polarities and therefore suggests an alternative tripartite consideration: subject-relationship-subject. From this tripartite relational structure of humanity as differentiated-unity, I am positioned to develop a logic of spirit and explore the possibility of <italic>analogia spiritus</italic>—the non-reflexive transformational dynamic facilitating holistic change and meaning—as the essential dynamic within <italic>perichoresis</italic>. This in turn reveals that these dynamics active as human spirit can be analogically correlated in <italic>mutual co-conditioning reciprocity</italic> in relation to the Trinity and <italic>the Eternal activity</italic> of the Spirit and Christ.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-07-04T00:00:00.000+00:00Writing in a Pre-Christian Mode: Boethius, , , and<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this essay, I compare and contrast how Boethius (in <italic>Consolation of Philosophy</italic>), the author of <italic>Beowulf</italic>, J. R. R. Tolkien (in <italic>The Lord of the Rings</italic>), and C. S. Lewis (in <italic>Till We Have Faces</italic>) found ways to integrate their Christian theological and philosophical beliefs into a work that is set in a time and place that possesses the general revelation of creation, conscience, reason, and desire, but lacks the special revelation of Christ and the Bible. I begin by using Lewis’s own analysis of the <italic>Consolation</italic> in his <italic>Discarded Image</italic> to discuss what it means for a Christian author to write in a pre-Christian mode. I find a model for such writing in Ecclesiastes, and discuss how Boethius, while confining himself to the pagan wisdom of Greece and Rome, points the way from philosophical consolation to theological transformation. I then use Tolkien’s ‘<italic>Beowulf</italic>: The Monsters and the Critics’ to unpack the distinction between the author’s Christian faith and the purely pagan consolation he offers to his characters, and locate that dynamic in the epic itself. Next, I explore how Tolkien, in imitation of <italic>Beowulf</italic>, balances a deep sense of loss and fatalism with an intimation of a higher providence guiding all. Finally, I show how Lewis, in imitation of Boethius, finds in the pagan world of his novel seeds of a greater revelation to come.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-19T00:00:00.000+00:00Insights of C. S. Lewis Concerning Faith, Doubt, Pride, Corrupted Love, and Dying to Oneself in<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In <italic>Till We Have Faces</italic> (<italic>TWHF</italic>), C. S. Lewis combines his passion for pagan mythology with his knack for communicating Christian truths via story, powerfully illustrating a number of theological and moral positions that are prominent in many of his other writings. This article examines two major themes in <italic>TWHF</italic> that are also emphasized heavily within Lewis’s prose: (1) maintaining faith (which is examined from various angles) in the face of various emotionally-driven temptations to doubt; and (2) recognizing that pride prevents us from knowing God and corrupts the love we have for others into a jealous hatred. The article uncovers a variety of ways that Lewis masterfully paints a picture via the characters and the story of <italic>TWHF</italic> that exemplifies religious and ethical insights within these two themes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-19T00:00:00.000+00:00Self-Knowledge, Who God Is, and a Cure for our Deepest Shame: A Few Reflections on<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Till We Have Faces</italic> is a retelling of the Cupid/Psyche myth with a few twists, namely, a nonstandard narrator and the inability of Psyche’s sister, Orual, to see the palace. Both innovations lead the reader to understand better the dynamics at play in Orual’s effort to disrupt Psyche’s life with her husband/god. The inability to see, on Orual’s part, at first suggests that the nature of the story is primarily epistemological. What is it that can be reasonably known or inferred? Digging deeper, however, reveals that the epistemic elements are actually penultimate, and that instead the book bolsters an ethically robust epistemology. Who we are deeply affects what we can see. Before Orual could apprehend the nature of the gods, she had to be brutally honest about who she herself was. A victim of abuse who was constantly shamed for reasons beyond her control, she is a sympathetic character in several ways, but she gradually moves from being victim to victimizer, treating others as means to ends, and, in the case of Psyche, ‘loving’ her in a way that was more hate than love. Self-knowledge was needed for Orual to apprehend the truth. She comes to realize her treatment of Bardia, Batta, Redival, and especially Psyche was not as pure and altruistic as she had thought. She had to come to terms with the ugliness within herself, and her penchant for consuming others, before she could hope to see the beauty and love of the gods for what they were.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-19T00:00:00.000+00:00The Mystery of Grace: A Theological Reading of C. S. Lewis’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Till We Have Faces</italic> is profitably read at three levels: for its surface story, as a crime drama, and as an exploration of the theological mystery of grace. By transposing the myth of Psyche into the mystery genre, Lewis prepares the reader for Orual’s unreliability as a narrator and lures the reader into the novel’s theological depths. Part Two of the novel contains a series of visionary labors which Lewis borrows from Lucius Apuleius but recasts as feats achieved jointly by Orual and Psyche. The theological reading in this article finds textual support for rereading Part One of the novel as depicting Orual, by grace, unknowingly performing Psyche’s labors. Read thusly, the novel is a working out of Lewis’s belief that God can change the past—that grace can reach back into our histories and retell our story. By ascribing to the mutability of the past, Lewis sidesteps the dispute among various branches of Christianity over whether prevenient grace (the grace that pursues us prior to conversion) is both irresistible and salvific. An examination of four sources of grace in Orual’s life (love of beauty, love of wisdom, religious practice, and bereavement) reveals that what would have been common grace in her life becomes salvific as it leads to her redemption. This exposition also shows the novel’s indebtedness to the many classical Greek sources to which Lewis alludes within it, as well as its affinity with some of the ideas of Simone Weil.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-19T00:00:00.000+00:00Sehnsucht as Signpost: The Autobiographical Impulse of C. S. Lewis<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For half a century, readers of C. S. Lewis had only two problematic and at times obscure spiritual autobiographies (<italic>The Pilgrim’s Regress</italic> and <italic>Surprised by Joy</italic>) to use in attempts to understand Lewis’s journey to faith through what he called Joy, Sehnsucht, or longing. Both books, though important and full of key insights, in some ways hid more than they revealed. Recent discoveries, however, have widened the arc of autobiography. Lewis’s landmark pre-Christian account of his conversion to theism, ‘Early Prose Joy’, published in 2013, monumentally widened and deepened our understanding of Lewis’s spiritual journey to faith. And the fragmentary poem ‘I Will Write Down the Portion that I Understand’ also adds significant insight, at least into Lewis’s composition process of grappling with conversion. Insightful recent scholarship by Alister McGrath suggests widening the scope of what we consider spiritual autobiography in Lewis to include <italic>A Grief Observed</italic>; this idea opens the door to a broader view of how autobiography functions both in Lewis’s compositional life and in the categorization of his writings. This essay accepts that invitation, finding clear autobiographical efforts to capture the role of Joy in Lewis’s early poetry, including <italic>Dymer</italic>, and in his late novel <italic>Till We Have Faces</italic>. That last book, written with soon-to-be-wife Joy Davidman, serves crucially to change the focus of Lewis’s spiritual autobiographies from Joy to love. By thus expanding and exploring Lewis’s autobiographical arc, this essay brings to light an almost teleological understanding of love and the central theme of Lewis’s life and work.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-19T00:00:00.000+00:00Reflecting Christ in Life and Art: The Divine Dance of Self-Giving in C. S. Lewis’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This essay examines how C. S. Lewis, in <italic>Till We Have Faces</italic>, illustrates the Christian’s journey of sanctification through the pre-Christian story of his main character, Orual. She must gain two ‘faces’ in this process that correspond to the two books she writes. First, she must gain the face of self-knowledge through humility. The key components to this face are her memory and the act of writing of her first book, which together create a mirror to reflect her sin back to her. Second, Orual must gain the face of transformation through divine agape love. The humility she learned from her first face now allows her to enter what Lewis describes as the dance of self-giving, which is a crucial element to the second face of transformation in its mortification of Orual’s sin and selfishness. In the second face, Orual gains access to an ‘actual language’ that transcends merely verbal words and involves worshipping the god with her whole being, as do we in being transformed to reflect Christ more clearly. Orual’s writing is a form of this ‘actual language’, and her second book that shares her personal encounter with the god of the mountain reflects to others the beauty of the divine. Similarly, Christians should reflect Jesus with their lives and their art, which are inextricably intertwined because a life lived for Him is the highest form of artwork they can create.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-19T00:00:00.000+00:00Pagans and Theologians: An Examination of the Use of Christian Sources in Niels Hemmingsen’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>At the conclusion of his <italic>De lege naturae apodictica methodus</italic>, a treatise on the law of nature, how it is grasped by the human mind, and how it coheres with the Decalogue, Niels Hemmingsen claims to have eschewed the use of theological sources in his argument, claiming instead to have demonstrated ‘how far reason is able to progress without the prophetic and apostolic word’. Yet the reader of the treatise will notice several citations of theologians alongside those of pagan poets and philosophers. This essay demonstrates that there is less here than meets the eye, that is, that Hemmingsen quotes theologians only to buttress what one can know from natural reason or the classical tradition, even when he is discussing God, and thus he does not violate his own stated principle.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-09T00:00:00.000+00:00‘Vestiges of the Divine Light’: Girolamo Zanchi, Richard Hooker, and a Reformed Thomistic Natural Law Theory<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article assesses Jerome Zanchi’s (1560-90) theory of natural law in relation to that of Richard Hooker’s (1554-1600) by arguing three theses. First, Zanchi’s view of natural law is generally Thomistic, but he expands upon it in a manner similar to his contemporaries, thereby providing further evidence against the increasingly discredited narrative of a Protestant voluntarism dominating early Reformed scholastic thought. Second, Zanchi’s commitment to the Reformed doctrine of total depravity does not represent as drastic a departure from Thomas as might first appear. Third, Hooker’s disagreement with Zanchi on this last point does not, as often argued, result from his own diluted commitment to total depravity, but denotes a more coherent and elegant way of reaching the same Reformed Thomistic synthesis. The historical record suggests that Hooker’s approach proved more influential than Zanchi’s.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-09T00:00:00.000+00:00‘All Things Are Lawful’: Adiaphora, Permissive Natural Law, Christian Freedom, and Defending the English Reformation<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Adiaphora (‘indifferent matters’) and permissive natural law both conceptually pointed towards an arena of liberty in which the individual remained free to take up (or not) particular courses of action. In the Reformation debates over the external regulation of Christian freedom for the maintenance of peace and order, these two concepts became freighted with political significance; but they also in turn shaped attitudes over when and where obedience was due in relation to the civic regulation of liberty. Tudor apologetics deployed both ideas in order to defend the English Reformation, especially the claim of the royal supremacy to have due authority to regulate ecclesiastical affairs in indifferent matters, limiting Christian freedom and requiring obedience. By situating these debates within the context of the conceptual development of adiaphora and permissive natural law from their original philosophical roots through to the Reformation, this article establishes the genealogy of claims that defined such apologetics. After surveying the seemingly intractable dilemmas in the thought of Thomas Starkey and John Whitgift over why obedience to lay ecclesiastical supremacy was due, this article considers the radical return to the permissive natural law traditions of the medieval period in the Elizabethan conformist thought of Richard Hooker. In this return, Hooker supplanted divine permissions and scriptural principles as the guide for the proper regulation of indifferent matters with an appeal to the light of reason as the divine instrument through which binding human laws are made to govern society and limit freedom for the public good, even in the life of the national church.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-09T00:00:00.000+00:00John Calvin on the Intersection of Natural, Roman, and Mosaic Law<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Although there are many studies on John Calvin’s teaching on natural law, the relation between natural law and Roman law has received relatively less attention. This essay examines the relation between natural law and Roman law in Calvin’s exegetical writing on the Mosaic law. I argue that Calvin regarded Roman law as an exemplary, albeit imperfect, witness to the natural law, and he used Roman law to aid in his interpretation of the Mosaic law. Since he assumed that Roman law embodies principles of natural law, Calvin drew on Roman law as an aid in order to distinguish natural from positive law within the Mosaic law. He also broadened the scope of commandments in the second table of the Decalogue by comparison with natural and Roman law. Yet although Calvin drew many continuities between Mosaic and Roman laws, he remained critical of the Roman system due to various failings in comparison with Scripture and principles of natural law.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-09T00:00:00.000+00:00The Aristotelian Conception of Natural Law and Its Reception in Early Protestant Commentaries on the<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The Protestant reception both of Aristotle and of the concept of natural law have been the object of renewed attention. The present article aims at a cross-fertilization of these two recoveries: did a specifically Aristotelian approach to natural law (among other important sources) play a significant role in classical Protestant thought? The article answers this question by means of a review of the Protestant commentaries on Aristotle’s natural law-passage in <italic>Nicomachean Ethics</italic> V, 7. Reformation and post-Reformation scholars sometimes offered original readings of this text, but above all they cultivated the various approaches to the passage that had been developed during the medieval period.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-09T00:00:00.000+00:00‘According to Right Law’: John Jewel’s Use of the in His Defense of the Elizabethan Church<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In his <italic>Apology of the Church of England</italic> as well as many of his other works, John Jewel defended the orthodoxy of the Elizabethan Church on the basis of the following criteria: Scripture, the first four general councils, the writings of the Church Fathers, and the example of the primitive church.<sup>1</sup> By emphasizing these authorities, the bishop of Salisbury also sought to impeach the Roman Church’s claim to orthodoxy by arguing that doctrines and practices which developed subsequently to the early church as defined by these criteria contradict them, thereby nullifying its charge of heresy against Protestants while simultaneously indicting the papacy itself as heretical. A question that emerges from studying Jewel’s prodigious polemical works concerns the source of this means of determining orthodoxy. Answering this question requires a close analysis of the apologist’s use of sources. This article will attempt to answer this question by arguing that this criteria for defining orthodoxy derived mainly from canon law tradition that is confirmed specifically by Gratian’s <italic>Decretum</italic>. This thesis maintains that Jewel’s criteria constituted a form of the <italic>ius antiqua</italic> with which he attacked the <italic>ius novum</italic> that provided the authoritative basis for papal supremacy, and in so doing, sought to vindicate the Elizabethan Church’s place in ancient catholic tradition.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-09T00:00:00.000+00:00The Role of Nature in New England Puritan Theology: The Case of Samuel Willard<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article discusses the role of nature in the theological system of New England minister Samuel Willard (1640-1707). I focus specifically on his account of theological anthropology, the relationship of nature and grace, and the moral (or natural) law, and show how each relates to his views on civil government and civil law. Willard affirmed the natural law, natural religion, and natural worship, and he acknowledged and respected pagan civic virtue and grounded civil order and social relations in nature. Willard’s theological articulations are substantively the same as those found among the ‘Reformed orthodox’ theologians of 17th century Europe, which provides evidence for the thesis that Reformed orthodoxy was a transatlantic movement. His reliance on nature also corrects scholarship on the New England Puritans, which often assumes that they rejected the Christian natural law tradition.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-05-09T00:00:00.000+00:00The Universal Tradition and the Clear Meaning of Scripture: Benjamin Keach’s Understanding of the Trinity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Leading Particular Baptist theologian Benjamin Keach (1640-1704) came to prominence just as an antitrinitarian theology native to England gained a stronghold. What had previously been deemed off-limits by the Establishment became a commonplace by the end of the seventeenth century based on a strict biblicism that eschewed the extra-biblical language of trinitarian orthodoxy. As one who considered himself a strong biblicist, Keach deftly maneuvered his theological writings between what he saw as two extremes: the one that refused to consider any language that moved beyond the mere words of scripture, represented by many of his General Baptist contemporaries and the other that over-emphasized the role of tradition with no eye toward biblical truth, represented by the Roman Catholics. Keach’s explication of trinitarianism demonstrated that these two extremes did not have to be seen as competing with each other. Instead, the correct understanding of the Bible included ‘the just and necessary consequences’ that could be deduced from Scripture, and the ‘universal tradition’ aided the pastor theologian in ascertaining the truth. The result, for Keach and his audience, was an ancient view of trinitarianism that offered a way of peace between the the two extremes vying for the public ear in the late seventeenth century.</p> </abstract>ARTICLE2022-04-26T00:00:00.000+00:00en-us-1