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Augustine and Neo-Platonism Summer Semester 1921

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

AUGUSTINE AND NEO-PLATONISM

Early Freiburg Lecture, Summer Semester 1921

INTRODUCTORY PART

Interpretations of Augustine

The task set before us is a limited one; to what extent it is limited will become clear, at least negatively, in its demarcation from other interpretations and evaluations of Augustine. These latter ones concur in their high esteem of Augustine's cultural-historical impact.

Medieval theology is based on Augustine. The medieval reception of Aristotle was able to assert itself—if at all—only in a sharp confrontation with Augustinian directions of thought. Medieval mysticism is a vivification of theological thought and practical-ecclesiastical religious ritual which, in essence, goes back to Augustinian motifs. In his decisive years of development, Luther was under the strong influence of Augustine. Within Protestantism, Augustine remained the most widely esteemed Father of the Church.

Augustine was subject to a renewal in the Catholic Church, in particular in seventeenth-century France (Descartes, Malebranche, Pascal, Jansenism, Bossuet, Féléon). He remained especially at home there until the modern Catholic school of apologetics in France, which at the same time appropriated Bergsonian ideas (which, in turn, were determined by Plotinus). What is at work in this is not really Augustine, but an Augustinianism which is more appropriate to the doctrine of the Church, and which slightly violates the dogmatic boundaries only in ontologism. (What Scheler is doing today is merely a secondary reception of these circles of thought dressed up in phenomenology.)

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9. Does the Bible Say Anything about Astronomy?

Ken Ham Master Books ePub

9

Does the Bible Say Anything about Astronomy?

Dr. Jason Lisle

The Bible is the history book of the universe. It tells us how the universe began and how it came to be the way it is today.

The Bible is much more than just a history book, however; it was written by inspiration of God. The Lord certainly understands how this universe works; after all, He made it. So His Word, the Bible, gives us the foundation for understanding the universe.

It has been said that the Bible is not a science textbook. This is true, of course, and it’s actually a good thing. After all, our science textbooks are based on the ideas of human beings who do not know everything and who often make mistakes. That’s why science textbooks change from time to time, as people discover new evidence and realize that they were wrong about certain things.

The Bible, though, never changes because it never needs to. God got it right the first time! The Bible is the infallible Word of God. So when it touches on a particular topic, it’s right. When the Bible talks about geology, it’s correct. When Scripture addresses biology or anthropology, it’s also right.

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11. John 12:32

Kierkegaard, Søren Indiana University Press ePub

[ 11 ]

Lord Jesus Christ, there is so much to draw us back: empty exploits, trivial pleasures, unworthy concerns. There is so much to frighten us back: a pride that is too cowardly to let itself be helped, a cowardly timidity that shirks to its own destruction, an anxiety of sin [en Syndens Angst] that shuns the purity of holiness like sickness shuns the remedy. But you are indeed still the strongest: so draw us, and even more strongly, to yourself. We call you our Savior and Redeemer in that you came to the world in order to free us from the chains in which we were bound or in which we had bound ourselves, and in order to rescue the redeemed. This was your task, which you have completed and which you will complete until the end of time,2 for just as you yourself have said it, so you will do it: lifted up from the earth, you will draw all to yourself.

From on high he will draw all to himself.

Attentive listener, if a human being’s life is not to be led altogether unworthily like that of the animal, which never lifts up its head; if it is not to be frittered away, emptily occupied with what is vanity as long as it lasts and is nothing when it is over, or busily occupied with what no doubt makes a noise at the moment but does not resonate in eternity—if a human being’s life is not to be dozed away in idleness or wasted in bustle, then there must be something higher that draws it. Now this higher something can be quite varied; but if this higher something is to be truly and at every moment able to draw, it must not itself be subject to variation or change3 but must triumphantly have gone through every change, transfigured—like the transfigured life of one who is dead. And just as there is now among all the living only one name that is named, the Lord Jesus Christ,4 so there is also only one dead person who still lives, the Lord Jesus Christ, he who from on high will draw all to himself. See, a Christian’s life, properly structured, is therefore directed toward what is above,5 toward loftiness, toward him who from on high draws the Christian to himself—if the Christian remembers him, and the person who does not do that is certainly no Christian. And you, my listener, you to whom my discourse is addressed, you have indeed come here today precisely in remembrance of him.

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3 Reaching for Utopia: Building Socialism and a New Jewish Culture

Zvi Gitelman Indiana University Press ePub

Subtly and without fanfare the Evsektsii and the party as a whole began to adjust their ideology to undeniable realities. Defining the tasks of the Evsektsii in 1918, Semion Dimanshtein asserted that, “as internationalists, we do not set any special national tasks for ourselves. . . . We are not . . . fanatics of the Yiddish language. There is no ‘Holy Yiddish’ (Yidish-hakoydesh) for us. . .. It is entirely possible that in the near future the richer languages of the stronger and more developed peoples will push aside the Yiddish language.. . . We Communists will shed no tears over this, nor will we do anything to obstruct this development.”1

By the mid-1920s most Evsektsii activists were singing a different tune, one called by the Communist Party. The party was encouraging the “flowering of the nationality cultures” and even inventing national alphabets for the Asian peoples who, until that point, had no written languages. The party and the state were investing in schools, theaters, newspapers, and magazines in non-Russian languages, including Yiddish. They insisted that governmental and even party activities be carried on in the languages of the ethnic groups involved. Stalin sanctioned the new policy with his famous definition of proletarian culture as “socialist in content, national in form.” For the Jews this meant the promotion of Yiddish and new cultural and economic progress. Evsektsii activists who envisioned a secular, socialist Yiddish future eagerly welcomed the chance to translate their dreams into reality. Now they had the backing of the party line and they hastened to take advantage of the funds, personnel, buildings, and other resources put at their disposal.

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6. Wandering Goddess, Village Daughter: Avilala Reddys

Joyce Burkhalter Flueckiger Indiana University Press ePub

WANDERING GODDESS,
VILLAGE DAUGHTER:
AVILALA REDDYS

6

Although many Tirupati residents say Gangamma cannot be kept at home because she is too ugra, too much to bear, several families and individuals claim exception to this generalization: “While others can’t bear her, we can and do.” One such family is the Reddy family of Avilala village, only a few kilometers from Tirupati, whose forefathers are said to have found Gan-gamma as a little baby in the paddy fields outside of the village and who raised her as a daughter. By extension, the village itself considers her to be a daughter of Avilala.

In its movement from village to village in Chittoor District throughout the first month of the Tamil new year, the jatara finally completes the migration (with considerable drama) from Avilala to Tirupati. The distance between the boundaries of village and town has shrunk considerably between my first visit to Avilala in 1992 and my last one in 2010; village and town have grown into each other, with only a few fields keeping them apart. In 1992 an auto ride to the village from Tirupati seemed extravagant, but by 2010 there were many autos and jeeps plying the road between. Nevertheless, there is still a distinctly village ethos in the quiet lanes of Avilala—in which buffaloes and goats wander and rest next to stacks of fodder—and their surrounding paddy fields.

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