The ecclesiasm of Hellenism

  1. Lemma
  2. Ο εκκλησιασμός του Ελληνισμού
  3. English
  4. Koutalis, Vangelis
  5. Modes of interaction > Integration - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Patristic studies - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Eschatology - Orthodox theological tradition and practice > Premodern _modern_ postmodern - Orthodox Anthropology - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Orthodox gnosiology - Concepts of knowledge and modes of reasoning > Sources of knowledge (empiricism/rationalism) - Ethics - Ecumenism and dialogue > Dialogue between churches - Ecumenism and dialogue > Westernism and anti-westernism
  6. 27-02-2017
  7. Begzos, Marios [Author]. The ecclesiasm of Hellenism
  8. Ο εκκλησιασμός του Ελληνισμού - Athens: Grigoris Publications, 2012.
  9. Greek philosophy - Patristic theology - Enlightenment - Platonism - Aristotelianism - ecclesiology - modernity - pre-modernity - postmodernity
    1. <p>Begzos, M. P. [Μπέγζος, Μ. Π.] (2012). <em>Ο εκκλησιασμός του Ελληνισμού</em>. Athens: Grigoris Publications.</p>
    1. The first question raised in this book concerns the relations between philosophy and theology. Begzos shows that the traditional view that differentiates theology from philosophy on the basis of the fact that the latter is by definition independent from any authorities, whereas the first is by definition dependent on the authority of the Church, is erroneous, since philosophy, too, is bound by the requirements of reason. The significant difference, instead, between them lies elsewhere: philosophy loves knowledge, and theology knows to love.

      By bringing into discussion a variety of particular topics or rather dualities, and more particularly that of philosophy and theology in the work of Gregory of Nazianzus, that of apophatism and rationalism in Johannes Chrysostom, that of personalism and nominalism in Photius, that of Aristotelism and energetism in Gregory Palamas, and, finally, that of Platonism and Aristotelism in Gennadius Scholarius, Begzos is able to argue that in lieu of a hellenization of Christianism, what historically happened was the Christianization of Hellenism, marked by a shift of emphasis from the substance of beings to the particular beings, which are hypostasizations or personifications of the substance.

      Begzos, therefore, proceeds to the next section of his book, where he examines the Patristic eclecticism in relation to Byzantine Aristotelism, the presence of the concept of relation in the Greek philosophy and the elevation of its ontological status in Patristic theology, the concepts of substance and person in the Medieval West and in the Byzantine East, and what he calls “ecclesiasm of Dionysianism’ in Hölderlin’s poetry. Two points here are crucial: the one is the significance and the productivity of the eclectic philosophical stance of the early Christian thinkers, and the other is the thesis that the depth of the theological difference diving Western and Eastern Christianity can be properly assessed when the philosophical difference between the ontological status attributed to the concept of substance in the West and the status attributed to the concept of person in the East is fully acknowledged. The dualist Occidental theology, which dissociates and departmentalizes as two opposite poles the spheres of the natural and the supernatural has at its core a philosophical underestimation of the concept of relation and the indifference towards the conceptual potential of the person.

      The third section of Begzos’ book, as well as its epilogue, consist of short case studies in which a variety of particular issues unfolds ranging chronologically from the pre-Modern to the post-Modern era. The key ideas that have been earlier proposed are set within particular contexts, but also several additional insights are provided, and more importantly the suggestion that Orthodoxy and Enlightenment are two cultural forces that despite belonging to different times must be synchronized: the historical process of enlightenment must be in its own turn enlightened through a dialectical synthesis of freedom with unity as offered by religion. To this end, the Orthodox Church must retain and reinforce both its personalism and the ecclesiological expression of personalism, i.e. its synodical character which amounts to an ontological democracy.