The problem of atheism according to St. Athanasius of Paros

  1. Lemma
  2. Τό πρόβλημα τῆς ἀθεΐας κατά τόν ἅγιο Ἀθανάσιο τόν Πάριο
  3. Greek, Modern (1453-)
  4. Koutalis, Vangelis
  5. Ethics - Key thinkers - Orthodox critique of science - Orthodox Anthropology - Ecumenism and dialogue > Westernism and anti-westernism
  6. 26-02-2017
  7. Metallinos, (Protopresbyter) Georgios [Author]. The problem of atheism according to St. Athanasius of Paros
  8. Ἁγιος Ἀθανάσιος ὁ Πάριος : Πρακτικά Ἐπιστημονικοῦ Συνεδρίου (Πάρος 29 Σεπτεμβρίου -4 Οκτωβρίου 1998) - Paros: Holy Metropolis of Paronaxia – Holy Shrine of Panagia Ekatontapiliani of Paros, 2000.
  9. St. Athanasius of Paros - atheism - French Revolution - Voltaire - Psalidas, Athanasios - Korais, Adamantios
    1. <p>Metallinos, (Protopresbyter) Georgios. [Μεταλληνός, (Πρωτοπρεσβύτερος) Γεώργιος] (2000). Ὁ Ἅγιος Γρηγόριος Παλαμᾶς στά συγγράμματα καί στή διδασκαλία τοῦ Ἁγίου Ἀθανασίου τοῦ Παρίου. In <em>Ἁγιος Ἀθανάσιος ὁ Πάριος: Πρακτικά Ἐπιστημονικοῦ Συνεδρίου (Πάρος 29 Σεπτεμβρίου -4 Οκτωβρίου 1998)</em> (pp. 375-393). Paros: Holy Metropolis of Paronaxia – Holy Shrine of Panagia Ekatontapiliani of Paros.</p>
    1. Taking the term ‘atheism’ as a key element to the approach of St. Athanasius of Paros’ thought, the author examines what are the meanings that this term assumes in Athanasius’ polemics against the Enlightenment philosophies and ideals as they were being imported in the Orthodox East by modernizing scholars, such as Adamantios Korais.

      Athanasius makes the distinction between the “apophatic” and the “positive” atheists. The first are those who do not possess any idea of the divinity; the second, those who do possess such an idea, but for all that renounce divinity. Modern atheism is of the second kind and has different variations: indifference to God, open hostility to Christianity, piety in words and atheism in deeds, deism. Atheist mentality found fertile soil in the West, where a distorted form of Christianity prevailed, but is also rooted in more general dangerous human proclivities, such as the absence of fear of God and the vicious way of life. It is not philosophy that led to atheism. Philosophy, instead, can disclose that modern atheists are not mindless, as their predecessors in Antiquity were, but deranged.

      French libertinism and liberalism were targets of sharp criticism by Athanasius, because they exemplified how modern atheist mentality may culminate in an overt epidemic threat for Christianity, either in the West or in the East. Voltaire personified this association of a vicious lifestyle with a skeptical, deist, but for Athanasius essentially anti-Christian, philosophy, and Athanasius used this name as a synonym for the most pernicious tendencies of modernity, especially in his controversies with Greek enlighteners, such as Korais and Athanasios Psalidas. According to the author, what Athanasius repulsed was not modern scientific education as such, but the new model of existence and the ways of thinking that accompanied this education. In launching such a campaign Athanasius showed himself to be faithful to the Orthodox spirituality.