The stars, inasmuch as they are visible, do not embody exact knowledge, which can only be grasped by the mind and thought.

Summary of Plato’s understanding of the stars from Origen and the Life of the Stars: A History of an Idea by Alan Scott (Oxford Early Christian Studies, Clarendon Press, 1994): Plato is less concerned with how things happen than with why they happen, and for this reason he regards astronomy as only of secondary importance.Continue reading “The stars, inasmuch as they are visible, do not embody exact knowledge, which can only be grasped by the mind and thought.”

they must answer in a manner more gentle and more proper to discussion

To quote Plato’s Socrates (Meno, 75d): If my questioner was one of those clever and disputatious debaters, I would say to him: “I have given my answer: if it is wrong, it is your job to refute it.” But if they are friends as you and I are, and want to discuss with each other,Continue reading “they must answer in a manner more gentle and more proper to discussion”

appointed to prepare the sacrifice

Plato’s Academy was a genuine religious association in which, for example, one of the members was explicitly appointed to prepare the sacrifice. Perhaps the reason why “purely academic” has sunk to mean something sterile, pointless and unreal is because the schola has lost its roots in religion and in divine worship. (61) From Leisure: theContinue reading “appointed to prepare the sacrifice”

we might all try minding our own business

These two reminders from C.S. Lewis about minding our own business have something profound to do with the office of prophethood and the spreading of truth. This fact that bold proclamation, intimate communication and strict attention to privacy are all mutually dependent is somewhat counterintuitive but true. “Child,” said the Voice, “I am telling youContinue reading “we might all try minding our own business”

she remembered them years later

As this whole life is a kind of journey or exile, exercising the office of priesthood often involves a deliberate, steadying or arresting of time (cycles such as weeks, months, anniversaries and festivals help in this regard): They were now in the palace garden which sloped down in terraces to the city wall. The moon shone brightly. OneContinue reading “she remembered them years later”