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British Columbia
Orthodox priest of St. John of Shanghai Church in Vancouver, BC
Interests: Christianity, history, literature, fantasy
Recent Activity
@Nicole: Yep. That would be an excellent way to sum up the pivotal significance of the Arian controversy!
Toggle Commented May 19, 2011 on 137- The Christian Emperor at The History of Rome
Um... That should have been "...the full significance of THE difference..." (not quite so "full")! Proofread, proofread, proofread before posting!
Toggle Commented May 17, 2011 on 137- The Christian Emperor at The History of Rome
Nice try. Not quite up to your usual impeccably high standards, though. In the first place, it's pronounced "a - THAN - a - sius", not "a - NA - tha - sius" (emphasis to draw attention to the correction, not as an indication of stress) - though I have to admit having made many similar blunders in pronunciation due to textual transpositions as I learned facts from reading (as I assume you have done here) rather than from listening. More importantly, what was at stake in the Arian controversy was rather more significant than the outside observer might see - which is why so many outside observers tend to trivialize this pivotal controversy. I remember my university history professor reducing the whole conflict to an argument over a single iota: homoousios (of the same essence) vs. homoiousios (of similar essence). You (as usual) do better than most, but don't quite get (as, admittedly, Constntine himself might not have gotten) the full significance of full difference between Jesus being God Himself (of one essence with the Father) and being just a sort of divine first-created being (of like essence). Even beyond the important theological distinction, though, what was at stake here was how Christianity was going to react to becoming the religion of the empire. Was it going to do so by accommodating its beliefs and teachings to what was most palatable to the Greeks and Romans who were used to an utterly transcendent prime-mover (the main reason that Arius was so allergic to the idea that Jesus was God Himself made flesh), or was it going to figure out how to articulate, in Greek philosophical language, the much less palatable Jewish idea of a God intimately involved with His creation? I admit, however, that this is a tough assignment for any secular historian to take on - and I can see you are doing your best, which, as usual, is far better than most! Keep up the good work. I LOVE THoR (the podcast, that is, not the Norse god, so much), and look forward every week (or so) to the next episode's release. Hope you are having a great time touring the Old Country. Wish I could have come!
Toggle Commented May 17, 2011 on 137- The Christian Emperor at The History of Rome
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May 16, 2011