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Fr. Jonathan Tobias
Pittsburgh
Carpatho-Russian Orthodox priest, seminary professor (pastoral theology) ... married with two daughters.
Interests: Dante, Cappadocian Fathers, Mythopoeia, Inklings, Napoleonic and Civil Wars, T. S. Eliot and other English writers, Southern Agrarians
Recent Activity
I do not jettison the imagery of tribunal and anger. But a theology that proposes God acting juridically -- which presumes a law external to God and -- or God acting in anger -- which presumes God subject to necessity -- is not something that I preclude, but Orthodox theology precludes. The references to wrath should be interpreted as anthropomorphisms as much as the biblical idioms which mention God having a right hand, or repenting of His creation of man. God is absolutely indeterminate and rests in apatheia, never subject to any necessity. I would prefer to understand Anselm's reassertion of His honor for the sake of re-establishing beauty precisely not in response to injury or necessity. And I suppose the meaning God's wrath can be the subjective experience, in the unrepentant, of God's love, Which is precisely the Orthodox doctrine about perdition, and which is certainly not the doctrine of a created hell or penal punishment. By all means, the image of hell, with all its concrete imagery, along with the opening of books, the tribunal and judgment seat, should persist, because all our words are at best symbols that indicate the truth. That is one thing. But to say that God really operates via a judicial tribunal, that there really is an external "book" that registers every deed (as if God's omniscience were insufficient, and a witness other than the resurrected memory of the person were necessary to make the case), or -- for that matter -- a the word "case" is even meaningful in an ineffable context ... all of this is quite another thing, and runs contrary to traditional triadology and christology.
Toggle Commented Mar 5, 2016 on judgment, the river at Second Terrace
For Staniloae, I suggest two volumes: his first from his dogmatic series, entitled "The Experience of God," and the volume on Creation, which I think is the fourth. As far as the demonic names, I tried to differentiate between "ascriptions" such as Asmodeus, Apollyon, Moloch, Beelzebub and Satan and real "names." The former ascriptions are historically (or diachronically) aggregated "aliases" given by humans to their oppressors over the millennia. These names have deep psychic/mythic roots and reach through the levels of language to the sub-conscious levels of passion. Jung might be of help here, despite himself. I'm thinking of his constellation theory, especially. So another term that we might associate with the demonic is "entelechy" -- to express that note of aggregation. Nevertheless, these ascriptions do not at all express the "logoi" meaning of the term "name." For this, we need to look at the mention of the secret name written upon a white stone in the Apocalypse -- which is the real (though hidden from postlapsarian consciousness) logoi of personhood -- a logoi that is completely obscure from anyone who rejects personhood.
Toggle Commented Nov 18, 2015 on New Calendar Halloween at Second Terrace