Tag Archives: ancient Christianity

Patristics Carnival XXXII: Call For Submissions

Patristics Carnival XXXII

Hear ye, hear ye! I am now taking submissions for the Thirty-Second Patristics Carnival!

As I stated before, I am sticking to the format Phil proposed a few years ago:

“” A. Eligibility
Any blog entry dealing with an aspect of Patristics included, but not limited
to textual studies of a patristic writer, translations of the patristic
writer, historical research on the patristic period, reflections on the
connections of the Church Fathers to today, influence of patristic authors in
theological writing (I’m sure there are more categories possible, so, the
rule is submit or ask and we’ll figure it out as we go.)The final
determination of the eligibility of a post must rest with the host (I propose
to do the hosting first)
Amendment- November 12th [2006] add discussion of Christian Apocrypha” “

In this carnival, posts on historical theology prior to the Catholic and Protestant Reformations, articles on these topics, new developments and news, book reviews will all be eligible for this carnival.

This carnival will be posted between February 28th and March 3rd, 2013. Please have your recommendations for this carnival submitted no later than February 26th, 2013.

To submit nominations for the carnival, place a comment on this post (the call for submissions), email the carnival at PATRISTICSCARNIVAL [A] HOTMAIL.COM, or send a message to the Political Jesus Facebook Page.

If you are interested in being a host for the Patristics Carnival in the future, please contact me through the above means mentioned.

Good News: Starting Next Month, The Patristics Carnival Is Back!

In October of 2009, I hosted Patristics Carnival XXVIII.

It has been almost three years since the last Patristics Carnival was held (I believe that would be Joel hosting Patristics Carnival XXXI, and I feel like the Biblioblog Carnivals just do not cover Patristics as much as I would like. Therefore, I volunteer to host Patristics Carnival XXXII and XXXIII for the months of February and March 2013.

I will go by Phil’s original format in his proposal from 2006: Modest Proposal: Patristic Carnival:

” A. Eligibility
Any blog entry dealing with an aspect of Patristics included, but not limited
to textual studies of a patristic writer, translations of the patristic
writer, historical research on the patristic period, reflections on the
connections of the Church Fathers to today, influence of patristic authors in
theological writing (I’m sure there are more categories possible, so, the
rule is submit or ask and we’ll figure it out as we go.)The final
determination of the eligibility of a post must rest with the host (I propose
to do the hosting first)
Amendment- November 12th [2006] add discussion of Christian Apocrypha”

In this carnival, posts on historical theology prior to the Catholic and Protestant Reformations, articles on these topics, new developments and news, book reviews will all be eligible for this carnival.

I will have a call for submissions next week with maybe even a similar banner to the first Patristic Carnivals. To submit nominations for the carnival, please comment on this post, the forthcoming post calling for submissions, email the carnival at PATRISTICSCARNIVAL [A] HOTMAIL.COM, or send a message to the Political Jesus Facebook Page.

If you are interested in being a host for the Patristics Carnival in the future, please contact me through the above means mentioned.

If you are wondering how to get started on doing Patristics/Matristics/Patrology/Early Christian studies, I would suggest starting at Principles for Patristics by the Patristics and Philosophy blog.

Lastly, if you are interested, a friend and I are reading John Milbank’s Theology and Social Theory in February. Relevant because Milbank stresses the importance of Augustine and the Medieval Church for today’s world. We have a reading group on Facebook. Contact me if you are interested.

Mere Trinitarianism: C.S. Lewis, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Evangelicalism

C S LEWIS IN THE EAGLE & CHILD - OXFORD

First off, I cannot take complete credit for this post. A few weeks ago there was a discussion about Clives Staples Lewis on the anniversary of his publishing Mere Christianity on Facebook. A commentor on a Facebook friend’s thread suggested that C.S. Lewis‘s Fourth Book in Mere Christianity is an engagement with Eastern Orthodoxy, without any Greek Fathers or Saints being named. I asked if there was any research done on the topic, and to his knowledge, there hadn’t. After reading Book Four again, I have to say I agree with this particular commentor, and not only that I would like to contend that the trend of Evangelicals who “convert” to Eastern Orthodoxy or Catholicism may be indirectly related to Evangelical Christians’ admiration for Lewis’ writings.  I have discussed this topic somewhat before, see “Why Eastern Orthodoxy Can’t Talk To Evangelicals (linked). I think the question of C.S. Lewis is especially pertinent in light of Jason Stellman’s departure from the Presbyterian Churches of America, who interacted withLewis’s work a few times on his blog.

Now, to flesh out instances that C.S. Lewis argues in favor of EO teachings with out naming them EO as such. From Book 4, “Making And Begetting,”: “Now the point in Christianity which gives us the greatest shock is the statement that by attaching ourselves to Christ, we can ‘become Sons of God.” Lewis goes on to explain, in one sense, all of members of humanity are sons and daughters of God because we have our being in God the Creator, but this life in God is Bios, that living creatures have, the kind that decays. The Spiritual life that God gives through the Son, Christ Jesus, is ZOE, eternal spiritual life, where the human person is invited to partake in the Greatness of the Triune God.

Lewis goes on to expand on this idea of participation in “The Three-Personal God”: “It is only the Christians who have any idea how human souls can be taken into the life of God, and yet remain themselves–in fact, be very much more themselves than they were before.” In the Bios or natural, we are bundles of self-centered fears, greeds, hopes, self-conceit, and jealousies (“Let’s Pretend”) but in Christ, (according to “Counting The Cost”) God “said (in the Bible) that we were ‘gods and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him,–for we can prevent Him, if we choose–He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom, and love as we cannot imagine [.]”

A couple of things. The Eastern Fathers would consistently make comments such as the latter quote; Athanasius and Clement of Alexandria would say in their work, “God became man so that man could become god” (see On The Incarnation for AoA, and Sermon to the Greeks for CoA). Another part of the Eastern Orthodox teaching of theosis is the divinization of creation, that is the process of the Nature becoming right since salvation has a cosmic element. One can potentially see this imagery in Lewis’ the Chronicles of Narnia (specifically, The Lion, The Witch And Wardrobe as well as Prince Caspian come to mind). Lastly, unlike Protestants who view marriage as just a contract, marriage is viewed as a sacrament in EO. After having finished the second book in Lewis’ Space Trilogy, Perelandra, something theologically did not sit right with me, since I was expecting to find more Anglican/Protestant theology. Perhaps that’s because Perelandra as a story could be taken as an EO interpretation of Genesis 1 interspersed with Arthurian legend (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight).

“For as the light reached its perfection and settled itself, as it were, like a lord upon his throne or like wine in a bowl, and filled the whole flowery cup of the mountain top, every cranny, with its purity, the holy thing, Paradise itself in its two Persons, Paradise walking hand in hand, its two bodies shining in the light like emeralds yet not themselves too bright to look at, came in sight in the cleft between two peaks, and stood a moment with its male right hand lifted in regal and pontifical benediction, and then walked down and stood on the far side of the water. And the gods kneeled and bowed their huge bodies before the small forms of that young King and Queen”

–C.S. Lewis, Perelandra

Are there any other examples of Eastern Orthodoxy in Lewis’ work?

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