the world that we inhabit, that we create together as spiritual beings, that we perceive, that is the work of our wills in our ignorance is maya

Transcription from David Bentley Hart on the “Actually, It’s Good” podcast with an episode titled “Gnosticism… It’s Good” published Nov 17, 2020: 19:32My interest in recovering the real form of gnosticism, trying to understand what it really was, if we are going to keep trying to use that word, is mostly to try to detachContinue reading “the world that we inhabit, that we create together as spiritual beings, that we perceive, that is the work of our wills in our ignorance is maya”

it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell

I have always thought this the most fascinating aspect of C.S. Lewis’s sole genuine theological masterpiece, The Great Divorce: it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell that it inadvertently shows this self-condemnation to be as much a condition of unwilling slavery as of willing perversity—as muchContinue reading “it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell”

it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell

I have always thought this the most fascinating aspect of C.S. Lewis’s sole genuine theological masterpiece, The Great Divorce: it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell that it inadvertently shows this self-condemnation to be as much a condition of unwilling slavery as of willing perversity—as much adventitiouslyContinue reading “it so brilliantly and penetratingly depicts the psychological conditions of those who condemn themselves to hell”

this genuine image for every human being is Christ

From Sergius Bulgakov’s The Bride of the Lamb: It is necessary to understand that the parousia, the comíng of Christ in glory, that is, in the manifestation of the Holy Spirit, is, as such, already the judgment. The parousia cannot be an external and mutually indifferent encounter between God who has come into the worldContinue reading “this genuine image for every human being is Christ”

Our Lord replied with a laugh, “You’re asking me for a difficult thing, my dear Kristos Samra!”

Material in this post is from “The Life and Visions of Krəstos Śämra, a Fifteenth-Century Ethiopian Woman Saint” by Wendy Laura Belcher from African Christian Biography: Stories, Lives, and Challenges edited by Dana Lee Robert (Cluster Publications, 2018), chapter 5, pp. 80-101. (Available online at wendybelcher.com.) The autobiography of 16th-century Ethiopian nun and visionary, SaintContinue reading “Our Lord replied with a laugh, “You’re asking me for a difficult thing, my dear Kristos Samra!””

able to keep us born aloft above an abyss of immense historical oblivion …capable of becoming just about anything, and that may amount to a kind of cultural genius

[15:32] This kind of abrupt but total adoption of another cultural identity—even if little more at times than a sort of fantastic version of that identity—is something of which Americans are sometimes uniquely capable. Perhaps this is because to be American is to be the deracinated child of some other land or people or severalContinue reading “able to keep us born aloft above an abyss of immense historical oblivion …capable of becoming just about anything, and that may amount to a kind of cultural genius”

they will say that this structure was held together politically, which it was

I do not believe or hope in this as the last word on our dear country, but this does describer our sad empire rather well in several ways. Of The Empire We will be known as a culture that feared deathand adored power, that tried to vanquish insecurityfor the few and cared little for theContinue reading “they will say that this structure was held together politically, which it was”

the presence of the invisible within the visible

In Greek philosophy, …the highest kind of knowledge, and therefore the highest moment of earthly life, …connected the visible with the invisible. [This] was noetic: the unencumbered exercise of that highest faculty of alertness and heedfulness and comprehension for which they reserved the name, “nous,” a noun that we can render variously as intellectual intuition,Continue reading “the presence of the invisible within the visible”

inscribed deep within the Earth

This passage comes after a description of the noetic pursuit of transcendent truth by all of the Greek philosophers, upward and away from the earth. This central theme of noetic ascent is summarized (with appreciation) from the Presocratics through Aristotle, before Foltz turns to incarnation: Into this trajectory of restless, almost obsessive, transcendence comes theContinue reading “inscribed deep within the Earth”

the universe is a most holy temple and into it man is introduced through birth as a spectator

I am delighted with Diogenes, who, when he saw his host in Sparta preparing with much ado for a certain festival, said, ‘Does not a good man consider every day a festival?’ and a very splendid one, to be sure, if we are sound of mind [nous]. For the universe is a most holy templeContinue reading “the universe is a most holy temple and into it man is introduced through birth as a spectator”