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Re: The Authority of The Bibled - Greek concept of spirit?

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  • Ron Criss
    Ben, When I say reality I refer to all that really is. I would say that God is, and that the spiritual realm is. I won t go along with K s insistence that God
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 8, 2006
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      When I say reality I refer to all that really is. I would say that
      God is, and that the spiritual realm is. I won't go along with K's
      insistence that God does not "exist". I think I know what he means,
      but I don't adopt his definition.

      Of course the greeks had a notion of "spirit". I think our
      preconception of matter and spirit as somehow opposed to one another
      is the product of synthesis with greek thought, especially Platonism.

      "(Lat. spiritus, spirare, "to breathe"; Gk. pneuma; Fr. esprit; Ger.
      Geist). As these names show, the principle of life was often
      represented under the figure of a breath of air. The breath is the
      most obvious symptom of life, its cessation the invariable mark of
      death; invisible and impalpable, it stands for the unseen mysterious
      force behind the vital processes. Accordingly we find the
      word "spirit" used in several different but allied senses: (1) as
      signifying a living, intelligent, incorporeal being, such as the
      soul; (2) as the fiery essence or breath (the Stoic pneuma) which
      was supposed to be the universal vital force; (3) as signifying some
      refined form of bodily substance, a fluid believed to act as a
      medium between mind and the grosser matter of the body. The
      hypothesis of "spirits" in this sense was familiar to the Scholastic
      age, in fact down to the end of the eighteenth century, "animal
      spirits", "vital spirits", "natural spirits" were acknowledged
      agencies in all physiological phenomena (cf. Vesalius, Descartes,
      Harvey, Erasmus, Darwin, etc.) "Magnetic" spirits were employed by
      Mesmer in his theory in very much the same way as modern Spiritists
      invoke the "ether" of the physicists."

      I meant specifically matter and spirit, but according to this
      dualistic paradigm metaphysics and intellect would be associated
      with the upper story and the spiritual. I agree that the ancient
      greeks had a different understanding of what consituted the spirit
      or the spiritual. But I think the fact that greek thought influenced
      Christian theology is indisputable, don't you?


      --- In kierkegaardians@yahoogroups.com, "Een Enkelte"
      <eenenkelte@y...> wrote:
      > Dear Ron,
      > - Greek philosophy separates reality into two tiers of matter and
      > spirit. -
      > How careful were you being in your choice of words? Did you mean
      > matter and metaphysical; or did you mean specifically spirit?
      > I suggest to you that on the Kierkegaardian account, to suggest
      > the Greeks had a concept of spirit is no less anachronistic than
      > suggest that they had a concept of the steam-locomotive or Boston.
      > Indeed, and most precisely, it would be no less anachronistic than
      > suggest that they had received the Gospel.
      > Best regards,
      > Ben.
      > PS If you want to make sense of Kierkegaard, it would pay to be
      > careful with the term 'reality'.
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