One of my buds at the university has this excellent website called What Is It Like To Be A Philosopher? It’s devoted to interviews with contemporary philosophers, and the conversational blend of biography and perspective is always fascinating, at least to people like me. I’ve previously posted an excerpt from the interview with Michael Ruse.
In the latest interview, David McNaughton, who like Ruse is a philosopher at Florida State, talks about his love of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Both of these Inklings, especially Lewis, make appearances throughout the interview. (McNaughton doesn’t name Tolkien, but he names The Lord of the Rings as a favorite three times.)
Posted in Christian Humanism, Humanities, Inklings, philosopher, philosophy, The Inklings
Tagged books, C.S. Lewis, Cliff Sosis, David McNaughton, Inklings, interviews, J.R.R. Tolkien, philosophers, philosophy, The Lord of the Rings
“Reality is more fluid and elusive than reason, and has, as it were, more dimensions than are known even to the latest geometry.” — George Santayana, in The Sense of Beauty
I’m sorry some of you will be seen as mere numbers to strengthen a church’s marketing or political power. That’s the way of big Protestant churches in which the leaders have culture-war mentalities. But you should be seen as a real person who is part of a living community. Refocusing on persons and relationships seems to be important to Christos Yannaras, a Greek Orthodox philosopher and theologian, in his book Person and Eros. To appropriate some of his words for my point, instead of a number, you ought to be “an individual in relation,” someone who can experience a “dynamic actualization of relationship” in community, but when the “understanding of the human being” is “purely in terms of its capacity for rational thought,” then community relationships and the beauty of worship are diminished (in some cases tacitly, in other cases intentionally), and the sermon, like a college lecture or political speech, becomes dominant.
Posted in Christian Humanism, Church, fundamentalism, Humanities, Orthodox
Tagged books, Christos Yannaras, Church, Greek Orthodox, mega churches, philosophy, Sunday, theology, worship
Michael Shermer avoids a false dilemma in his assessment of Ayn Rand—and in the process reveals something that is bigger than him and her. Reading the following quotation, ask yourself, have you ever felt similarly about any other point of view or school of thought?
“I accept most of Rand’s philosophy, but not all of it. And despite my life-long commitment to many of Rand’s most important beliefs, Objectivists would no doubt reject me from their group for not accepting all of her precepts. This is ultimately what makes Objectivism a cult.”
Rand’s followers, the Objectivists, seemed to have demanded perfect assent to all Randian doctrine. Read all of Shermer’s The Unlikeliest Cult in History. It’s an outstanding article.
The late Colin Wilson, writing for Philosophy Now:
“In the next chapter of Beyond the Outsider, ‘The Strange Story of Modern Philosophy’, I begin by considering the ‘world rejection’ of Socrates, who tells his followers that since the philosopher spends his life trying to separate his soul from his body, his own death should be regarded as a consummation. This is consistent with his belief that only spirit is real, and matter is somehow unimportant and unreal. This notion would persist throughout the next two thousand years, harmonising comfortably with the Christian view that this world is unimportant compared to the next.”
from Phenomenology as a Mystical Discipline | Issue 56 | Philosophy Now.via Phenomenology as a Mystical Discipline | Issue 56 | Philosophy Now.
Posted in books, Christian, Christianity, culture, faith, God, religion
Tagged Beyond the Outsider, Colin Wilson, history, matter, philosophy, Philosophy Now, Socrates, Spirit