Classical Greece & Rome
#11
(02-02-2012, 03:25 PM)Someone1776 Wrote:
(02-02-2012, 03:19 PM)Micawber Wrote:
(02-02-2012, 02:47 PM)Someone1776 Wrote: Saint Augustine wrote about it a bit in the City of God.  He practically canonized Plato. 

Yes, Fr. Sheen mentioned Plato as well.  And of course St. Aquinas saw much in Aristotle that pointed towards Christianity. 

I'd be surprised if someone hasn't done a manuscript length study on this. 

Plato was much more focused  than Aristotle on the idea of the just man and how society would hate that man.  In the Republic Plato wrote: "the just man will have to be scourged, racked, fettered, blinded, and finally, after the most extreme suffering, he will be crucified."  

That's shocking.  Never knew that.  Although you have to admit, given teh achievements the Greeks made, completely out of the blue too, I find it hard there was not some type of divine inspiration, or assistance perhaps is a better word, guiding these philosophers.  There's nothing to prevent almight God from using pagans to achieve His ends.  "God write straight with crooked lines." 
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#12
I was thinking about Christian views of classical antiquity just the other day. It seems to me most Christians now generally accept the modern view that everyone in the past was stupid and gullible. They even go so far as to argue that the greatest proof of Christianity is that it supposedly fits with and indeed inspired the principles of modernity, but one does wonder if this is the right path to take.

Aside from the many Fathers who held that the philosophers and poets had anticipated Christ, even relatively recent Christian thinkers saw classical paganism as pointing to Christianity. For instance, Juan Donoso Cortes tells us that it was said of Christ that "even the sibyls had sung His victories," and of course Joseph de Maistre's belief that paganism contained many of the truths later revealed and transfigured by Christianity is well known. Even someone as recent as Chesterton thought that divine providence had prepared the classical world for Christ. I suppose it is not surprising that most Christians now accept the modern view of the past, but I can't help but think that it takes aways some of the richness of the Christian view of history.

By the way, here's a fun essay by Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart addressing some of these same themes: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2...vid-b-hart
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#13
(02-02-2012, 06:30 PM)Crusading Philologist Wrote: I was thinking about Christian views of classical antiquity just the other day. It seems to me most Christians now generally accept the modern view that everyone in the past was stupid and gullible. They even go so far as to argue that the greatest proof of Christianity is that it supposedly fits with and indeed inspired the principles of modernity, but one does wonder if this is the right path to take.

Aside from the many Fathers who held that the philosophers and poets had anticipated Christ, even relatively recent Christian thinkers saw classical paganism as pointing to Christianity. For instance, Juan Donoso Cortes tells us that it was said of Christ that "even the sibyls had sung His victories," and of course Joseph de Maistre's belief that paganism contained many of the truths later revealed and transfigured by Christianity is well known. Even someone as recent as Chesterton thought that divine providence had prepared the classical world for Christ. I suppose it is not surprising that most Christians now accept the modern view of the past, but I can't help but think that it takes aways some of the richness of the Christian view of history.

By the way, here's a fun essay by Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart addressing some of these same themes: http://www.firstthings.com/onthesquare/2...vid-b-hart

Thanks!  I've been pouring over Chesterton's work to learn what he had to say about this - on any topic, I always start with him!    Smile

Nice piece by Hart - I shall spend some time with it.

The arrogance of (post)moderns is breathtaking...lol
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