Arimathea
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Religion
The human animal is the worshipping animal. Toward the divine, we have a need to pray, to sacrifice, to offer up, and to praise. From the spirit dances of primitive animism to the rational contemplation of philosophical paganism, from the ethical code of the rabbis to the theological vision of the scholastics, from the sprinkled blood (the origin of blessing) of temple cults to helping the poor in simple Christian charity, men need to relate the immanent and the transcendent -- they see their particular lives in time and space transfigured and transfused with meaning unbounded by human things. Religion is this aspect of human life where the everyday and worldly intersects with the ultimate and divine. Is this an accident of human evolution, or is it a racial neurosis brought upon us as conscious beings who live in the shadow of our own death? Is it a reflection of the divine order, where creatures naturally orient themselves toward their source? Has God revealed himself to us, as the Christians claim? In this realm, I shall try to delve into such questions as an Orthodox Christian who ever pesters God with "Why?"
Sunday, November 21, A.D. 2010
Hopko on the Episcopacy

Fr. Thomas Hopko has an interesting article about the nature and role of the bishop as described in the Roman Church’s Second Vatican Council and about how that understanding of the episcopate relates to current ecclesial affairs in the Orthodox Churches: “Vatican II and the Orthodox Bishops.” I wonder if Fr. Thomas might be inferring too much ecclesiological content in the recent development of “episcopal assemblies.” I suspect that practical considerations and the canonically unprecedented situation of the contemporary ecumene are the driving forces behind the episcopal assemblies rather than borrowed ecclesiological musings from Rome. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of creeping influences. The Russians experienced their Babylonian Captivity of the mind due to a lack of caution. It is possible, however, to become overly xenophobic when it comes to doctrinal influences, and we should avoid such.

Posted by Joseph on Sunday, November 21, Anno Domini 2010
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Monday, November 8, A.D. 2010
Clerical Celibacy

I found an interesting article yesterday on Orthodox Answers: “Clerical Celibacy,” by Fr. Laurence Cleenewerck. Fr. Laurence notes the movement in the Roman Church to defend the apostolic origin of clerical celibacy, and then he reviews the history and reasons underlying clerical celibacy in the East and in the West. It is relatively brief, given the subject matter, and quite informative. Most interesting to me was the parallel that early Christians saw between the ordained ranks of the new covenant and the Levitical system. The development of Christian doctrine and vocabulary seem to unfold quite dramatically within the scriptural imagination.

Posted by Joseph on Monday, November 8, Anno Domini 2010
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