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Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again

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  • Thomas Mether
    Well, within academia, nothing beats Mithraism. After cutting through the bull, you can transcend the various malefic spheres of influence. ... From: Curt
    Message 1 of 25 , May 14, 2009
      Well, within academia, nothing beats Mithraism. After cutting through the bull, you can transcend the various malefic spheres of influence.

      --- On Thu, 5/14/09, Curt Steinmetz <curt@...> wrote:


      From: Curt Steinmetz <curt@...>
      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 2:36 PM








      My all time favorite is: "Many are the wandbearers, but few are the true
      Initiates."

      Curt

      Thomas Mether wrote:
      > Hmmm, and someone reading Kingsley's Empedocles book just sent me an article on a recently built pagan Greek temple in Thessaloniki for Greek pagans. Maybe I should dust off some of that old Joe Campbell material.
      >
      > "Bacchus loves me this I know,
      > his possession showed me so..."
      >
      > Or that old time favorite....
      >
      > "Dare to be a Mithra,
      > dare to slay the bull...." (good at faculty meetings too)
      >
      > or,
      >
      > "Give me that ole' time religion
      > ....lets worship Aphrodite,
      > even though she is rather flighty
      > and hangs around in a nighty,
      > she's good enough for me."
      >
      > or finally,
      >
      > "Ashes of a mighty Titan is my Bod."
      >
      > --- On Thu, 5/14/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com> wrote:
      >
      >
      > From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com>
      > Subject: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
      > To: neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com
      > Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 2:07 PM
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > I ran across this passage and thought others might find it of interest. It comes from the Preface of a book by theologian Hugo Rahner (older brother of the more famous Karl Rahner):
      >
      > "All that it [this book] contains is apparently out-dated, antiquarian and distant, and every word in it is directed, to quote Pythagoras, to the few who learn along with us, not to the multitude who just listen: 'Let but little be said; let the rest remain cloaked in secrecy.' {Porphyry, Vitae Pythagorae, 37}"
      >
      > "But for those who thus learn, let me hint at the nature of the call that drove me to the writing of this book. What is here contained is a gift to that living round-table, made up of men who believe that our Western civilization has broken down only in order that it may be born anew, to the _Eranos_ of those who dimly perceive the truth, as did Plato in his immortal seventh letter, and can behold the kingdom of eternity through the ruins. These are the mean who know the comforting law of the spirit, that the demon in man is only permitted to tear down so that the angel in man with faltering hand may trace out the sources of new life. Palaces only collapse so that the treasures may be laid bare; idols begin to rock, but only so that the altars may be freed upon which a purified spirit may sacrifice."
      >
      > "We have become Barbarians and wish once again to be Hellenes. Many are concerned for this our return, and whosoever feels a vocation to assist in this work can be certain of our reverent thanks, for what all seek is man, and all are filled by the belief that by deliberately harking back to the world of Greek antiquity, both at its upper and lower levels, either in the ether of Olympus or among the river reeds of the Cabiri, they will rediscover the whole man, the _homo humanus_."
      >
      > Hugo Rahner, Greek myths and Christian mystery. Biblo & Tannen, 1971
      > (Griechische mythen in christlicher deutung; Rhein-Verlag, 1945), p. xiii.
      > http://books. google.be/ books?id= N8XAF-JE6PAC
      >
      > John Uebersax
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------ --------- --------- ------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >



















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Curt Steinmetz
      The Gods will get you for that.
      Message 2 of 25 , May 14, 2009
        The Gods will get you for that.

        Thomas Mether wrote:
        > Well, within academia, nothing beats Mithraism. After cutting through the bull, you can transcend the various malefic spheres of influence.
        >
        > --- On Thu, 5/14/09, Curt Steinmetz <curt@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > From: Curt Steinmetz <curt@...>
        > Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
        > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
        > Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 2:36 PM
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > My all time favorite is: "Many are the wandbearers, but few are the true
        > Initiates."
        >
        > Curt
        >
        > Thomas Mether wrote:
        >
        >> Hmmm, and someone reading Kingsley's Empedocles book just sent me an article on a recently built pagan Greek temple in Thessaloniki for Greek pagans. Maybe I should dust off some of that old Joe Campbell material.
        >>
        >> "Bacchus loves me this I know,
        >> his possession showed me so..."
        >>
        >> Or that old time favorite....
        >>
        >> "Dare to be a Mithra,
        >> dare to slay the bull...." (good at faculty meetings too)
        >>
        >> or,
        >>
        >> "Give me that ole' time religion
        >> ....lets worship Aphrodite,
        >> even though she is rather flighty
        >> and hangs around in a nighty,
        >> she's good enough for me."
        >>
        >> or finally,
        >>
        >> "Ashes of a mighty Titan is my Bod."
        >>
        >> --- On Thu, 5/14/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com> wrote:
        >>
        >>
        >> From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com>
        >> Subject: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
        >> To: neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com
        >> Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 2:07 PM
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> I ran across this passage and thought others might find it of interest. It comes from the Preface of a book by theologian Hugo Rahner (older brother of the more famous Karl Rahner):
        >>
        >> "All that it [this book] contains is apparently out-dated, antiquarian and distant, and every word in it is directed, to quote Pythagoras, to the few who learn along with us, not to the multitude who just listen: 'Let but little be said; let the rest remain cloaked in secrecy.' {Porphyry, Vitae Pythagorae, 37}"
        >>
        >> "But for those who thus learn, let me hint at the nature of the call that drove me to the writing of this book. What is here contained is a gift to that living round-table, made up of men who believe that our Western civilization has broken down only in order that it may be born anew, to the _Eranos_ of those who dimly perceive the truth, as did Plato in his immortal seventh letter, and can behold the kingdom of eternity through the ruins. These are the mean who know the comforting law of the spirit, that the demon in man is only permitted to tear down so that the angel in man with faltering hand may trace out the sources of new life. Palaces only collapse so that the treasures may be laid bare; idols begin to rock, but only so that the altars may be freed upon which a purified spirit may sacrifice."
        >>
        >> "We have become Barbarians and wish once again to be Hellenes. Many are concerned for this our return, and whosoever feels a vocation to assist in this work can be certain of our reverent thanks, for what all seek is man, and all are filled by the belief that by deliberately harking back to the world of Greek antiquity, both at its upper and lower levels, either in the ether of Olympus or among the river reeds of the Cabiri, they will rediscover the whole man, the _homo humanus_."
        >>
        >> Hugo Rahner, Greek myths and Christian mystery. Biblo & Tannen, 1971
        >> (Griechische mythen in christlicher deutung; Rhein-Verlag, 1945), p. xiii.
        >> http://books. google.be/ books?id= N8XAF-JE6PAC
        >>
        >> John Uebersax
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> ------------ --------- --------- ------
        >>
        >> Yahoo! Groups Links
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        >
        >
        >
        > ------------------------------------
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >
      • John Uebersax
        ... I don t see this sort of thing as being what H. Rahner (a Jesuit priest, incidentally) was getting at. The goal is to integrate Hellenic ideals, concepts,
        Message 3 of 25 , May 14, 2009
          Thomas Mether wrote:

          > on a recently built pagan Greek temple in Thessaloniki for Greek pagans

          I don't see this sort of thing as being what H. Rahner (a Jesuit priest, incidentally) was getting at. The goal is to integrate Hellenic ideals, concepts, and, according to Rahner, anthropology, into mainstream culture. Modern 'neo-paganism' does not do this, in my opinion.

          But in any case what prompted me to post the quote was this part:

          "Whosoever feels a vocation to assist in this work can be certain of our reverent thanks, for what all seek is man, and all are filled by the belief that by deliberately harking back to the world of Greek antiquity...they will rediscover the whole man."

          John Uebersax
        • Curt Steinmetz
          If our culture is in need of a return to it s roots in Plato and Homer (not to mention Vergil and Seneca), well, those guys were Pagan, so our roots are
          Message 4 of 25 , May 14, 2009
            If "our" culture is in need of a return to it's roots in Plato and Homer
            (not to mention Vergil and Seneca), well, those guys were Pagan, so our
            "roots" are Pagan.

            And if, moreover, this appeal is intended for "the few who learn along
            with us, not to the multitude", then I see no reason to limit ourselves
            to something that might find a place in Oprah's book club.

            Curt

            John Uebersax wrote:
            > Thomas Mether wrote:
            >
            >
            >> on a recently built pagan Greek temple in Thessaloniki for Greek pagans
            >>
            >
            > I don't see this sort of thing as being what H. Rahner (a Jesuit priest, incidentally) was getting at. The goal is to integrate Hellenic ideals, concepts, and, according to Rahner, anthropology, into mainstream culture. Modern 'neo-paganism' does not do this, in my opinion.
            >
            > But in any case what prompted me to post the quote was this part:
            >
            > "Whosoever feels a vocation to assist in this work can be certain of our reverent thanks, for what all seek is man, and all are filled by the belief that by deliberately harking back to the world of Greek antiquity...they will rediscover the whole man."
            >
            > John Uebersax
            >
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
          • Rhiannon Renee
            I m confused, are you just messing around, or is that really how much respect you have for the pagan Gods?  I admit I haven t been paying much attention to
            Message 5 of 25 , May 14, 2009
              I'm confused, are you just messing around, or is that really how much respect you have for the pagan Gods?  I admit I haven't been paying much attention to the group but if you claim to be Neoplatonists then I would assume you respect the deities.  Also, not sure how often Kingsley is brought up here, but, as I'm sure many of you are aware, Peter Kingsley claims to be a spiritual interpreter of Empedocles, not just an academic, yet I wrote to his wife, who fields his questions, and she admitted he's not even a vegetarian.  Since he's supposed be leading this Empedoclean spiritual thing, and not just an academic on the subject, not being a vegetarian seems kind of disingenuous of him.  I don't think he's the authority on Empedocles he claims to be, I don't know whether you all agree or disagree. 
               

              --- On Thu, 5/14/09, Thomas Mether <t_mether@...> wrote:

              From: Thomas Mether <t_mether@...>
              Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
              To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
              Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 3:32 PM

















              Hmmm, and someone reading Kingsley's Empedocles book just sent me an article on a recently built pagan Greek temple in Thessaloniki for Greek pagans. Maybe I should dust off some of that old Joe Campbell material.

               

              "Bacchus loves me this I know,

              his possession showed me so..."

               

              Or that old time favorite....

               

              "Dare to be a Mithra,

              dare to slay the bull...." (good at faculty meetings too)

               

              or,

               

              "Give me that ole' time religion

              ....lets worship Aphrodite,

              even though she is rather flighty

              and hangs around in a nighty,

              she's good enough for me."

               

              or finally,

               

              "Ashes of a mighty Titan is my Bod."



              --- On Thu, 5/14/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com> wrote:



              From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com>

              Subject: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again

              To: neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com

              Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 2:07 PM



              I ran across this passage and thought others might find it of interest. It comes from the Preface of a book by theologian Hugo Rahner (older brother of the more famous Karl Rahner):



              "All that it [this book] contains is apparently out-dated, antiquarian and distant, and every word in it is directed, to quote Pythagoras, to the few who learn along with us, not to the multitude who just listen: 'Let but little be said; let the rest remain cloaked in secrecy.' {Porphyry, Vitae Pythagorae, 37}"



              "But for those who thus learn, let me hint at the nature of the call that drove me to the writing of this book. What is here contained is a gift to that living round-table, made up of men who believe that our Western civilization has broken down only in order that it may be born anew, to the _Eranos_ of those who dimly perceive the truth, as did Plato in his immortal seventh letter, and can behold the kingdom of eternity through the ruins. These are the mean who know the comforting law of the spirit, that the demon in man is only permitted to tear down so that the angel in man with faltering hand may trace out the sources of new life. Palaces only collapse so that the treasures may be laid bare; idols begin to rock, but only so that the altars may be freed upon which a purified spirit may sacrifice."



              "We have become Barbarians and wish once again to be Hellenes. Many are concerned for this our return, and whosoever feels a vocation to assist in this work can be certain of our reverent thanks, for what all seek is man, and all are filled by the belief that by deliberately harking back to the world of Greek antiquity, both at its upper and lower levels, either in the ether of Olympus or among the river reeds of the Cabiri, they will rediscover the whole man, the _homo humanus_."



              Hugo Rahner, Greek myths and Christian mystery. Biblo & Tannen, 1971

              (Griechische mythen in christlicher deutung; Rhein-Verlag, 1945), p. xiii.

              http://books. google.be/ books?id= N8XAF-JE6PAC



              John Uebersax



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]































              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Thomas Mether
              I have to agree with Curt here.   The early Christians (uniquely) were intolerant of each other and all others (whether gnostic or heretical others or what
              Message 6 of 25 , May 14, 2009
                I have to agree with Curt here.
                 
                The early Christians (uniquely) were intolerant of each other and all others (whether gnostic or "heretical" others or what emerged much later as the catholic Christianity that Rome split off from as another unacknowledged heresy -- here I side with Orthodox Christianity).
                 
                The idea of liberal arts (freedom as an art) was foreign to their exclusivism. They were the original Taliban. Freedom as an art by education was a pagan discovery as was the concept of natural law, and thus, metaphysics -- period.
                 
                By contrast, the early Christians were like fanatical Taliban with a misplaced apocalypticism that they had to keep adjusting while they had to invent ever
                new and narrow resurrection narratives to gain control -- and left Paul out in
                the process as an apostle -- ( apostolic control), invent contradictory and late
                empty tomb narratives to tack onto the gospels, while what was to become the New
                Testament underwent constant revision, or in other words -- re-create Jesus into a myth in the worse sense of the word (the Christian sense of the word myth as lie).
                 
                Revealed theology is Taliban dictation. Philosophy is open to all and pagan.

                --- On Thu, 5/14/09, Curt Steinmetz <curt@...> wrote:


                From: Curt Steinmetz <curt@...>
                Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 4:14 PM








                If "our" culture is in need of a return to it's roots in Plato and Homer
                (not to mention Vergil and Seneca), well, those guys were Pagan, so our
                "roots" are Pagan.

                And if, moreover, this appeal is intended for "the few who learn along
                with us, not to the multitude", then I see no reason to limit ourselves
                to something that might find a place in Oprah's book club.

                Curt

                John Uebersax wrote:
                > Thomas Mether wrote:
                >
                >
                >> on a recently built pagan Greek temple in Thessaloniki for Greek pagans
                >>
                >
                > I don't see this sort of thing as being what H. Rahner (a Jesuit priest, incidentally) was getting at. The goal is to integrate Hellenic ideals, concepts, and, according to Rahner, anthropology, into mainstream culture. Modern 'neo-paganism' does not do this, in my opinion.
                >
                > But in any case what prompted me to post the quote was this part:
                >
                > "Whosoever feels a vocation to assist in this work can be certain of our reverent thanks, for what all seek is man, and all are filled by the belief that by deliberately harking back to the world of Greek antiquity... they will rediscover the whole man."
                >
                > John Uebersax
                >
                >
                >
                > ------------ --------- --------- ------
                >
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >



















                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Thomas Mether
                Having spent time as what is called a spook , I was compelled to see similarity of patterns beween militant religious groups and early Christianities in
                Message 7 of 25 , May 14, 2009
                  Having spent time as what is called a "spook", I was compelled to see similarity of patterns beween militant religious groups and early Christianities in gaining control
                  with theology evolving after the fact. So, I'm prepared to argue the case for the points below.

                  --- On Thu, 5/14/09, Thomas Mether <t_mether@...> wrote:


                  From: Thomas Mether <t_mether@...>
                  Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                  To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 6:06 PM








                  I have to agree with Curt here.
                   
                  The early Christians (uniquely) were intolerant of each other and all others (whether gnostic or "heretical" others or what emerged much later as the catholic Christianity that Rome split off from as another unacknowledged heresy -- here I side with Orthodox Christianity) .
                   
                  The idea of liberal arts (freedom as an art) was foreign to their exclusivism. They were the original Taliban. Freedom as an art by education was a pagan discovery as was the concept of natural law, and thus, metaphysics -- period.
                   
                  By contrast, the early Christians were like fanatical Taliban with a misplaced apocalypticism that they had to keep adjusting while they had to invent ever
                  new and narrow resurrection narratives to gain control -- and left Paul out in
                  the process as an apostle -- ( apostolic control), invent contradictory and late
                  empty tomb narratives to tack onto the gospels, while what was to become the New
                  Testament underwent constant revision, or in other words -- re-create Jesus into a myth in the worse sense of the word (the Christian sense of the word myth as lie).
                   
                  Revealed theology is Taliban dictation. Philosophy is open to all and pagan.

                  --- On Thu, 5/14/09, Curt Steinmetz <curt@.... org> wrote:

                  From: Curt Steinmetz <curt@.... org>
                  Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                  To: neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com
                  Date: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 4:14 PM

                  If "our" culture is in need of a return to it's roots in Plato and Homer
                  (not to mention Vergil and Seneca), well, those guys were Pagan, so our
                  "roots" are Pagan.

                  And if, moreover, this appeal is intended for "the few who learn along
                  with us, not to the multitude", then I see no reason to limit ourselves
                  to something that might find a place in Oprah's book club.

                  Curt

                  John Uebersax wrote:
                  > Thomas Mether wrote:
                  >
                  >
                  >> on a recently built pagan Greek temple in Thessaloniki for Greek pagans
                  >>
                  >
                  > I don't see this sort of thing as being what H. Rahner (a Jesuit priest, incidentally) was getting at. The goal is to integrate Hellenic ideals, concepts, and, according to Rahner, anthropology, into mainstream culture. Modern 'neo-paganism' does not do this, in my opinion.
                  >
                  > But in any case what prompted me to post the quote was this part:
                  >
                  > "Whosoever feels a vocation to assist in this work can be certain of our reverent thanks, for what all seek is man, and all are filled by the belief that by deliberately harking back to the world of Greek antiquity... they will rediscover the whole man."
                  >
                  > John Uebersax
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > ------------ --------- --------- ------
                  >
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



















                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • vaeringjar
                  ... Give me that old time religion Give me that old time religion Give me that old time religion It s good enough for me. We will pray with Aphrodite, We will
                  Message 8 of 25 , May 14, 2009
                    --- In neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com, Thomas Mether <t_mether@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Hmmm, and someone reading Kingsley's Empedocles book just sent me an article on a recently built pagan Greek temple in Thessaloniki for Greek pagans. Maybe I should dust off some of that old Joe Campbell material.
                    >  
                    > "Bacchus loves me this I know,
                    > his possession showed me so..."
                    >  
                    > Or that old time favorite....
                    >  
                    > "Dare to be a Mithra,
                    > dare to slay the bull...." (good at faculty meetings too)
                    >  
                    > or,
                    >  
                    > "Give me that ole' time religion
                    > ....lets worship Aphrodite,
                    > even though she is rather flighty
                    > and hangs around in a nighty,
                    > she's good enough for me."
                    >  
                    > or finally,
                    >  
                    > "Ashes of a mighty Titan is my Bod."
                    >

                    Give me that old time religion
                    Give me that old time religion
                    Give me that old time religion
                    It's good enough for me.

                    We will pray with Aphrodite,
                    We will pray with Aphrodite,
                    She wears that see-through nightie,
                    And it's good enough for me.

                    We will pray with Zarathustra,
                    We'll pray just like we use ta,
                    I'm a Zarathustra booster,
                    And it's good enough for me.

                    We will pray with those Egyptians,
                    Build pyramids to put our crypts in,
                    Cover subways with inscriptions,
                    And it's good enough for me.

                    We will pray with those old druids,
                    They drink fermented fluids,
                    Waltzing naked though the woo-ids,
                    And it's good enough for me.

                    We do dances to bring water,
                    Prepare animals for slaughter,
                    Sacrifice our sons and daughters,
                    And it's good enough for me.

                    I'll arise at early morning,
                    When my Lord gives me the warning,
                    That the solar age is dawning,
                    And it's good enough for me.


                    I had heard a couple of these years ago from Campbell, but apparently they ended up (or started out?) as lyrics to a Pete Seeger song, and I copied them from a website including them. I only remembered the two about Aphrodite and Zarathustra. Nothing about the ashes or Bacchus here, however...

                    As to the other part of the discussion, I suppose I should be "nice" and just quote Symmachus:

                    "uno itinere non potest perveniri ad tam grande secretum."

                    Dennis Clark
                  • Stephen
                    Dear Thomas, I don t have any desire to get into a slanging match, but as a Catholic Christian I must make some kind of response to this. You write: The early
                    Message 9 of 25 , May 15, 2009
                      Dear Thomas,

                      I don't have any desire to get into a slanging
                      match, but as a Catholic Christian I must make some kind of response to
                      this.

                      You write:

                      The early Christians (uniquely) were intolerant of each other and all
                      others A case could be made out for this proposition. A case could be
                      made out for the converse. For all the time of "Early Christianity" it
                      was the "Early Christians" that got killed, though. You won't find any
                      excuse for "intolerance" in the NT. You will find a claim to a uniquely
                      authentic and universally relevant revelation though, and warnings
                      against its modulation or accommodation to secular standards or "pagan"
                      ideas.
                      (whether gnostic or "heretical" others In other words to a modulation
                      or accommodation to "pagan" ideas.

                      Equally, the NT is full of Platonic and perhaps Stoic (I am no student
                      of Stoicism so only say this by repute) terminology and thought
                      patterns. This is not surprising because the cross-fertilization of
                      Jewish and Greek thought had started way way before the Advent of
                      Christ; as is clear in the wisdom books of the Catholic and Orthodox
                      Bible.
                      or what emerged much later as the catholic Christianity that Rome split
                      off from as another unacknowledged heresy -- here I side with Orthodox
                      Christianity) As a Catholic well disposed to Orthodoxy, I fail to see
                      much difference between the two manifestations of the Church beyond that
                      of emphasis. We share the same patristic legacy of 1000 years and the
                      first seven Oecumenical Councils. Where we differ is slight - and there
                      are as many differences within the West and within the East as there are
                      between the West and East. Some of the most contested disputes (eg
                      between the Oriental as opposed to the Byzantine Orthodox and Rome) are
                      even now rapidly heading towards resolution. I know that Moscow adopts a
                      strong position on these matters. As a Catholic who loves, admires and
                      respects the Russian Church, I can only prey fervently that the
                      tentative steps towards reconciliation that the Patriarchates of Rome
                      and Moscow are making will - in God's good time - bear fruit in organic
                      unity in accordance with Apostolic tradition and practice.

                      The idea of liberal arts (freedom as an art) was foreign to their
                      exclusivism.
                      I think you should explain what you mean by "The idea of liberal arts
                      (freedom as an art)" before saying that it is foreign to whoever you are
                      saying it is foreign too - this also is not clear: all Christians, early
                      Christians, Papists or Byzantines or whom... If you explained what you
                      meant, then we might find that it was foreign to Platonism too! as I
                      recall, Plato presents some very restrictive ideas on "the Arts" in
                      Republic!

                      They were the original Taliban.
                      Come, come - no Sharia Law. No suicide terrorism. No female genital
                      mutilation.......

                      Freedom as an art by education was a pagan discovery
                      Again, you telegraph your meaning. What do you mean by "Freedom as an
                      art by education"? One of the most characteristic statements of the
                      Christ is "The truth will set you free." The Apostle Paul goes on at
                      length about freedom. The whole Jewish tradition is about an extended
                      educational process. I don't deny for a moment that "the pagans" were
                      involved in parallel process; but to set the pagan tradition up against
                      the Judeao-Christian tradition and to ignore the cross-fertilization too
                      is somewhat unfair, I think.

                      as was the concept of natural law, and thus, metaphysics -- period.

                      Good for the pagans! This is the precious pagan legacy that was welcomed
                      with open arms into the Catholic treasury.


                      By contrast, the early Christians were like fanatical Taliban with a
                      misplaced apocalypticism that they had to keep adjusting while they had
                      to invent ever
                      new and narrow resurrection narratives to gain control -- and left Paul
                      out in the process as an apostle -- ( apostolic control), invent
                      contradictory and late
                      empty tomb narratives to tack onto the gospels, while what was to become
                      the New Testament underwent constant revision, or in other words --
                      re-create Jesus into a myth in the worse sense of the word (the
                      Christian sense of the word myth as lie).

                      Now this is a tirade of unsubstantiated and contentious propositions.
                      Unless you are both a NT scholar and a historian of the first Century AD
                      you will be no more able to present good reasons for holding to such an
                      account of things than I will be able to demolish it. You can choose to
                      believe this story if you care to, as I chose to disbelieve it, but
                      please don't present it in this way as if it was clearly and fully
                      established as fact!


                      Revealed theology is Taliban dictation. Philosophy is open to all and
                      pagan.
                      This is certainly a point of view. In which case I am a Taliban. :-D

                      In Divine Friendship,

                      Stephen Lovatt

                      Author of

                      "New Skins for Old Wine: Plato's Wisdom for Today's World"

                      see
                      http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pharseas.world/NewSkins.html
                      <http://homepage.ntlworld.com/pharseas.world/NewSkins.html>
                      and
                      http://www.universal-publishers.com/book.php?method=ISBN&book=1581129602
                      <http://www.universal-publishers.com/book.php?method=ISBN&book=158112960\
                      2>
                      and
                      http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1581129602
                      <http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/1581129602>
                      and
                      http://www.myspace.com/pharsea <http://www.myspace.com/pharsea>



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • John Uebersax
                      To save Edward Moore the trouble, may I politely suggest that, while my original post may have been of only marginal scholarly interest, the posting of Tom
                      Message 10 of 25 , May 15, 2009
                        To save Edward Moore the trouble, may I politely suggest that, while my original post may have been of only marginal scholarly interest, the posting of Tom Lehrer lyrics seems over the line.

                        To try to place discussion back on a scholarly track, perhaps we can productively channel some of this emtotional energy about the "Christianity vs. Paganism" debate.

                        Here is a question I pose: why is it that Christianity, despite internal doctrinal disputes, prevailed over paganism, Gnosticism, Mithraism, etc., in the classical world? It seems far too simplistic to me to suggest this was merely due to the influence of Constantine or the Roman government. History doesn't work that way. Behind any single figure in history is an array of social forces and unexpressed public sentiment.

                        As Plutarch (De Defectu Oraculorum) described, mariners heard the plaintive cry "The great god Pan is dead" from Paxi centuries before Constantine's reign.

                        John Uebersax
                      • Jake Stratton-Kent
                        ... Talking as a pagan autodidact whose pantheon has space for Jesus: laments for various gods were heard on a regular basis (take the famous Mysian cry ) and
                        Message 11 of 25 , May 15, 2009
                          2009/5/15 John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>:
                          > As Plutarch (De Defectu Oraculorum) described, mariners heard the plaintive
                          > cry "The great god Pan is dead" from Paxi centuries before Constantine's
                          > reign.

                          Talking as a pagan autodidact whose pantheon has space for Jesus:
                          laments for various gods were heard on a regular basis (take the
                          famous 'Mysian cry') and had Plutarch's mariners come back later they
                          might have heard rejoicings for Pan's birth (we should not forget
                          either the sailor in question was called Tammuz, in common with
                          another slain and risen god). Just such lamenting and celebrating of
                          the death and birth of a god is perpetuated within Christianity. The
                          issue is complicated by an overly linear linear sense of mythic
                          history where such rites are seen as commemorative rather than a
                          recurrence. In fairness such linearity was also common among Greek
                          mythographers, but did not reflect local practice too well.

                          Incidentally it is hard to believe the Roman persecutors were such
                          expert theologians that their 'Christian' victims were all of the
                          variety later accepted as authentic, and that every type of Gnostic
                          had a free ride until the later heresy hunts. Occasions when Jews were
                          exiled along with astrologers or philosophers etc. suggest that in
                          reality they weren't particularly good at such distinctions.

                          Prove to me that you're divine,
                          Turn my water into wine,
                          Show to me that you're no fool,
                          Walk across my swimming pool.

                          The Virgin Mary she's the most,
                          Having a scene with the Holy Ghost,

                          JSK
                        • Curt Steinmetz
                          ... Such an embrace bears a strong resemblance to the open arms with which the Carthaginians welcomed Regulus on his return from Rome. Curt
                          Message 12 of 25 , May 15, 2009
                            Stephen wrote:
                            >
                            > Good for the pagans! This is the precious pagan legacy that was welcomed
                            > with open arms into the Catholic treasury.
                            >

                            Such an embrace bears a strong resemblance to the "open arms" with which
                            the Carthaginians welcomed Regulus on his return from Rome.

                            Curt
                          • Mehr Aban
                            yes indeed or :) carry the bull on your shoulders as he carried on his shoulders.... Regards, Nabarz ***************************************************
                            Message 13 of 25 , May 15, 2009
                              yes indeed or :) carry the bull on your shoulders as he carried on his shoulders....



                              Regards,

                              Nabarz

                              ***************************************************

                              http://www.myspace.com/nabarz




                              To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                              From: t_mether@...
                              Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 13:03:35 -0700
                              Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again







                              Well, within academia, nothing beats Mithraism. After cutting through the bull, you can transcend the various malefic spheres of influence.















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                            • John Uebersax
                              ... In the absence of any supporting evidence from Greek mythology that I know of, I am not persuaded that the announcement of Pan s death implies the usual
                              Message 14 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                JSK wrote:

                                > laments for various gods were heard on a regular basis

                                In the absence of any supporting evidence from Greek mythology that I know of, I am not persuaded that the announcement of Pan's death implies the usual dying/resurrected god motif. Further, this does not address my broader question, which the Pan example was merely intended to illustrate: what socio-cultural and psychological factors enabled Christianity to prevail?

                                As far as these silly lyrics are concerned, please allow me to point out that there are devout Christians (and members of other traditional religions) amongst the members of this group.

                                Now consider: one simply could not imagine the posting of lyrics that trivialized (or insulted) Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. Yet people feel perfect liberty -- if not a compulsion -- to insult Christianity. I ask you, as a philosopher, to reflect on this, and to consider why such may be the case.

                                In my own opinion, the posting of such lyrics is inappropriate, baiting, and in any case devoid of wisdom and far removed from anything to do with the content or principles of the Platonic tradition.

                                John Uebersax
                              • Jake Stratton-Kent
                                ... understood, although Plutarch is also far from infallible (when touting his virtues to a classicist some decades back he responded with that gossip
                                Message 15 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                  2009/5/16 John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>:
                                  >> JSK wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> laments for various gods were heard on a regular basis
                                  >
                                  > In the absence of any supporting evidence from Greek mythology that I know
                                  > of, I am not persuaded that the announcement of Pan's death implies the
                                  > usual dying/resurrected god motif.

                                  understood, although Plutarch is also far from infallible (when
                                  touting his virtues to a classicist some decades back he responded
                                  with 'that gossip columnist!') It is also too easy to over value
                                  literary evidence.

                                  Further, this does not address my broader
                                  > question, which the Pan example was merely intended to illustrate: what
                                  > socio-cultural and psychological factors enabled Christianity to prevail?

                                  as you said, they were complex: the march of disillusionment with
                                  State religion can be traced back to the time of Plato. Add the mood
                                  of cultural pessimism that Roman rule brought to the Hellenic and
                                  Semitic worlds (producing millinerarianism in the Hermetica as well as
                                  the Apocalypses). These currents made way for many new religious
                                  movements, of which Christianity was one.

                                  > As far as these silly lyrics are concerned, please allow me to point out
                                  > that there are devout Christians (and members of other traditional
                                  > religions) amongst the members of this group.

                                  Having just donated to Christian Aid on my doorstep, I'm now trying to
                                  imagine a Christian Neoplatonist picket of 'Jesus Christ Superstar',
                                  while wondering in what way its libretto is sillier than the pagan
                                  poking lyrics that preceded those for several posts without comment?

                                  Someone smarter than myself once said that a good religion is one that
                                  can laugh at itself, whether true of a religion or not it certainly
                                  denotes a better class of person. I preceded everything I said with an
                                  inclusion of Jesus in my personal pantheon (which was not entirely
                                  unknown in the classical world, was it Severus who had a shrine to
                                  Jesus, Abraham and Orpheus?). If I have offended anyone I apologise,
                                  but academic sneering at ancient or indeed new religious movements is
                                  not a good example to those of us in the cheap seats.

                                  > Now consider: one simply could not imagine the posting of lyrics that
                                  > trivialized (or insulted) Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. Yet people
                                  > feel perfect liberty -- if not a compulsion -- to insult Christianity. I ask
                                  > you, as a philosopher, to reflect on this, and to consider why such may be
                                  > the case.

                                  It might also be philosophical to take those lyrics in the spirit and
                                  the context in which they were posted. My posting of these lyrics
                                  followed screen after screen of doggerel concerning pagan deities and
                                  indeed Zoroaster. These received no censure, why should Lloyd
                                  Webber's?

                                  Reading some of the other posts it is apparent that the apparent
                                  trivilising of paganism disturbed some of the other lurkers on the
                                  list. Are their feelings of less account?

                                  > In my own opinion, the posting of such lyrics is inappropriate, baiting, and
                                  > in any case devoid of wisdom and far removed from anything to do with the
                                  > content or principles of the Platonic tradition.

                                  I agree, but what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

                                  ALWays

                                  Jake
                                • Jake Stratton-Kent
                                  2009/5/16 John Uebersax : have gone back over the thread and see I missed your earlier comment regarding lyrics. My apologies.
                                  Message 16 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                    2009/5/16 John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>:

                                    have gone back over the thread and see I missed your earlier comment
                                    regarding lyrics. My apologies.
                                  • Thomas Mether
                                    Since Dennis is giving us an on-going review of Kingsley s Reality, Persian inflence on Greek culture has come up in several conversations offlist -- exploring
                                    Message 17 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                      Since Dennis is giving us an on-going review of Kingsley's Reality, Persian inflence on Greek culture has come up in several conversations offlist -- exploring the free movement between Persia and Greek centers that has been masked by our "Athens-centric" perspectives. There is a classicist who has his intrigue renewed, in this light, of why both the Persians and Indians call Aristotle the "Plagiarist".
                                       
                                      I know the Indians "explanation" (whether it historically works or not) is that Aristotle copied the works of vadanga and nirukta (8 BCE to 4BCE) as "his"
                                      philosophy. The vedanga and nirukta have speculative grammar where the
                                      intelligible object (sat, Being) of pratyaksa (intellectual perception) and
                                      buddhi (determiniation) has modes where words and forms of being match
                                      (nama-rupa). Thus, they develop a set of categories, ways of saying being
                                      and ways that being is with the fundamental one being substance (dravya)
                                      and all the other categories apply to it. Plus they developed a monadic
                                      and dyadic principle for change that led to a furmulation of potency
                                      and act (essence and actualized existence, essence and material
                                      cause, etc.). They claim "Sikander the Vainglorious" sent copies of
                                      these works back to him.
                                       
                                      I wonder if the Persians had a similar discipline at the time. 

                                      --- On Fri, 5/15/09, Mehr Aban <nabarz@...> wrote:


                                      From: Mehr Aban <nabarz@...>
                                      Subject: RE: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                                      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                                      Date: Friday, May 15, 2009, 9:18 AM





                                      yes indeed or :) carry the bull on your shoulders as he carried on his shoulders....



                                      Regards,

                                      Nabarz

                                      ***************************************************

                                      http://www.myspace.com/nabarz




                                      To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                                      From: t_mether@...
                                      Date: Thu, 14 May 2009 13:03:35 -0700
                                      Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again







                                      Well, within academia, nothing beats Mithraism. After cutting through the bull, you can transcend the various malefic spheres of influence.















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                                    • Thomas Mether
                                      It is an anachronism to say what allowed Christianity (singular) to prevail. The studies I am familiar with (that move beyond higher historical criticism and
                                      Message 18 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                        It is an anachronism to say what allowed "Christianity" (singular) to prevail. The studies I am familiar with (that move beyond higher historical criticism and search for the historical Jesus, discuss the synoptic problem, etc.) show there were forms of Christianity that would not or could not have prevailed given the social-political conditions that allowed the one form of it that did prevail to prevail. The version of christianity out of the many early christianities that prevailed was the one that looked most like an empire that could be used to shore up an empire. The one that was already the most imperial in its internal constitution was the one used by the larger imperial order to give it new life.

                                        --- On Sat, 5/16/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...> wrote:


                                        From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>
                                        Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                                        To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                                        Date: Saturday, May 16, 2009, 4:55 AM









                                        JSK wrote:

                                        > laments for various gods were heard on a regular basis

                                        In the absence of any supporting evidence from Greek mythology that I know of, I am not persuaded that the announcement of Pan's death implies the usual dying/resurrected god motif. Further, this does not address my broader question, which the Pan example was merely intended to illustrate: what socio-cultural and psychological factors enabled Christianity to prevail?

                                        As far as these silly lyrics are concerned, please allow me to point out that there are devout Christians (and members of other traditional religions) amongst the members of this group.

                                        Now consider: one simply could not imagine the posting of lyrics that trivialized (or insulted) Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. Yet people feel perfect liberty -- if not a compulsion -- to insult Christianity. I ask you, as a philosopher, to reflect on this, and to consider why such may be the case.

                                        In my own opinion, the posting of such lyrics is inappropriate, baiting, and in any case devoid of wisdom and far removed from anything to do with the content or principles of the Platonic tradition.

                                        John Uebersax



















                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Bradley Skene
                                        The usual explanation that is advanced by historians of Late Antiquity is that the Church became a powerful institution with an income, charities, courts, etc.
                                        Message 19 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                          The usual explanation that is advanced by historians of Late Antiquity is
                                          that the Church became a powerful institution with an income,
                                          charities, courts, etc. during the crisis of the mid third century when the
                                          Empire was at its weakest as an institution. After that it was inevitable
                                          that it be co-opted by the Imperial administration--too hard and wasteful to
                                          destroy it as Diocletian found. Sorting out doctrine and belief was a
                                          secondary consideration.
                                          Cheers,

                                          Bradley A. Skene

                                          On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 9:18 AM, Thomas Mether <t_mether@...> wrote:

                                          >
                                          >
                                          > It is an anachronism to say what allowed "Christianity" (singular) to
                                          > prevail. The studies I am familiar with (that move beyond higher historical
                                          > criticism and search for the historical Jesus, discuss the synoptic problem,
                                          > etc.) show there were forms of Christianity that would not or could not have
                                          > prevailed given the social-political conditions that allowed the one form of
                                          > it that did prevail to prevail. The version of christianity out of the many
                                          > early christianities that prevailed was the one that looked most like an
                                          > empire that could be used to shore up an empire. The one that was already
                                          > the most imperial in its internal constitution was the one used by the
                                          > larger imperial order to give it new life.
                                          >
                                          > --- On Sat, 5/16/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...<john.uebersax%40yahoo.com>>
                                          > wrote:
                                          >
                                          > From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@... <john.uebersax%40yahoo.com>>
                                          >
                                          > Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                                          > To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com <neoplatonism%40yahoogroups.com>
                                          > Date: Saturday, May 16, 2009, 4:55 AM
                                          >
                                          > JSK wrote:
                                          >
                                          > > laments for various gods were heard on a regular basis
                                          >
                                          > In the absence of any supporting evidence from Greek mythology that I know
                                          > of, I am not persuaded that the announcement of Pan's death implies the
                                          > usual dying/resurrected god motif. Further, this does not address my broader
                                          > question, which the Pan example was merely intended to illustrate: what
                                          > socio-cultural and psychological factors enabled Christianity to prevail?
                                          >
                                          > As far as these silly lyrics are concerned, please allow me to point out
                                          > that there are devout Christians (and members of other traditional
                                          > religions) amongst the members of this group.
                                          >
                                          > Now consider: one simply could not imagine the posting of lyrics that
                                          > trivialized (or insulted) Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. Yet people
                                          > feel perfect liberty -- if not a compulsion -- to insult Christianity. I ask
                                          > you, as a philosopher, to reflect on this, and to consider why such may be
                                          > the case.
                                          >
                                          > In my own opinion, the posting of such lyrics is inappropriate, baiting,
                                          > and in any case devoid of wisdom and far removed from anything to do with
                                          > the content or principles of the Platonic tradition.
                                          >
                                          > John Uebersax
                                          >
                                          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          >
                                          >
                                          >


                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Thomas Mether
                                          State Cults: a few points need to be made.   1. Over the last few years, we have been refining our terms and their references. More precisely, we need to make
                                          Message 20 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                            State Cults: a few points need to be made.
                                             
                                            1. Over the last few years, we have been refining our terms and their references. More precisely, we need to make a distinction between religious of correct belief (orthodoxy) and of correct practice (orthopraxy) and recognize that most state cults were practices -- not belief. Given that, the "cynicism" or "questioning", as Burkert points out for one, of what we used to say was of the state cult is not directed to the cult itself (the practice) but to the epic mythology. Alienation from the mythology does not translate into alienation from the cult and the physical evidence (votives, offerings, graves, etc) show no abandonment of the cult. Plus, we have evidence of cultic sites resisting the "Homer-Hesiodic mythological interpretations" when they were first applied to particular sites. This trend seems to travel with the building of Zeus temples with a cultic image -- the oldest temples with a cultic image are of Hera. There was a marked resistance,
                                            both in drama and in cult, of having images of Zeus or even an altar. At many sites, the altar to Zeus was simply the accumulated pile of ash from sacrifices. Anyway, for some reason, the trend of mythologizing sites (i.e., interpreting the local cult in terms of Homeric-Hesiodic motifs) was met with immediate resistance (myths were sacrilege or obscene) travelled with the trend to build Zeus temples and images. Burkert speculated, and some following Burkert have found evidence to support his speculation that this trend was part of a "panhellenic" ideology, Homer-Hesiod the "pnahellenic myth-epic" and Zeus the "panhellenic god over the panhellenic games". Anyway, the physical evidence suggests the local cults were not abandoned or "less busy" as time went by.
                                             
                                            2. We need to distinguish Greek from Roman cults. In Rome, the "graeco-interpretation" (the mythologization) was stipulated in Roman law to not be official or part of the public cult (by the way, neither was the cella and its image -- the public cult was three fires and the templum, the platform drawn out by auspices, and rites for domestic gods. For foreign gods that were adopted by Rome, they had by contrast a fanum for the platform
                                            not drawn out by auspices but just surveyed). The stereotype we have had even in academia that there was a general and growing alienation from the public cult has been overturned in recent research. The Roman public cult was vigorously going alive and well and was suppressed by Christians with great difficulty over a period of 300 years. Most
                                            Romans, at least of the middle to upper classes -- whether in the cities or in the villas in the country, were devout even into late empire. Here I cite the work of professors Le Glay, Sorbonne, Voisin, Bourgogne, and Le Bohec, Lyon.  

                                            --- On Sat, 5/16/09, Jake Stratton-Kent <jakestrattonkent@...> wrote:


                                            From: Jake Stratton-Kent <jakestrattonkent@...>
                                            Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                                            To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                                            Date: Saturday, May 16, 2009, 5:58 AM








                                            2009/5/16 John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com>:
                                            >> JSK wrote:
                                            >
                                            >> laments for various gods were heard on a regular basis
                                            >
                                            > In the absence of any supporting evidence from Greek mythology that I know
                                            > of, I am not persuaded that the announcement of Pan's death implies the
                                            > usual dying/resurrected god motif.

                                            understood, although Plutarch is also far from infallible (when
                                            touting his virtues to a classicist some decades back he responded
                                            with 'that gossip columnist!') It is also too easy to over value
                                            literary evidence.

                                            Further, this does not address my broader
                                            > question, which the Pan example was merely intended to illustrate: what
                                            > socio-cultural and psychological factors enabled Christianity to prevail?

                                            as you said, they were complex: the march of disillusionment with
                                            State religion can be traced back to the time of Plato. Add the mood
                                            of cultural pessimism that Roman rule brought to the Hellenic and
                                            Semitic worlds (producing millinerarianism in the Hermetica as well as
                                            the Apocalypses) . These currents made way for many new religious
                                            movements, of which Christianity was one.

                                            > As far as these silly lyrics are concerned, please allow me to point out
                                            > that there are devout Christians (and members of other traditional
                                            > religions) amongst the members of this group.

                                            Having just donated to Christian Aid on my doorstep, I'm now trying to
                                            imagine a Christian Neoplatonist picket of 'Jesus Christ Superstar',
                                            while wondering in what way its libretto is sillier than the pagan
                                            poking lyrics that preceded those for several posts without comment?

                                            Someone smarter than myself once said that a good religion is one that
                                            can laugh at itself, whether true of a religion or not it certainly
                                            denotes a better class of person. I preceded everything I said with an
                                            inclusion of Jesus in my personal pantheon (which was not entirely
                                            unknown in the classical world, was it Severus who had a shrine to
                                            Jesus, Abraham and Orpheus?). If I have offended anyone I apologise,
                                            but academic sneering at ancient or indeed new religious movements is
                                            not a good example to those of us in the cheap seats.

                                            > Now consider: one simply could not imagine the posting of lyrics that
                                            > trivialized (or insulted) Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. Yet people
                                            > feel perfect liberty -- if not a compulsion -- to insult Christianity. I ask
                                            > you, as a philosopher, to reflect on this, and to consider why such may be
                                            > the case.

                                            It might also be philosophical to take those lyrics in the spirit and
                                            the context in which they were posted. My posting of these lyrics
                                            followed screen after screen of doggerel concerning pagan deities and
                                            indeed Zoroaster. These received no censure, why should Lloyd
                                            Webber's?

                                            Reading some of the other posts it is apparent that the apparent
                                            trivilising of paganism disturbed some of the other lurkers on the
                                            list. Are their feelings of less account?

                                            > In my own opinion, the posting of such lyrics is inappropriate, baiting, and
                                            > in any case devoid of wisdom and far removed from anything to do with the
                                            > content or principles of the Platonic tradition.

                                            I agree, but what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

                                            ALWays

                                            Jake


















                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Thomas Mether
                                            Agreed, I don t think I said anything different except that using the term Christianity in the singular is anachronistic. Some christianities were too
                                            Message 21 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                              Agreed, I don't think I said anything different except that using the term "Christianity" in the singular is anachronistic. Some christianities were too amorphous and free-form, others too counter-cultural and anti-establishment, and others too oriental. The christianity that had a concept of apostolic succession, as seen in or as invented by Polycarp, Ignatius, and... company, is the one that emerges with the institutional clout to and internal government to shore up Rome.

                                              --- On Sat, 5/16/09, Bradley Skene <anebo10@...> wrote:


                                              From: Bradley Skene <anebo10@...>
                                              Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                                              To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
                                              Date: Saturday, May 16, 2009, 9:46 AM








                                              The usual explanation that is advanced by historians of Late Antiquity is
                                              that the Church became a powerful institution with an income,
                                              charities, courts, etc. during the crisis of the mid third century when the
                                              Empire was at its weakest as an institution. After that it was inevitable
                                              that it be co-opted by the Imperial administration- -too hard and wasteful to
                                              destroy it as Diocletian found. Sorting out doctrine and belief was a
                                              secondary consideration.
                                              Cheers,

                                              Bradley A. Skene

                                              On Sat, May 16, 2009 at 9:18 AM, Thomas Mether <t_mether@yahoo. com> wrote:

                                              >
                                              >
                                              > It is an anachronism to say what allowed "Christianity" (singular) to
                                              > prevail. The studies I am familiar with (that move beyond higher historical
                                              > criticism and search for the historical Jesus, discuss the synoptic problem,
                                              > etc.) show there were forms of Christianity that would not or could not have
                                              > prevailed given the social-political conditions that allowed the one form of
                                              > it that did prevail to prevail. The version of christianity out of the many
                                              > early christianities that prevailed was the one that looked most like an
                                              > empire that could be used to shore up an empire. The one that was already
                                              > the most imperial in its internal constitution was the one used by the
                                              > larger imperial order to give it new life.
                                              >
                                              > --- On Sat, 5/16/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com<john.uebersax% 40yahoo.com> >
                                              > wrote:
                                              >
                                              > From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@ yahoo.com <john.uebersax% 40yahoo.com> >
                                              >
                                              > Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] On becoming Hellenes again
                                              > To: neoplatonism@ yahoogroups. com <neoplatonism% 40yahoogroups. com>
                                              > Date: Saturday, May 16, 2009, 4:55 AM
                                              >
                                              > JSK wrote:
                                              >
                                              > > laments for various gods were heard on a regular basis
                                              >
                                              > In the absence of any supporting evidence from Greek mythology that I know
                                              > of, I am not persuaded that the announcement of Pan's death implies the
                                              > usual dying/resurrected god motif. Further, this does not address my broader
                                              > question, which the Pan example was merely intended to illustrate: what
                                              > socio-cultural and psychological factors enabled Christianity to prevail?
                                              >
                                              > As far as these silly lyrics are concerned, please allow me to point out
                                              > that there are devout Christians (and members of other traditional
                                              > religions) amongst the members of this group.
                                              >
                                              > Now consider: one simply could not imagine the posting of lyrics that
                                              > trivialized (or insulted) Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, or Hinduism. Yet people
                                              > feel perfect liberty -- if not a compulsion -- to insult Christianity. I ask
                                              > you, as a philosopher, to reflect on this, and to consider why such may be
                                              > the case.
                                              >
                                              > In my own opinion, the posting of such lyrics is inappropriate, baiting,
                                              > and in any case devoid of wisdom and far removed from anything to do with
                                              > the content or principles of the Platonic tradition.
                                              >
                                              > John Uebersax
                                              >
                                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                              >
                                              >
                                              >

                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



















                                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                            • Cosmin I. Andron
                                              I believe this topic has been somewhat over discussed so i would be grateful if it could find a halt here. I am also taking this opportunity to remind
                                              Message 22 of 25 , May 16, 2009
                                                I believe this topic has been somewhat over discussed so i would be grateful if it could find a halt here.

                                                I am also taking this opportunity to remind honourable list members what it is written on the opening page of this forum:
                                                "purpose of the list is to provide an environment for an academic type of discussion of Platonism and its significance."

                                                Without any doubt many issues could be linked to Platonism and almost everything could be argued to be a Platonism-related discussion if one really wants. Yet we also all know when the borders of both topic and approach have been crossed. Therefore, even if Plato was a pagan who influenced Christian faith i find it to be off-topic for this list any discussion (except accidentally mentioning of) on the values of paganism, revival of it, the value of the Church, the lost spirit, etc. A list about ancient mysteries and the such would be more appropriate.

                                                There is also the option of carrying on some off topic discussion through private correspondence.

                                                Thank you!

                                                Cosmin

                                                ----------------------------------------------------
                                                Cosmin I. Andron, Ph. D.

                                                Director, Centre for International Cooperation
                                                Office of the Rector
                                                National School of Political Studies and Administration
                                                6-8 Povernei St, Bucharest, Romania
                                                Tel. +40213180897 ext. 2550
                                                Email: cosmin.andron@...

                                                &

                                                Tutor in Philosophy
                                                Department of Classics
                                                Royal Holloway College, University of London
                                                Egham, Surrey TW20 0EX, England
                                                Email: c.i.andron@...


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