Reign of Momoko

Reign of Momoko

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Absolute Divine Simplicity

Divine simplicity follows from the Thomistic doctrine of pure actuality and is affirmed in the Roman Catholic tradition by the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 and reaffirmed in Vatican I (1870).

***

“…one of the most fundamental tenets of the Latin theological tradition [is] the doctrine of divine simplicity. Given divine simplicity as the Latin tradition understands it, God is identical with His own eternity, as He is identical with all of His essential attributes. This means that, as Augustine remarks, “eternity is the very substance of God” [1] Plainly since eternity is the divine substance, it cannot be shared by creatures[2]

[1]Expositions of the Psalms, Homily 2 on Psalm 101, ch. 10 (PL 37 1311).

[2]It is true that Aquinas speaks of angels and the blessed as “participating” in eternity, but on close examination this turns out to be an intentional rather than an ontological relationship. Such creatures participate in eternity only inasmuch as they take on the divine essence as an intelligible species. Given the identity of the act of understanding with its object, this means that they are united to God, as Aquinas puts it, not “in the act of being, but only in the act of understanding.” (Summa Contra Gentiles III.54.9; cf. III.61.3.)

David Bradshaw, A Christian Approach to the Philosophy of Time, pp 2, 12

***

“When they [Roman Catholics] speak of operations and energies as distinct from the essence, they are thinking of created effects of the divine essence. Their notion of God admits of nothing but an essential existence for divinity. What is not the essence itself does not belong to the divine being, is not God. Therefore the energies must be either identified with the essence or separated from it completely as actions which are external to it, i.e. as created effects having the essence as their cause.” Vladimir Lossky, cited in Aristotle Papanikolaou, Being With God: Trinity, Apophaticism, and Divine Human Communion (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006), p. 26.

“To this argument, Lossky, following Palamas, poses the dilemma that if God’s energies are not uncreated, either the essence is communicated which results not in deification but absorption, or created existence participates in something that is less than divine. In either case, there is no real deification that consists of a real communion with the divine without an annihilation of the integrity of creation. Barlaam’s defense of divine simplicity starts “from a philosophical concept of essence, leads finally to conclusions which are in admissible for practical piety and contrary to the tradition of the Eastern Church.” (Papanikolaou, ibid)

“…It thus becomes clearer what Lossky means when he argues that in Thomism “a rationalistic doctrine of causality is introduced into the doctrine of grace.” The net result is that it reduces knowledge of God to human concepts. For the God who is transcendent and immanent in the creation, this violates God’s transcendence insofar as God becomes that which is necessary according to modes of human thought and logical discourse; it also leads to a God who is not immanent insofar as these modes of human thought and logical discourse are limited to created being and do not bridge the gap between the uncreated and the created. The intellectualization of theology, with the introduction of a “rationalistic doctrine of causality,” leads necessarily to notions of created grace, which is something less than God… The main problem with such an approach to theology is that it fails to establish as its first principle the realism of divine-human communion. It attempts to eliminate the paradoxical nature of the Incarnation when the very core of theology is this antinomy. If the very notion of divine-human communion, of the transcendent and immanent God, is antinomic, then theological discourse itself is grounded in the very being of God and must express, not eliminate, the antinomy. Hence, the necessity for both cataphatic and apophatic theologies to be held in a tension that is transcended in the being of God, and not simply for an apophatic corrective to cataphatic theology. The apophatic affirmation of the God who is beyond being is, ironically for Lossky, the only way to affirm that there can be real immanence in created being and, thus, the realism of divine-human communion. (ibid, p. 29f.).

Aristotle Papanikolaou

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Absolute Divine Simplicity

Divine simplicity follows from the Thomistic doctrine of pure actuality and is affirmed in the Roman Catholic tradition by the Fourth Lateran Council of 1215 and reaffirmed in Vatican I (1870).

***

“…one of the most fundamental tenets of the Latin theological tradition [is] the doctrine of divine simplicity. Given divine simplicity as the Latin tradition understands it, God is identical with His own eternity, as He is identical with all of His essential attributes. This means that, as Augustine remarks, “eternity is the very substance of God” [1] Plainly since eternity is the divine substance, it cannot be shared by creatures[2]

[1]Expositions of the Psalms, Homily 2 on Psalm 101, ch. 10 (PL 37 1311).

[2]It is true that Aquinas speaks of angels and the blessed as “participating” in eternity, but on close examination this turns out to be an intentional rather than an ontological relationship. Such creatures participate in eternity only inasmuch as they take on the divine essence as an intelligible species. Given the identity of the act of understanding with its object, this means that they are united to God, as Aquinas puts it, not “in the act of being, but only in the act of understanding.” (Summa Contra Gentiles III.54.9; cf. III.61.3.)

David Bradshaw, A Christian Approach to the Philosophy of Time, pp 2, 12

***

“When they [Roman Catholics] speak of operations and energies as distinct from the essence, they are thinking of created effects of the divine essence. Their notion of God admits of nothing but an essential existence for divinity. What is not the essence itself does not belong to the divine being, is not God. Therefore the energies must be either identified with the essence or separated from it completely as actions which are external to it, i.e. as created effects having the essence as their cause.” Vladimir Lossky, cited in Aristotle Papanikolaou, Being With God: Trinity, Apophaticism, and Divine Human Communion (University of Notre Dame Press, 2006), p. 26.

“To this argument, Lossky, following Palamas, poses the dilemma that if God’s energies are not uncreated, either the essence is communicated which results not in deification but absorption, or created existence participates in something that is less than divine. In either case, there is no real deification that consists of a real communion with the divine without an annihilation of the integrity of creation. Barlaam’s defense of divine simplicity starts “from a philosophical concept of essence, leads finally to conclusions which are in admissible for practical piety and contrary to the tradition of the Eastern Church.” (Papanikolaou, ibid)

“…It thus becomes clearer what Lossky means when he argues that in Thomism “a rationalistic doctrine of causality is introduced into the doctrine of grace.” The net result is that it reduces knowledge of God to human concepts. For the God who is transcendent and immanent in the creation, this violates God’s transcendence insofar as God becomes that which is necessary according to modes of human thought and logical discourse; it also leads to a God who is not immanent insofar as these modes of human thought and logical discourse are limited to created being and do not bridge the gap between the uncreated and the created. The intellectualization of theology, with the introduction of a “rationalistic doctrine of causality,” leads necessarily to notions of created grace, which is something less than God… The main problem with such an approach to theology is that it fails to establish as its first principle the realism of divine-human communion. It attempts to eliminate the paradoxical nature of the Incarnation when the very core of theology is this antinomy. If the very notion of divine-human communion, of the transcendent and immanent God, is antinomic, then theological discourse itself is grounded in the very being of God and must express, not eliminate, the antinomy. Hence, the necessity for both cataphatic and apophatic theologies to be held in a tension that is transcended in the being of God, and not simply for an apophatic corrective to cataphatic theology. The apophatic affirmation of the God who is beyond being is, ironically for Lossky, the only way to affirm that there can be real immanence in created being and, thus, the realism of divine-human communion. (ibid, p. 29f.).

Aristotle Papanikolaou

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A Tale of Two Theaters: Greek and Roman Theaters

By Jocelyn Hitchcock, Contributing Writer, Classical Wisdom

Greek and Roman theaters regularly rank among the most popular archaeological sites to visit. Their sheer size and state of preservation make it easy for visitors to gauge the scale of events in antiquity and to feel as if they can travel back in time; an experience that doesn’t always occur when trekking crumbling ruins. But while Greek and Roman theaters are often lumped together in common vernacular, there are actually meaningful differences that distinguish their origins and cultures.

Roman Theater Plan

The Evolution of the Greek Theater Structure

The most basic elements of both Greek and Roman theaters are shared: semicircular, raised seating, a chorus, and incredible acoustics. The early Greek theaters were made of wood, built into the hillside, and had a beaten earth stage as the focal point. The oldest example of an ancient Greek theater is the Theater of Dionysus Eleuthereus, located on the South Slope of the Acropolis in Athens and dating to the 6th century BCE. The seats were built into the natural slope of the hill, taking advantage of the elevated viewing opportunity.

Ancient Greek theater, 450-400 BC, Classical period. Neapolis Archaeological Park of Syracuse.

Originally made all out of wood, the 5th century renovations saw a rectangular stage with corresponding wings added and stone seats in the front row only.

By the 4th century BCE, all the seats were transformed from wooden planks into stone benches and acquired a backdrop of stone and semi-columns. The evolution of the Theater of Dionysus exemplifies the transformations of other Greek theaters in antiquity, representing the typical architectural form embodied throughout. The theaters of Epidaurus, Delphi, and Pergamon all remain in great condition and demonstrate the social demand for these monumental arenas.

Theater of Dionysus Eleuthereus

Roman Theater Structure Refined

Centuries later, Roman theaters took the architectural form of Greek theaters and tweaked it, refined it, and altered it just enough to fit their own socio-political tastes. Perhaps the biggest visual difference is that Roman theaters were usually freestanding, which means that they were not constructed into a hillside. Roman theaters also built the backdrop (or the scaenae frons) to at least two stories and joined it with the seating. They installed awnings that could be extended, enclosing the whole theater in a style of which we are familiar with today.

Other modifications included the complete paving and/or marbling of the performance area, the orchestra, and the seats. They added monumental statues, columns, and reliefs to the stage to make it even more impressive to the viewers.

Theater of Hierapolis

Greek and Roman Theater Performances

As to be expected, the type of performances held in both Greek and Roman theaters were quite similar. Comedy and tragedy dominated, and theaters housed drama competitions and festivals to be carried out throughout the year. Masks, costumes, props, songs, and music all made up the show, with actors communicating with the audience directly or indirectly.

Scholarship since the 1960’s has worked hard to reconstruct dramatic performances, prompting questions about the function of the built in backdrop, stage decor, and what exactly was left up to the viewers to imagine themselves.

Theater at Epidaurus being used for a summer festival in 2018

With few exceptions, Greek tragedies and comedies were performed by up to three actors, with some doubling up characters when need be. They used masks, which have been interpreted as “semiotic agents,” taking on a life of their own and possessing the typified personality, character, and attributes. As such, stock characters were immediately recognizable, but it was up to the play and performance to dictate the acute personality of the character.

Apart from the actors, Greek dramas made ample use of the chorus, much to the confusion of modern scholars. The chorus is distinct from the stage action spatially, as they stand on the circular orchestra in front of the rectangular stage. They sing directly to the audience or other characters, but often as a removed viewer of the activity.

Examples of theatrical masks

Roman dramas, while originally taking themes from Greek topics and myths, eventually began to adopt their own themes with Etruscan and Latin origins. Choruses in Roman tragedies were incorporated into on-stage action, an aspect that differed from Roman comedy. Roman comedy were either Greek adaptations or entirely Roman in a Roman setting. Male actors would have likely performed all roles in Roman theater, like in Greek theater, but there is some evidence that women may have been minimally involved.

Late Roman Theater

More Please!

Overall, the comparison between Greek and Roman theater speak to the desire for ‘more’ evolving in the respective societies: more genres, more topics, more characters, and more elaborate furnishings. The Greek theaters that were once comparatively humble evolved into Roman theaters seating some 20,000 patrons viewing drama festivals and competitions with playwrights from around the Roman Empire.

– Artículo*: plato –

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IC 1795: la nebulosa cabeza de pez |

Para algunos, esta nebulosa parece la cabeza de un pescado. Pero esta fotografía muestra en realidad el gas brillante y las nubes de polvo oscurecedor de IC 1795, una región de formación estelar que hay en la constelación septentrional Casiopea. Los colores de la nebulosa se crearon mediante la paleta de falso color del Hubble, cartografiando las emisiones del oxígeno, del hidrógeno y del azufre en los colores azul, verde y rojo, y mezclando posteriormente los datos con las imágenes de la región captadas con filtros de banda ancha.
IC 1795 propiamente dicha se encuentra no muy lejos en el firmamento del famoso doble cúmulo estelar de Perseus y junto a IC 1805, la nebulosa del Corazón, como parte de un complejo de regiones de formación estelar que hay al borde de una gran nube molecular. La mayor estrella de este complejo se encuentra a unos 6.000 años luz de distancia y se extiende por el brazo espiral de Perseus de la Vía Láctea. A esta distancia, la imagen de IC 1795 cubre unos 70 años luz.

– Artículo*: Alex Dantart –

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Lenguaje

Lenguaje

El lenguaje es, fundamentalmente, donación (H.B.)

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Jardinería y espiritualidad

Jardinería y espiritualidad

“Cuando se crea o se mantiene un jardín, es necesario mostrarse siempre modesto”.

(Jorn de Précy, El jardín perdido, Elba, Barcelona, 2017, p. 26).

– Artículo*: Halil Bárcena –

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Experiencia de la cueva

Cueva

La experiencia de la cueva sana la herida producida por la escisión, tan propia de la cultura occidental, entre pensamiento y ser (H.B.).

[Imatge: Cova del Grèvol, Capafonts, Baix Camp, Tarragona].

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Poetas: Rilke.

Rilke, de paso

“(…) hagamos lo que hagamos, estamos en la actitud de uno que se marcha (…).

Así vivimos, siempre despidiéndonos”.

(Rainer María Rilke, Elegías de Duino / Los Sonetos a Orfeo, Cátedra, Madrid, 1987, p. 109. Edición de Eustaquio Barjau).

[Imagen: Estación de Atocha, Madrid, “Día”, Antonio López].

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Poetas: Rilke.

Rilke, de paso

“(…) hagamos lo que hagamos, estamos en la actitud de uno que se marcha (…).

Así vivimos, siempre despidiéndonos”.

(Rainer María Rilke, Elegías de Duino / Los Sonetos a Orfeo, Cátedra, Madrid, 1987, p. 109. Edición de Eustaquio Barjau).

[Imagen: Estación de Atocha, Madrid, “Día”, Antonio López].

– Artículo*: Halil Bárcena –

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