Από την προσεχή σειρά 4 βιβλίων στα οποία μελετώ την ιστορία του Μεσαίωνα όλου του Κόσμου (Ευρώπης κι Ασίας κι Αιγύπτου) και την Βυζαντινή-Παλαιολόγεια και Ιταλική Αναγέννηση,
CHRISTIAN THEOLOGY VS CLASSICAL PHILOSOPHY IN MEDIEVAL TIMES PART II
HELLINISTIC CHRISTIANITY and CHRISTIANIZED HELLINISM - PART I (out of tthree).
The contribution of the Greek Classical Philosophy to Christian Dogma
Christianized Hellinism is the type of Christianity, developed in 1-2 ce. ad. and further in 4-5th ce. ad. in which there are organic and strong connection of Judaism and elements of the Ancient Classic Greek Philosophy, the former prevailing over the latter. Here belong the Early (1-3d ce. ad.) and Late Greek Fathers of Christianity (4th ce. ad.) (see below). That type of Christianity developed to combat the Late Herecies (Areianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism) of the 4-5th ce. ad.).
Greek writing Hellinistic Theologists (Church Fathers) of that kind were: Filon (of Jewish origin) (20 bc.-50 ad.), Klimis of Rome (3d ce. ad. Bishop of Rome) (2nd ce. ad.), Ignatios of Antiocheia (2nd ce. ad), Irineos (2nd ce. ad), Klimis of Alexandria (died in 215 ad.), Tertilianos (died in 220 ad), Ipollitos (died in 235 ad), Origena (Egypt) (died in 253/4 ad.), Epiphanios of Cyprus (died in 403 ad), Augustine of Hippo (354-430 ad). The above Church fathers were strong anti-Gnostics.
Hellinized Christianity is the Christianity developed in the 1-2 ce. ad. and later in 11-13th ce. ad. as Scholasticism, as a loose admixture of Judaism and Ancient Classic Greek Philosophy, the later prevailing over the former. We divide it into two classes: i) the Strong-Extreme type of Hellinized Christianity, which gave rise to Early Christian Herecies, such as Gnosticism, Mandaism, Manichaism and Montanism in 1-3d ce. ad.) and ii) Weak-Smooth type of Hellinized Christianity. Here belong the (non-heretical) Apologetics of 1st-3d ce. ad.).
In the above category i) are classified the following Hellinistic, writing in Greek, Heretical Theologists: Gnostics: Papurus Collections of Nag Hammadi, Askew Codex of Vatican Museum, “Gospel of Maria”, The Apocryphal Book of Ioannis (Berlin Codex 8502), Neo-Pythagoreans, Neo-Platonists and Satournilos, Vasilides, Valentine, Markion. Manichaists: Mani (the Persian prophet founder, 216-277 ad. They included the Medieval Cathar churches of Western Europe. Other groups sometimes referred to as "neo-Manichaean" were the Paulician movement, which arose in Armenia, and the Bogomils in Bulgaria. At present day, some sites are preserved in Xinjiang and Fujian in China. The Cao'an temple in Jinjiang, Fujian, China, is the only fully intact Manichaean building, though it later became associated with Buddhism. Montanists: founder Monteos (2nd ce. ad, in Frygia).
In the above category ii) are classified the following Christian (non-heretical)
Ioustinos (died in 165 ad), Tatianos (student of Ioustinos), the orator Miltiades, Apollinarios (Bishop of Ierapolis), the philosopher Athinagoras of Athens, Theophilos (Bishop of Antiocheia), Melitos (Bishop of Sardis Lykia).
Ontology, is the Philosophic Domain which answers to questions about the “Being” as such: “Which is its origin?”, “What is it its substance””, “What is it after all?”.
The Weak Hellinized Christianity and Christianized Hellinism: An Hellinized Judaism
Christianity came out as the result of the admixture of ancient Judaism with elements of Classic Greek (Hellenic) Philosophy, during the Hellinistic era of Seleucide and Ptolemaic Kingdoms in Middle East (4th ce. b.c. – 1st ce. ad), during which the Kingdom of Israel was under occupation to Seleucide (Hellenic) Kings.
In this chapter, we`ll discuss the main elements of Jewish Theology and the elements of Hellenistic (Greek) Classic Philosophy too, both of which were electively preserved or rejected from the new Religion of Christianity:
Judaism`s elements included or rejected from Christianity
The Historicism in Judaism: The Core of Judaism is the Torah (Law), which consists of the old Jewish Prophitic tradition, mainly of the 4 great Jewish Prophets (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel) as preserved in the Old Testament. In the Jewish Prophitic tradition, God will reveal his Deity Power and Will, accomplishing His Plan for the Humanity “at the End of the History” (Eschatology), by sending a “Messiah” as His delegator, who`ll bear Divine Power and Authority, act Divine Rule and as the “Last Judge” of the “Last Judgement Day” at the “End of History”, without being been consubstantial to God (the Messiah is not God). The “Last Judgement will also mark the beginning of a “New World” will follow Governed by His beloved Nation Israel (Eschatologic Salvation). This means that God`s true existence, good will and His “Final Judge and Fate” of the World, will all be validated, vindicated and completed
And accomplished on Historic-Eschatological grounds (and not on ontologic grounds, i.e. not on grounds “of what is His substance”, or “what His substance is constituted of”, as the classical man would require). Similarly, the “fate” (salvation or not) of the Humanity (of any individual) will be determined exclusively by “his personal life history? (his sins or goods) and not on his –possible- regret for his sins, neither upon God`s Grace and/or upon Christ`s Death (crucifixion, as the Hellinized Christianity suggests). In conclusion: In Judaism, the God`s plan and Humanity`s salvation too will be both determined upon Historic grounds (not on ontologic ones).
In Judaism, the God is an “Israelitic” “Nationalistic” God, who has chosen Israel as his beloved Nation, through which he`ll save the Humanity, portraying the Former, as the “paradigm” of His Will. The concept of the imminent “End of the History” in the Israelitic Prophitic Tradition is called “Apocalyptic”.
Accordingly, the History of the Human Kind, is in fact, the National History of Israel, the chosen by the God Nation and the History of the World, in really the History of Israel, as the Chosen Nation of God.
Torah, in Christianity, substituted for the New Testament, in which God is a Universal Entity, all nations and Humans are equal in front of Him, whereas the History of the Humanity is Universal, Unified and Systematic (not strictly nationalistic-Israelitic).
The Old Prophitic Jewish Tradition, was partly transformed during the Hellinistic Era onwards, in the sense that the Jewish re-interpreted the old prophicies, as them fore-telling the incoming of a “Messiah”, a God`s delegator (who nevertheless is not consubstantial to God), who`ll come to liberate the God`s beloved and chosen Nation of Israel from the occupiers Hellinistic Kings and later from the Roman Emperors (political-nationalistic Salvation) and finally act as the “Last Judge” of the “End of History”. The “Apocalyptic” concept of the Jewish Religion became stronger at that era. The concept of the “Eschatology Salvation” remained intact.
Thus, in Judaism, the God`s power and Deity Substance will be revealed and verified in an Historic Domain (at the End of History of the Humanity) by His Judgement of the History of the Humanity. The same applies for the Jewish Messiah too. His existence and the accomplishment of his Deity Mission will be both verified as Historic events.
On the other hand, the “Messiah” of the Jewish tradition was identified in Christianized Hellinism type of Christianity (which spread at first between the Jewish people of Palestine, who spoke Aramaic) in the person of “Christ”, who is “real God”, “Son of God”, or “God`s icon”. And the proof of His Divine substance is its Resurrection, which, in turn, identifies the “Christ” with the “Last Judge” of the Old (non-christian) Jewish Tradition. By His Resurrection, He saved –in a spaceless and timeless abstract domain- the Humanity from its sins, deadly fate and help it to win the “Eternal Life” (Paradise). This is an ontologic salvation which, nevertheless, is complementary to the still functioning “Eschatologic-Historic Salvation” of the old Jewish tradition. Thus, in the Christianized Hellinism type of Christianity, the Historic element remains intact, as a necessary element for the fulfillment of God`s will, but now supplemented with an ontologic element too.
But soon, the Christianity was spread to Hellinistic Jewish in (blood) origin people living in “Diaspora” (outside Palestine) mainly in Alexandria Egypt, who spoke Greek and were familiar with the classic Greek Philosophy and gave rise to late Weak Hellinized Christianity (Apologetics). It is natural then for them to seek the verification of Christ`s Divine substance (Deity) and His ability to Resurrect, in ontologic terms, i.e. the arose questions as such: “Is Christ Human or God?”, “How can we accept Him as God and to maintain our cornerstone belief to One God (monotheism}?”. That kind of questions could only be answered, for the satisfaction of the intellect of the “Hellinistic” believers, only by using mainly the Aristotelean and generally the classic Greek Philosophy (ontology and cosmology).
Thus, in the Weak Hellinized Christianity, the real Deity (His Resurrection and “Last judgement) of the Messiah (Christ) is explained in Ontologic terms (as omo-substantial to God, a real God) and further. Further the Resurrection itself aims at an Universal Ontologic kind of Salvation (rather an Eschatologic, political and strictly Jewish-nationalistic one). The Historic element of the old Jewish tradition and of the Christianized Christianity, weakens further.
In Judaism, God Reveals Himself to Humans (like He did to Moses), his existence is undisputed and unquestionable, is verified by His own Revelation and by the testimonies of the Prophets. The (scientific) “Knowledge” of God is impossible and unthinkable and any attempt for the contrary is really a sin. The Belief in Him is grounded on “Belief” and “Faith”, not on “Knowledge”.
In the Weak Hellinized Crhstianity, God`s Knowledge is possible, either by Reason alone and/or by the study of the Nature, NOT by Revelation, or “Belief”, or “Faith”.
In Judaism the Salvation is accomplished collectively, i.e. the salvation of any individual can be accomplished for him, as a member of a Synagogue, not as an individual. That concept is transferred in Christianized Hellinism and in the Weak Hellinized Christianity (and to, in the belief that the salvation of any individual can be accomplished for him, as a member of the Church (Ecclesia), not as an individual and it is in contrast with the classical Greek belief of “salvation” of the individual.
In Judaism, God is the only and exclusive creator of the World from the “nothing” (Genesis). Thus, the Creation of the World, is an Historic Event, happened inside time, i.e. in a certain time instance (time “0”). In Judaism the Cosmology identifies itself with the “World`s Creation”.
On the other Hand, in the two pre-mentioned types of Christianity, the significance of the Cosmology is not focused upon its “Creation”, but instead of the stabilization of its harmony and stability, structurally and functionally (by the physical laws), which is attributed to Christ. In ancient classic Greek Philosophy, there are two Creational Models, that of Plato`s (Timeos) and that of Aristotele`s, which are closer to the Hellinized Christian`s one (see below). And this again is an Ontologic Cosmology in the Christian Domain. Thus the Judaistic “World`s Creation”, turns to a real Ontologic (classic Greek) Cosmology.
Lastly: Practical Interpretation of Torah: The Jews were interpreted the Torah, explicitly, on Historic and practical terms (this was enhanced during their occupation by the Hellinistic kings and Roman Empire, as a Nationalistic response and “shrinkage” of their mental attitude towards the foreign beliefs and presence). But, as we`ll see below, that was changed in Christianized and more in Hellinized Christianity, which both, introduced the “allegoric” interpretation of the Torah, diminishing thus further the “Historic” significance of the Torah.
Classic Greek Philosophical elements included or rejected from Christianity
The Core of Christianity if the New Testament, not the Jewish Torah.
In the Christianized Hellinism type of Christianity (which spread at first between the Jewish people of Palestine, who spoke Aramaic) the “Messiah” of the Jewish tradition was identified in the person of “Christ”, who is “real God”, “Son of God”, or “God`s icon”. And the proof of His Divine substance is its Resurrection, which, in turn, identifies the “Christ” with the “Last Judge” of the Old (non-christian) Jewish Tradition. By His Resurrection, He saved –in a spaceless and timeless abstract domain- the Humanity from its sins, deadly fate and help it to win the “Eternal Life” (Paradise). This is an ontologic salvation (which is an element of the ancient classic Greek philosophical tradition), which now stands alongside to the “Eschatologic-Historic Salvation” to old Jewish tradition.
But, despite the above, this early Christians (still dominated by their old Jewish traditional mentality) could not conceive and rise ontological philosophical questions about Christ`s real substance, which underlies under his ability to and enables Him to Resurrect. For them, the Christ`s Deity is unquestionable proved by His Resurrection, which in turn identifies Christ with the Last Judge (the “Messiah”) at the End of History of the Old (non-Christian) Jewish tradition. Thus, in that early Christianized Hellinism, the old Jewish Historic significance remains crucial for the vindication and validation of God`s existence and for the fulfilment of His plan and finally for the accomplishment of the Humanity`s “Eschatologicl Salvation”, alongside the new “Ontologic salvation” of the classical Greek philosophy.
But soon, the Christianity was spread to Hellinistic Jewish in (blood) origin people living in “Diaspora” (outside Palestine) mainly in Alexandria Egypt, who spoke Greek and were familiar with the classic Greek Philosophy and gave rise to late Weak Hellinized Christianity. It is natural then for them to seek the verification of Christ`s Divine substance (Deity) and His ability to Resurrect, in ontologic terms, i.e. the arose questions as such: “Is Christ Human or God?”, “How can we accept Him as God and to maintain our cornerstone belief to One God (monotheism}?”. That kind of questions could only be answered, for the satisfaction of the intellect of the “Hellinistic” believers, only by using mainly the Aristotelean and generally the classic Greek Philosophy (ontology and cosmology).
Thus, in the Weak Hellinized Christianity, the real Deity (His Resurrection and “Last judgement) of the Messiah (Christ) is explained in Ontologic terms (as consubstantial to God, a real God) and further. Further, the Resurrection itself aims at an Universal Ontologic kind of Salvation (rather an Eschatologic, political and strictly Jewish-nationalistic one, which is now subordinated and weakened). The Historic element of the old Jewish tradition and of the Christianized Christianity, weakens further.
Furthermore, in both types of Christianity, the Christ`s Deity is also verified from the fact, that he is not only the Creator of the Universe in a certain time instance (time “0”) but in addition he accomplishes and secure the stabilization of its harmony structurally and functionally (by the physical laws), all of which are attributed to Christ. Thus, in both types of Christianity, the Creation of the World, as an Historic Event which happened in a certain time instance (time “0”), is not of that great significance. The weight is transferred to its stabilizing harmony and order accomplished only by the Christ-God. That concept, is in agreement with the ancient classic Greek intellect which was seeking the harmony, order and stability. In ancient classic Greek Philosophy, there are two Creational Models, that of Plato`s (Timeos) and that of Aristotele`s, which are closer to the Weak Hellinized Christian`s one (see below). Conclusion: In Christianity (of both types) the Jewish “World`s Creation” of the Universe (by the God), is transformed into a genuine Ontologic Cosmology, in its ancient classic Greek Philosophical concept.
In the Hellinized Christianity and/or Christianized Hellinism, The Truth of “Messiah” (Christ`s) incoming is verified exclusively and unquestionably, not at and by the Prophetic End of History, but it is been the intrinsic (ontologic) property of God`s will, conceived as an Omnigood Entity, to save the whole Humanity directly and not through the Israel Nation.
In the Weak Hellinized Christianity and/or Christianized Hellinism, God is a Universal Entity (not an “Israelitic” “Nationalistic” God), all nations and Humans are equal in front of Him.
Accordingly, Hellinization (as Weak Hellinized Christianity or Christianized Hellinism), offers to Judaism, a Unifying and Universal and Systematic concept and approach of the History of the Humanity, which, nevertheless, is hidden in the Biblical “Genesis”. Thus, Weak Hellinized Christiantiy, denies the “Israelitic” “Nationalistic” concept to God and “World History”.
In the Weak Hellinized Christianity and/or Christianized Hellinism God`s scientific Knowledge is possible, either by Reason alone and/or by the study of the Nature, NOT by Revelation, or “Belief”, or “Faith”. The Belief in Him is grounded upon his scientific knowledge and concept, not on mere “Faith”.
In Judaism the Salvation is accomplished collectively, i.e. the salvation of any individual can be accomplished for him, as a member of a Synagogue, not as an individual. That concept is transferred to Weak Hellinized Christianity and to Christianized Hellinism), in the belief that the salvation of any individual can be accomplished for him, as a member of the Church (Ecclesia), not as an individual and is in contrast with the classical belief of “salvation” of the individual.
Lastly, Filon (20 bc. - 50 ad.) an Hellinized, Jewish in origin, Theologist of the Jewish Diaspora in Egypt of the Early Christianized Christianity era, adopted and introduced and added in the old Judaism the Platonic Dualistic Ontology, which suggests the distinction between the truth of the “Unobserved” Immaterial World of Ideas and the “falsity” of the “Observed” World of Matter (Realism). Thus, Filon, suggested that the “Historic”, explicit and practical interpretation of the Holly Books, should be replaced by a more Symbolic and Allegoric Interpretation. And he, in this domain, rise disputes about the real historic existence of many of the referred in the Books, old Jewish Prophets. As a result, commencing from Filon, the Historicism of the Old Jewish tradition, suffered another crucial blow.
Temporary reconciliation of Christianity and Ancient Greek Philosophy
An Hellenized citizen (of whatever blood origin, Greek, Jewish, Egyptian, etc), who devoted in this late “International” Hellinized Christianity (which prevailed in the West through Augustine of 5thc ce, to Scholasticism of the 13th ce. ad. in the West), could now construct an entirely nes concept of the World, which satisfies both his sides, i.e. the ancient (Greek) Classical and the Christian alike, as follows:
«Christ is the “true meaning” and the “substance” of the Universe (ontologic Christology), because He is going to be the Last Judge of the End of the History and the Creator, the Harmonizes and Stabilizer of the New World (Eschatologic Christology). The “True Meaning of the World” (Christ) (ontologic Christology) sits at the End of History of the World (Eschatologic Christology) which the His Resurrection points to (without making that End static and permanent, through the Creation of a New World).
Christ is now (ontologic Christology) that he will become (“Last Judge”) at the Future, i.e. at End of History (Eschatologic Christology).
That meeting of the Present with the Future give rise to the Christian Mysteries, in particular to the Mystery of Thanksgiving (of the Lord`s Supper), in which the Crucifixion, Resurrection and Man`s Salvation, take place in a spaceless and timelss abstract universe at infinitum.
The Early Christian and Medieval Theologian and Philosophical Thinking
The scientific thinking of the classic Greek era, was founded upon Platonic Dualistic Ontology (Idea-Matter) and upon and Transcendental (Metaphysical) Materialism (Form-Matter-Substance). Respectively, upon the Platonic Cosmology (Timeos) and Aristotelean Cosmology too.
The Theory of Knowledge, of the same era, was respectively founded upon the Platonic Informal Logic and the Aristotelean Formal Logic of Induction-Deduction Syllogism.
The Truth in the Aristotelean Induction-Deduction Syllogism, was deduced only by Reason alone (Logic), which was using fundamental self-evident truths (a priori true propositions) (axiomatic proofs).
The above classic (Logical) tradition came in sharp contrast with the Theological Truths about the Existence of God of the Judaism and Early Christian Dogma, which were founded upon the Metaphysical Revelation (Apocalypsis). Under these circumstances, the Christianity came under attack by the late Classical Philosophers, scholars and citizens alike and in any case Christianity could not attract into its framework new “ethnic”, pagans followers.
Thus an urgent need was arisen in Christianity for the invention of a method and Theory, which could reconcile and combine harmonically the Christian Dogma and Classic Logic and Philosophy.
This need and tendency, resulted at first in the emergence of the form of an “Extreme-Strong Hellenized Christianity” in the form of the Early Herecies of the 2nd ce, ad., such as the Montanism and particularly Gnosticism, in the Hellinistic Era of the Anatolia (Turkey), Middle East (Syria) and Egypt (Alexandria).
At the same time of the 2nd ce ad., a more “Smooth-Weak Type” of “Hellinized Christianity” was developed in the body of the Apologetic Christian Theologists, which led eventually to the strong Herecies of the 3-4th ce. ad. (Arianism, Nestorianism, Monophysitism).
Finally and in the same era of 2nd ce. ad. and later, in the opposite direction from the above, a form of “Christianized Hellinism” was evolved, first in the thoughts and writings of theologists “Christian Fathers” of the 2nd ce. ad. (who, as a rule, were writing in Greek) and later in the writings of the Great Greek “Christian Fathers” of the 3-4th ce. ad., who fiercely fought the late Herecies coming out from the “Smooth-Weak Type” of “Hellinized Christinaity”.
Under this theological and philosophical background, we entered into the Early Medieval Era, commencing with the life an teaching of Augustine of Hippo (354-430 ad), Bishop of Carthage, which expresses the commence of a long era, of intense efforts to effectively and free of Herecies and the past painful disputes, reconcile and harmonize the New Christian Dogma and Classical Logic. And the solution Augustine proposed and introduced was the “theory” of considering the “Science as an ancillary of Theology” founded upon the rule: «God is the final Cause of Everything”, including in term “cause” here, all the four Aristotelean Ontologic and Cosmologic “causes”.
The Augustinean approach was dominated during most of the Medieval era, until the 13th ce. ad. when the British Philosopher and Theologist Ockham, dissociated and separated radically Theology and Philosophy (Logic, Science), as we`ll se later.
Thus, under the above Augustinean “Dogma” prevailing, we enter the 12th ce. ad., in which the Platonism was spread in all European Universities, taught alongside, and complementarily to Christian Theology.
• Δημοσιεύθηκε από : Δημήτριος Αντωνίου
Κυριακή, 12 Ιουνίου 2016 - 5:05 μ.μ.