Archive for October, 2006
Here are my thoughts for this project. It will look seomthing like this:
1. Divide Philosophy into eras: Greek Philosophy, Early Christianity and philosophy, Medivieval philosophy, Modern philosophy, contemporary philosophy. (Hat tip to Julian Marias’ History of Philosophy for this outline).
2. Survey of general historical context of each era
3. Look at major movements, figures, controversies, hotly contested issues
4. Look at characteristic thought of each era according to the major areas of philosophy. For example, what did : a) defining the discipline, b) nature of reality/universe [metaphyscis/ontology], c) man’s place in the universe, d) what is good and evil [ethics], d) nature of God [Philosophy of religion], e) fate verses free will [philosophy of freedom], f) man and the state [political/social philosophy], g) man and education, h) mind and matter, ideas and thinking [epistemology], i) axiology [philosophy of beauty], and j) logic.
5. Draw conclusions and connect with next era.
6. Ask questions regarding the era from a Christian perspective.
This cannot be comprehensive in nature, b/c it is simply too large. I hope this blog can walk a line between courting insanity and oversimplification. Also, i am not going to be real rigid regarding categories and time periods; those are just examples. Also, following a direct chronological line is unnecessary. Anyone who wants to post can as long as it fits somewhere within the general critieria described above: I will organize it as we go.
I hope that many others will join me through commenting and hopefully consistently posting in this endeavor. If we approach this communally, then we will all learn more. If anyone would like to post for this project, please comment, and i will correspond with you until we can work a way to colaborate together.
Hope to hear from everyone soon.
This endeavor will look a lot like the dive into philosophy.
1) Dividing Christianity into epochs or time periods. The tentative periods at this time are; “Ancient Christianity (100-500 AD), “Augustine (He deserves a section all his own),” Medieval Christianity (500-1500 AD),” “The Refomation (1500-1700 AD),” “The Enlightenment (1700-1800),” and the “Modern World (1800-Present).”
2) Provide a general survey in each period of the Christian thinkers cultural milieu, influences, significant issues, and movements as well as their general thoughts regarding different areas of Christian doctrine. While many of these topics will overlap, it appears that some form of systemization is necessary so that a structure will aid both myself and the reader in taking concrete situations and people and synthesizing them with abstract ideas to stimulate critical thinking, creating the grand “aha!” moment. As such, the format for each period will be (hat tip to Wiles and Santer’s book Documents in Early Christian Thought for giving me the idea of how to structure some of this:
1. General Historical-Cultural context (How/why did it influence Christian thought?)
2. Role of Theology in time period for church (Did they see it as important?)
3. Major Movements (eg Dominicans, The Apologists, Evangelicals, etc)
5. Major personalities of the era (Augustine, Ignatius of Loyola, Aquinas, Luther, etc)
6. Their theological views on a) God, b) Trinity, c) Christology, d) Pneumatology, e) sin & grace, f) tradition and Scripture, g) Ecclesiology, h) the sacraments, i) Christian living, j) Church & society [politics], and k) eschatology.
7. Drawing conclusions and setting the stage for the next era.
8. Intersecting the info with the Philosophy of the day and see how they interact.
Obviously no one can do every major movement, heresy, Christian personality, and area of doctrine justice; to try to do so would take a few lifetimes. My hope is that a reasonable balance can be found between being too large and being too simplified.
I would like to invite other Christian intellectuals to lend their expertise on this amibitous project. Of course, comments are welcome, provided they are constructive. However, if anyone would like to post, as frequent or as infrequent on my site during this project, please comment and let me know. I am hopeful that this could become a communal affair. I will correspond with any takers to make this happen. Also, if you feel compelled to post, don’t view my categories or outline as rigid; it isn’t, it is merely made to have a starting place. The same goes for chronology. Post on whatever, and i will organize it. You don’t have to be “in order.”
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Quote of the DayOur definition of the grace of God says that it is 'unmerited favor.' That is true, but it tends to focus on our undeservedness. . . At the same time, b/c grace has its source in love, what love promises when it makes the other an object of love CREATES in the loved one an expectation of blessing. We have not merited this blessing, but it is rightfully ours b/c it has been promised by love. -Ray Anderson