Thursday, February 08, 2007

Not ignoring this blog

but I'm just crazy busy this week. My new doctrine I class is going to be pretty tough. The professor considers a 94 an A-. Huh? She's one tough cookie. And the material - oy vey! I find the whole Hellenistic influence on Christianity to be irksome at best. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but honestly, it feels like the second century gutted the radical nature of Jesus's legacy. And we've been suffering since. The reading feels like Cliff's Notes in the origins of the destructive memes that have taken hold of the church for the last 1800 years. I'm sure there must be some silver lining, but I've got "senioritis" and can hardly bear the reading let alone care about finding the good stuff when the surface yields such annoying stuff.

I hope to write a bit about another tangent later tonight. So backatcha then.

4 comments:

Dcn Scott Dodge said...

"I find the whole Hellenistic influence on Christianity to be irksome at best. I'm trying to keep an open mind, but honestly, it feels like the second century gutted the radical nature of Jesus's legacy."

Please, Julie, keep an open mind. Far from gutting the radical legacy of Jesus, Hellenistic thought allowed Christianity to overcome hurdles that allowed it to spread and to grow. Of course, this influence ebbs and flows through the tradition, but it is an essential part of Christianity.

Of course, in the wake of Regensburg last September, this is a hot issue right now. One thoughtful response to those of us who think Greek thought of the essence of Christianity, is by Dr. Richard Gallardetz, in which he challenges the contention that Hellenstic thought is crucial to the faith moving forward.

julieunplugged said...

Scott, thanks for this corrective. I know I'm in reaction mode right now.

My professor argueds similarly to you, that the Greek way of thinking helped early Christianity to resolve some of the significant conflicts that emerged in the early church.

Still, I have to say that I preferred the Didache to the Clement of Rome I letter in how leadership of the local church was envisioned. And I have to admit that the association of chastity or virginity as holy bothers me a lot. Women are characterized as temptresses, in the readings we've done and that disturbs me too.

Anyway, I'll keep your commentsin mind. :) Thanks.

Dcn Scott Dodge said...

The strain of Greek thought that privileges, or lends itself to the privileging, of chastity and virginity, namely the same brand of Platonism that also finds itself at home in various Christian gnostic sects, is just that- one strand. In no way is the Manichaen influence more resilient in Augustine's thought than on these issues.

Given the divisiveness of Arianism, not to mention what would have occurred had it not prevailed, Greek thought was crucial for resolving these issues. But, as one who has primarily studied modern Philosophy, I remain skeptical of classical metaphysics. I think the critiques, beginning with Kant's and culminating in Heidegger's (not forgetting Nietzsche in between) have provided a necessary corrective to an falsely robust metaphysics. I certainly believe any viable theology has to take notice of these developments. In the end, it is important to not get stuck on the horns of a false dilemma.

One theologian whose articulation of the faith is rooted in Heideggerian metaphysics (If I can coin such an ugly term), that is in existential thought, is the Anglican John Macquarrie, especially his magnum opus, Principles of Christian Theology, of which a newly revised edition was published by SCM Press in 2003.

Besides, what's wrong with temptresses? I find them irresistable!

Dcn Scott Dodge said...

A last quick thing I should've mentioned as regarding women as temptresses and necessary correctives, you will appreciate this article:

http://www.bustedhalo.com/features/RememberingV-DayDefendingtheVaginaMonologues.htm