What is everyone reading?

Rafa999

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GabrieltheCelt said:
Heorhij said:
I started to read St. John Chrysostomos's "Homilies on the Gospel According to St. John" yesterday night. Thought it would be a proper Passion Week reading. What a disappointment. First two chapters shocked me. Extremely angry, and, honestly, silly attacks on Plato and Pifagoras, mixed with "rosy," sentimental and very sticky, "epileptic," repetitive praise to St. John the Apostle, whom St. John Chrysostomos apparently sees as being personally divinely inspired... Stopped. :(
Hmm.  Now I really want to read more of St. John Chrysostom's works.  This morning on my way to work, I listened in on a Protestant radio program about how much Judaism influenced Christianity.  Don't know why this surprised me, but rather than talk about something legitimate, two of the guests lamented on how much St. John Chrysostom is responsible for anti-Semitism (their words).  The way I see it, if so many people dislike the Goldenmouth, he must be onto something.  
Considering that Chrysostom was against the intrusion of Judaism in Christianity and protestants are showing a disturbing trend to go over what the rabbis say word for word but reject the teachings of the Apostles and Fathers...then yes, he is on to something as are you in making the connection.
 

Heorhij

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ytterbiumanalyst said:
Rafa999 said:
See? Even Mar John Chrysostom agrees with me that Plato and Pythagoras are a waste of time, pagan vanities.
Wow. You're actually placing yourself as equal to St. John Chrysostom? Not that I'm all that surprised, actually....
Folks, don't get me wrong. I admit that St. John Chrysostomos was a great teacher of the Church. Actually, beginning from Chapter 3, his polemic tone becomes gradually calmer, and he begins a thorough analysis of the verses of the Gospel. What shocked me at the beginning was not as much a content as an approach. We all are brought up (hopefully!) on a balancedand impersonal tradition of academic discourse. Of course, in the 4th century A.D. such a tradition was simply not there.

Rafa, you are not serious, brother, are you? :)
 

Heorhij

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Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
St. John Chrysostom or Plato. Hmmm... perhaps the one you choose will disclose whether you love Sophia or sophistry. ;)


Selam
Apparently, some Fathers preferred "sophistry," because they were a lot closer to Plato than to St. John Chrysostomos. They could not reconcile themselves with the notion that "matter," flesh, substance, "earth" are worth something. While St. John fiercely argued that Paradise was ON EARTH and that the redeemed mankind after resurrection will live ON EARTH (transformed, transfigured - but still material; I even found one sentence in his Homilies on Genesis that "NOWHERE the Scriptures say anything about any "spiritual Earth"), - some of them tried to banish everything earthly, everything material, substantial from their thought. In St. John Chrysostomos, there is no symbolic interpretation of "animal skins" from Genesis 3:21 (in Homilies on Genesis, he praises God for quite literally clothing quite literal fleshly Adam and Eve in these clothes, to protect them from cold!), - while in other Fathers these "animal skins" is the allegory signifying that Adam and Eve were not quite fleshly by design and acquired their "crude matter of the flesh" as a result of their fall into sin. Platonism, most definitely, prevailed over Aristotelianism in much of the patristic thought, and it poisons the Church till today, I am afraid...
 

Rafa999

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Heorhij said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Rafa999 said:
See? Even Mar John Chrysostom agrees with me that Plato and Pythagoras are a waste of time, pagan vanities.
Wow. You're actually placing yourself as equal to St. John Chrysostom? Not that I'm all that surprised, actually....
Folks, don't get me wrong. I admit that St. John Chrysostomos was a great teacher of the Church. Actually, beginning from Chapter 3, his polemic tone becomes gradually calmer, and he begins a thorough analysis of the verses of the Gospel. What shocked me at the beginning was not as much a content as an approach. We all are brought up (hopefully!) on a balancedand impersonal tradition of academic discourse. Of course, in the 4th century A.D. such a tradition was simply not there.

Rafa, you are not serious, brother, are you? :)

Deadly serious, Chrysostom bashed Plato and Pythagoras because that's what Julian the Apostate who lived while he was around loved quoting when he slew Christians. Just read "Against the Galileans", see how much Plato the heathens read and used to pit against the teachings of the one true Church. We have Julian in that tract defending Plato's account of the creation in Timaeus versus Moses's in Genesis, contrasting Solomon to a guy called Polycrates, etc. Read Celsus too to see what I mean, even Justinian who was a Greek emperor shut down the schools of philosophy.
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

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ozgeorge said:
Re-reading "Abba Dorotheos- Practical Teaching On The Christian Life" translated by Constantine Scouteris.
Could you tell us a little about it?  Do you think it helpful for those of us who are living in 'the world'?  I have access to this version.  They seem to be the same. 

 

Heorhij

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Rafa999 said:
Heorhij said:
ytterbiumanalyst said:
Rafa999 said:
See? Even Mar John Chrysostom agrees with me that Plato and Pythagoras are a waste of time, pagan vanities.
Wow. You're actually placing yourself as equal to St. John Chrysostom? Not that I'm all that surprised, actually....
Folks, don't get me wrong. I admit that St. John Chrysostomos was a great teacher of the Church. Actually, beginning from Chapter 3, his polemic tone becomes gradually calmer, and he begins a thorough analysis of the verses of the Gospel. What shocked me at the beginning was not as much a content as an approach. We all are brought up (hopefully!) on a balancedand impersonal tradition of academic discourse. Of course, in the 4th century A.D. such a tradition was simply not there.

Rafa, you are not serious, brother, are you? :)

Deadly serious, Chrysostom bashed Plato and Pythagoras because that's what Julian the Apostate who lived while he was around loved quoting when he slew Christians. Just read "Against the Galileans", see how much Plato the heathens read and used to pit against the teachings of the one true Church. We have Julian in that tract defending Plato's account of the creation in Timaeus versus Moses's in Genesis, contrasting Solomon to a guy called Polycrates, etc. Read Celsus too to see what I mean, even Justinian who was a Greek emperor shut down the schools of philosophy.
The teachings of the true Church you mention in fact incorporated a lot of Plato... And speaking about who slew whom, well...

I hoped you would say, no, I am not serious, I am polemic.:)
 

ozgeorge

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GabrieltheCelt said:
ozgeorge said:
Re-reading "Abba Dorotheos- Practical Teaching On The Christian Life" translated by Constantine Scouteris.
Could you tell us a little about it?  Do you think it helpful for those of us who are living in 'the world'?  I have access to this version.  They seem to be the same.  

I have both versions, but I much prefer the "Practical Teaching" version to "Discourses and Sayings". "Practical Teaching" has excellent explanatory footnotes and places the scripture references in the text, whereas "Discourses and Sayings" uses the footnotes for scripture references only. Also "Practical Teaching" comes with a CD ROM with great audio visual material accompanying the book.
On the question of whether it is suited to "those of us living in the world", I have to say that the "Practical Teaching" versions explanatory notes make it much more readable. Also,  I was listening to an old AFR Podcast, "The Path" yesterday which I somehow managed to download last year and not listen to, and it was discussing the senses, and this episode was on hearing. St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountains was discussed, and he says things like: there should not be music at Christian wedding receptions, and that we should not get carried away emotionally with music etc. The point St. Nicodemos was making is that God is ultimately beyond everything and all concepts- He neither contains anything nor is contained, but He is Beyond everything, and therefore, in order to reach Him, we must go beyond every created thing (including sounds and music)- and this is true whether we are a monk or a innkeeper. So all Orthodox spiritual teaching is a bit like that. Rather than setting up "rules" ( a common mistake, especially among converts from heterodox Christian traditions) Orthodox Spiritual teaching sets up the the ideal and goal towards which each of us must strive in our given circumstances. If we keep this in mind, I think we will all get much more benefit from texts like Abba Dorotheos, the Evergentinos, the Philokalia, the Ladder, Unseen Warfare, etc.
 

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Heorhij said:
Gebre Menfes Kidus said:
St. John Chrysostom or Plato. Hmmm... perhaps the one you choose will disclose whether you love Sophia or sophistry. ;)


Selam
Apparently, some Fathers preferred "sophistry," because they were a lot closer to Plato than to St. John Chrysostomos. They could not reconcile themselves with the notion that "matter," flesh, substance, "earth" are worth something. While St. John fiercely argued that Paradise was ON EARTH and that the redeemed mankind after resurrection will live ON EARTH (transformed, transfigured - but still material; I even found one sentence in his Homilies on Genesis that "NOWHERE the Scriptures say anything about any "spiritual Earth"), - some of them tried to banish everything earthly, everything material, substantial from their thought. In St. John Chrysostomos, there is no symbolic interpretation of "animal skins" from Genesis 3:21 (in Homilies on Genesis, he praises God for quite literally clothing quite literal fleshly Adam and Eve in these clothes, to protect them from cold!), - while in other Fathers these "animal skins" is the allegory signifying that Adam and Eve were not quite fleshly by design and acquired their "crude matter of the flesh" as a result of their fall into sin. Platonism, most definitely, prevailed over Aristotelianism in much of the patristic thought, and it poisons the Church till today, I am afraid...
While I admire and venerate St. John, I feel the need to speak up for Plato in this instance! Plato does not equal Platonism. There is untruth in Plato, but there is also much truth. Many fathers throughout the ages, from St. Basil the Great to St. Nektarios of Aegina in modern times realized this. Take the good from out of the bad and give thanks to God for everything true and beautiful!

I really like this passage from the Meno:

virtue is found to be neither natural nor taught, but is imparted to us by a divine dispensation without understanding in those who receive it, unless there should be somebody among the statesmen capable of making [ποιῆσαι] a statesman of another. And if there should be any such, he might fairly be said to be among the living what Homer says Teiresias was among the dead—“He alone has comprehension; the rest are flitting shades.”1 In the same way he on earth, in respect of virtue, will be a real substance among shadows.

I consider this to be almost a sort of prophecy of our Lord.
 

Asteriktos

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Chemistry Demystified, by Linda Williams
Science 101: Chemistry, by Denise Kiernan and Joseph D'Agnese

Anyone wanna guess what class I expect to have problems in next semester?  ;)
 

Asteriktos

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Nebelpfade said:
Asteriktos said:
Chemistry Demystified, by Linda Williams
If that the one with the 'mad scientist' on the cover?
Lol, yeah, I had to go check, but it is that one. It was the "real world" part on the cover that got my attention at B&N, as I find that I can pick up scientific concepts easier if I can relate it to something of practical use.

 

Asteriktos

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The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, translated by Benedicta Ward
Deification in Christ: Orthodox Perspectives on the Nature of the Human Person, by Panayiotis Nellas
 
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