The Romanian Institute
of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York


Institutul Roman de Teologie si Spiritualitate Ortodoxa, New York

Symposium

Proceedings of the Annual Ecumenical and Interdisciplinary Symposium
The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, New York



Contents and Abstracts





Symposium, Vol. XXIV/1, 2017   click here
Knowledge and Enchantment: A World without Mystery?


Theodor Damian, PhD

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality:

Sing a New Song to the World: The Never Ending Enchantment

 

Humphrey Crookendale, JD

Dean of School for Public Affairs and Administration, Metropolitan College of New York

Does Knowledge Mask Truth and Reality?

 

Richard Grallo, PhD

Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Epictetus in the City

 

Louis Tietje, PhD

Professor of Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York

Equality of Opportunity and Social Justice

 

Doru Tsaganea, PhD

Professor of Mathematics, Metropolitan College of New York

From this Enchantment to Re-enchantment in Theoretical Physics

 

Alina Feld, PhD

Affiliate Faculty at the General Theological Seminary, New York

David G,. Leahy’s Novitas Mundi: The Good News of a World Renewed

 

David Rosner

Associate Professor of Values and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York

The Artificial Enchantment of the World

 




Symposium, Vol. XXIII/1, 2016  (click here)

Cultural Transparency and the Loss of Privacy in the Era of Digital Technology:

How Is This Shaping Our Becoming and the Ethical Dilemmas Related to It


Theodor Damian, PhD
Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality:
Being Constantly Watched: Transparency and Perichoresis
 
Richard Grallo, PhD
Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York:
The Role of Belief in Problem Solving
 
Alina Feld, PhD
Affiliate Faculty at the General Theological Seminary, New York
The Digital Age and the Transparency of Evil: Jean Baudrillard’s “Perfect Crime”
 
Camelia Suruianu, PhD
Independent researcher
The Hazard of Paul Sterian’s Life

Maxim (Iuliu-Marius) Morariu,
PhD candidate at the Department of Orthodox Theology, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Elemente ale spiritualității ortodoxe în opera literară a lui Virgil Gheorghiu
(Elements of Orthodox Spirituality in the Literary Works of Virgil Gheorghiu)

 

Abstract: In this research, the author emphasises elements of Christian Theology and Spirituality which can be found in the literary works of the Romanian writer Constantin Virgil Gheorghiu, the author of the prestigious novel The 25th Hour, translated in different languages and of over 40 other literary works, amongst which novels and poetry. The author highlights his Christian feelings which can be found in the book of poetry. He also presents the way in which he promotes his faith in the pages of the literary biographies of Saint Ambrosius, Bishop of Milan, and Saint John Chrysostom, Patriarch of Constantinople, and in the work Dieu ne reçoit que le dimanche (God receives only on Sundays), and also the way in which he uses elements of Christian spirituality in works like The 25th Hour, mentioned above, Condotiera, The People of Immortals, The Life of Mahomet, The Foreign People from Heidelberg, My Father, the Priest Who Was Elevated to the Sky, in his literary autobiography, and in other books as well.


The author shows that Christian Orthodox Spirituality is almost always present in the literary works of Constantin Virgil Gheorghiu. A particularity of his writings is the fact that, often, he presents the way in which this spirituality is linked with the Romanian culture and with the lifestyle of the Romanian people (especially from his birth place, Moldavia, where everything has a spiritual significance and must be seen as part of the link between man and God).


Keywords: Orthodox faith, martyrdom, monastic life, Spiritual autobiography, sufferance, poverty, purity of the soul.




 

Symposium, Vol. XXII/1, 2015

Remembering Peace: Justice, and Forgiveness in a Time of War

Theodor Damian, PhD
Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality:
Errare Humanum Est. Absolvere Divinum

Clair McPherson, PhD
Professor of Ascetical Theology, General Theological Seminary; Priest Associate, Church of the Transfiguration, Manhattan (Episcopal)
Da Pacem Domine: a Prayer for Peace from the Seventh to the Twenty-First Century

Richard Grallo, PhD
Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York:
Four Functions of Experience in Human Learning

Louis Tietje, PhD
Professor of Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, and
Steven Cresap, PhD
Associate Professor of Modern European Intellectual History, Metropolitan College of New York:
Rival Norms of Social Justice: Is There a Winner?

Doru Tsaganea, PhD
Professor of Mathematics, Metropolitan College of New York
The Ukrainian Conflict and Christian Moral Values

Alina Feld, PhD
Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Long Island University Global
Richard Kearney's Welcoming the Stranger: or on The Courage to Forgive

Elvin T. Ramos, PhD
Founder and President, Global Tassels, Inc.
Adjunct Assistant Professor, St. John’s University:
The Practice of Peace and the Engagement of Social Justice through education during the Never Ending Global War on Poverty

Ana Chelariu, PhD
Independent Scholar, New Jersey
Jesus’ Curse of the Fig Tree (New Testament) and The Bráhman of Two Birds in a Fig Tree (Rig Veda), Parables of Teaching

Jean Bodin/Heinz-Uwe Haus, PhD
Professor of Theatre at the Department of Theatre of the University of Delaware
The Tragic Sense of Life or We Are Left with Self: Theatrical Roots Re-Visited

Ierom. Maxim (Iuliu-Marius) Morariu
MA candidate at the Department of Orthodox Theology, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Mântuirea adusă de Hristos prin întreita Sa slujire de Învăţător - Prooroc, Arhiereu (jertfă supremă) si Împărat, în teologia părintelui Dumitru Stăniloae

Abstract: The importance of the threefold ministry of Christ is outlined and analysed by Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae in many of his works. He made valuable contributions to the understanding of the topic in a holistic manner, placing it in the broader context of the soteriological work of Christ, more specifically indicating the direction that His threefold ministry takes.
The vast and varied literature that the author uses as a basis to debate his ideas, starting with the Scriptural and Patristic texts and culminating with the views of contemporary Christian theologians, the pleasant and relaxed discourse unlike the one a textbook may have, as well as the spontaneity with which the author analyses important issues with interdenominational echoes indicate that his approach on this subject is of highest interest for current theological research. This paper outlines several dimensions of this approach.

Răzvan Emanuel Fibisan, PhD
„Ilarion V. Felea” Department of Orthodox Theology, „Aurel Vlaicu” University, Arad, Romania
Metoda tipologică de interpretare, ca viziune ciclică a mersului anagogic al tradiţiei credale

Abstract: This paper discusses the relation between the Old and the /ew Testament from the perspective of the divine Logos incarnated in history as the unifying factor and as the one that makes each Testament relevant to the other.
The pedagogical role of the Old Testament as it leads to and is fufilled in the /ew Testament is discussed on the basis of the writings of the Gospel, of Paul’s epistles and of Patristic texts, without ignoring contemporary theological  contributions to the topic.



 

Symposium, Vol. XXI/1, 2014  (click here)   

Vivat Academia! How Post-Modern Rhetoric Shapes our Understanding of Modern and Pre-Modern Values

 

Theodor Damian, PhD

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality:

How Can Transcendence Help Reinvent Ourselves?

 

Richard Grallo, PhD

Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York:

On Seeking Understanding

 

Louis Tietje, PhD

Professor of Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York, and

Steven Cresap, PhD

Associate Professor of Modern European Intellectual History, Metropolitan College of New York:

The Parable of the Laboreres in the Vineyard in Matthew 20: 1-16: A Story about Justice of Mercy?

 

Steven Cresap, PhD

Associate Professor of Modern European Intellectual History, Metropolitan College of New York:

Advocacy in the Mission Statement: What Academics Should Do about Institutional Partisanship

 

Doru Tsaganea, PhD

Associate Professor of Mathematics, Metropolitan College of New York:

Industrialization - The Defining Economic Element of Modernization

 

Elvin T. Ramos, PhD

Assistant Dean, Metropolitan College of New York:

The Rhetoric of Hope: Illuminating the Reality of the World’s Poor and the Role of Religious Charities

 

Paul J. LaChance, PhD

Associate Professor, Philosophy/Theology Department, College of St. Elisabeth, New Jersey:

Process and Insight: Sounding in Gendlin and Lonergan Toward a Future Dialectic

 

Bert Breiner, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Religion, Hunter College, City University of New York

Al-Ghazali, Certitude and Postmodernism

 





Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013  (click here)

Time, Place and Self in Interdisciplinary Narratives


Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Transcendent Dimension of Place and Time: A Theological Narrative.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013


Richard Grallo

Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Truth in Perspective: Application of Interrogative Problem Representation.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013


Louis Tietje

Professor of Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York

The Role of Redemptive Narratives in Dan P. McAdams’s Theory of Personality: A Christian Critique.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013



Clair McPherson

Associate Professor of Ascetical Theology, General Theological Seminary; Professor of Theology, Fordham College Lincoln Center

Poor in Paradise: The Ascetical Vision of Nilus of Ancyra in De Voluntaria Paupertate.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013


Abstract:

For centuries, the authentic works of Nilus of Ancyra were ironically obscured for two quite different reasons: first, because Nilus became a convenient shield for earlier writers whose orthodoxy had become suspect, chief among them Evagrios Pontikos; second, because a thrilling but entirely bogus biography replete with desert pirates, a son for a partner in monasticism, and a sojourn in Palestine had turned him into “Nilus of Sinai,” a place he probably never visited. Thus Volume 79 in the Patrologia Graeca contains the spurious biography and many works scholars now attribute to Evagrios.

 

As a result, Nilus has scarcely been translated, read, or studied. This is unfortunate, because Nilus is more than interesting in his own right: he offers a rare window into the world of asceticism and theology in the early 5th century; he evinces consistently an assimilation of the great Orthodox tradition from Origen, through the Cappadocians, and on through Nilus’ mentor, John Chrysostom; he thinks creatively and consistently within the mythos of Scripture, making for often surprising and always delightful insights; and he offers a unique style of theological writing, with a complex and difficult word order, poetic sound effects, and strangely linked symbols and images that evoke the seventeenth-century English Metaphysical poets. Nilus manages the difficult task of making monastic moderation seem thrilling and ascetical discipline in general seem not only necessary, but compelling and interesting.

 

My first translation Nilus’ De Voluntaria Paupertate, addressed to a young Deaconess and striking a fine balance between ascetical daring and commonsense restraint. The voluntary poverty of the monk is not, ultimately, a matter of self-denial and penitence at all; rather, it is a part of the monastic agenda to return to the conditions of original humanity—in other words, it is one of the conditions for a return to Paradise, a way to realize oneself Christ’s identity as the Second Adam.

 

Nilus argues, with complex logic and through rich symbols, that Adam and Eve were Impoverished with a capital “I” (to use a Nilus-style figure in English): because they needed nothing, they owned nothing, and had everything. That in its purity is impossible in a damaged world, but the monastic version—a balanced, sane voluntary poverty—is the very best we “friends of Christ” can attain.

 

The treatise will prove compelling not just to monastics, but to anyone who fasts, to anyone who practices Christian ascesis—and this includes us all.



Paul J. LaChance

Associate Professor, Philosophy/Theology Department, College of St. Elisabeth, New Jersey

Experience of Self and God: Gestalt and Focusing Interventions in Pastoral Counseling.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013


Roland Clark

Assistant Professor, History Department, Eastern Connecticut State University

Orthodox Priests and the Legion of the Archangel Michael.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013


Steven Cresap

Associate Professor of Modern European Intellectual History, Metropolitan College of New York

Frightening Habits: Existential Effects of Extreme Aesthetic Experiences.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013


Doru Tsaganea

Associate Professor of Mathematics, Metropolitan College of New York

The Concept of Time Associated with Cybernetic Systems.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013


Dean Vasil

Adjunct Professor of Latin and Philosophy, Independent Scholar

Descendants of Pascal and Dostoievsky: European Critics of Technocracy.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013


Alina Feld

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Long Island University Global

The Self as Temporalized Being: From Heidegger to Levinas.

Symposium, Vol. XX/1, 2013





Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012 

Alienation and Authenticity in Environments of the 21st Century: Technology, Person and Transcendence


Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality
Man as Divine Gift: The Transcendent Character of Human Identity   

Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012 


Richard Grallo
Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Principles of Interrogative Problem Representation - A Preliminary Sketch

Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012 


Louis Tietje, Ph.D.
Professor of Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York
The Phenomenology of Sin: What Lutheran Theology Can Teach the Unbeliever

Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012 


Mihai Himcinschi, Ph.D.
Professor of Missiology and Ecumenism, Orthodox School of Theology, Alba Iulia University, Romania
Homo Technicus as Contemporary Missionary Challenge

Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012 


Steven Cresap, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Modern European Intellectual History, Metropolitan College of New York
The Morality of Mayhem. Moral and Policy Implications of Virtual Violence

Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012 


Paul J. LaChance, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Philosophy/Theology Department, College of St. Elisabeth, New Jersey
Education for Authenticity: Bellah on Formation, Critical Thinking and Participation

Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012 


George Lazaroiu, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy, School of Journalism, Communications and Public Relations, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, and
Ramona Mihaila, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English Literature, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania:
The New Logic of Social Media

Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012  


Abstract: In this paper we are particularly interested in exploring the context of media interactions in established participation frameworks, the rise of mobile communication, the increasing importance of computer networks and global network organizations, the language of media interactions, and the capitalist character of contemporary society. The mainstay of the paper is formed by an analysis of the ideological reproduction of communicative capitalism, constitutive features of communicative capitalism, the impact of networked communications on democratic practices, the convenience of the Web, and the speed, simultaneity and interconnectivity of electronic communications.



Sergey Trostyanskiy, Ph.D. candidate
Union Theological Seminary, New York:    
The Issue of Personal Identity in the Light of Social and Cosmic Evil; The Patristic Response to the 21st Century Issues of Theological Anthropology

Symposium, Vol. XIX/1, 2012 





Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011  (click here)

Meaning and Mystery: From the Philosophy of Knowledge to the Theology of Person

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Encoding and Decoding Messages: The Interplay between Apophatic and Cataphatic in the Art of Communication

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011

 

Richard Grallo

Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Contemplating the Past

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011

 

Nicolai Buga

Adjunct Profesor of Spirituality, St. Tihon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Philadelphia

The Mystery of the Person in Fr. Staniloae’s Theology

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011

 

Paul J. LaChance

Associate Professor, Theology Department, College of St. Elisabeth, New Jersey

Sociology of Knowledge and Social Grace

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011


Abstract: This paper concerns the role of theology in everyday life. I will begin with some remarks on sociology of knowledge and on religious institutions as mediators of meaning in so far as they function, in sociological terms, to legitimate and to maintain a religiously differentiated commonsense worldview. I will then point out the limitations of common sense and the need for scientific and theoretical control over social process. Finally, I will argue that theology as a theoretical discipline has a crucial role to play in everyday life and that Bernard Lonergan’s concept of cosmopolis points to the embodiment of theology in social process for the sake of social healing. It keeps alive the question of commonsense truths and bears witness to the authenticity of particular modes of perceiving, construing, and judging.


 

Alina Feld

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Hofstra University

Radical Theology or the Deconstruction of Christianity: Jean-Luc Nancy’s “Dis-closure”

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011

 

George Lazaroiu

Associate Professor of Philosophy, School of Journalism, Communications and Public Relations, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania

Richard Swinburne: The Nature of God and the Problem of Evil

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011

 

Daniel Munteanu

Assistent Professor of Theology, Otto-Friedrich University of Bamberg, Germany:

Human Being as Imago Trinitatis: Main Aspects of the Trinitarian Concept of Person

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011

 

Daniel Damian

Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Metropolitan College of New York

Know Thyself: A Psychological Perspective

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011

 

Nicolae Nicolescu

Director Epiphania Magazine, Jassy, Romania:

Sacred Mystery and Church Service: A Christological and Anthropological Investigation

Symposium, Vol. XVIII/1, 2011

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. XVII/1, 2010 (click here)

Religion and Politics: The Human Society between the Power of God and the Power of Man

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Human Identity and Dignity. The Fight Between Theology and Madness

Symposium, Vol. XVII/1, 2010

 

Abstract: It is important to conscientize our identity because realizing who we are leads to what we do with who we are. According to Linda Woodhead, human identity and dignity is not only something to be assessed but also something to be worked for as well. That is why man’s ideal is always related to the transcendent as he or she is in constant pilgrimage from real to ideal, from immanent to transcendent. The target of the pilgrimage is the home of being. It is because man belongs (and not to himself) that his entire destiny is marked by this metaphysical thirst.

Keywords: identity, dignity, imago Dei, transcendence, trinity, anthropology

 

 

John A. McGuckin

Nielsen Professor of Late Antique and Byzantine Christian History, Union Theological Seminary, New York; Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies, Columbia University, New York

Orthodoxy and Culture

Symposium, Vol. XVII/1, 2010

 

Abstract:  What is required for an authentic Orthodox theology of culture, would seem to be fundamentally an act of spiritual discernment based upon the concrete and specific realities appropriate in each case; each instancing of cultural formation. In this light it becomes apparent why the Church needs to be in constant dialogue with the movers and shapers of ‘cultural epicentres’: the poets, artists, intellectuals, political leaders, scientists and philanthropists of each and every generation.

Keywords: church, culture, modernity, God, gospel, orthodoxy

 

 

Richard Grallo

Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Problem Representation in Active Problem Solving

Symposium, Vol. XVII/1, 2010

 

Abstract:  A major interest for psychologists has always been how people think and attempt to solve problems. In a more neutral sense it can simply refer to a gap between a current state and a desired state. The greater part of human life seems to consist of problems. It is natural that questions arise as to how people actually deal with problems and how they ought to address them.

Keywords: psychology, problem, insight, questioning, framing, knowledge

 

 

Ioan N. Rosca

Professor of Philosophy, School of Philosophy and Cultural Studies, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania

La religion dans le contexte des valeurs politiques démocratiques

Symposium, Vol. XVII/1, 2010

 

Abstract:  Par l’objet de leur investigation et même par leurs moyens de connaissance, la philosophie et la religion plutôt différent qu’elles s’opposent. Ainsi, l’objet le plus général à qui se rapportent les deux est le transcendent, mais qui la philosophie connote en sens laïque, tandis que la religion le divinise. En ce qui concerne les moyens de connaissance, c’est l’opposition qui apparut sur premier plan, parce que la philosophie se rapporte au transcendent par la raison, tandis que la religion – par croyance.

Keywords: religion, philosophy, transcendence, morale, culture, science

 

 

Alina Feld

Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Hofstra University

Nietzsche, this Forgetful, Musical Socrates

Symposium, Vol. XVII/1, 2010

 

Abstract: If the Kantian feeling of the sublime is experienced in nature, Nietzsche’s tragic feeling is triggered by an artistic performance. Kant rationalizes the sublime/offers a conceptual explanation of the sublime, whereas Nietzsche intends to provoke it as reaction to his exposition of his new doctrines. Most importantly, Nietzsche’s tragic does not call to a supersensible vocation. Nor does it need to postulate God and immortality nor is it a “triumph of mind over matter.”

Keywords: Nietzsche, Kant, Heidegger, nihilism, metaphysics, being

 

 

George Lazaroiu

Professor of Philosophy, School of Journalism, Communications and Public Relations, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania:

Political Theology as Theological Politics

Symposium, Vol. XVII/1, 2010

 

Abstract: We need a paradigm based on the interaction between the contemporary globalization of the political, economic, military, and communication systems and the increasing role of religion in influencing global politics. The four world systems constantly create new environments in which individuals and societies must make rapid choices on the basis of their perceived personal and communal identities.

Keywords: theology, politics, secularization, society, history, democracy

 


 

 

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009        

Cult and Culture: The Transcendental Roots of Human Civilization

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Thracian Origin of the Byzantine and Romanian Sacred Music

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract: The cultural relationships between Eastern and Western Europe in the Middle Ages could among others be demonstrated by the Byzantine and Romanian sacred music. In this sense, the descent of the Gregorian music from the Byzantine music shows the connecting bridge between Eastern and Western Christianity, at least since the 11th century till our times. As a matter of fact, without anticipating, the Thracian origin of the Byzantine, Romanian and Gregorian sacred music symbolically express the same spiritual and cultural unity of the Eastern and Western Romanity, as it was in the past and, hopefully, as it might be in the future. 

Keywords: Christianity, culture, music, worship, Thracian, Romanian

 

 

Richard Grallo

Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Questioning as a Cognitive Process: Implications for Learning and Culture

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract: This paper has three purposes: (1) to review the role of questions, questioning and insights in the process of learning; (2) to identify aspects of social contexts that favor or discourage the emergence of questions, questioning and insight; and (3) to highlight some implications and recommendations regarding education and counseling in various social contexts. Regarding each purpose, readers are invited to reflect on the phenomena discussed in their own lives and to verify their existence and functioning.

Keywords: psychology, insight, questioning, learning, counseling, society

 

 

Mircea Itu

Professor of Comparative Religions, Dean of the School of Journalism, Communications and Public Relations, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania

Mircea Eliade’s Concept of History of Religions

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract:  Mircea Eliade is the well-known Romanian scholar in religious studies, a Romanian cultural personality who is worldwide appreciated. The knowledge transmitted through his work is both actual and ageless. It is highly important for human being and for humanity, as well. The history of religions and the comparative method appear and act simultaneously in Mircea Eliade.

Keywords: Eliade, religion, culture, anthropology, history, hermeneutics, phenomenology

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Cultural and Spiritual Signs of the Time: With or Without Post-Modernism?

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract: If the 21st century will be religious, then the maturity of humankind will not consist in self-possession. Rather man will accept and follow the existential Trinitarian paradigm in as much as possible at a human level, and follow the paradigm of an existence put in the service of others with love and respect as offered by the divine Logos incarnated in history.

Keywords: religion, culture, post-modernism, identity, Trinity, spirituality

 

 

George Robert Lazaroiu

Professor of Philosophy, School of Journalism, Communications and Public Relations, Spiru Haret University, Bucharest, Romania

Wittgenstein’s Notion of the Factual Status of Religious Language

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract:  Wittgenstein saw a close connection between the quest for philosophical answers and the quest for the meaning of life. Having a religious belief could be compared to constantly having a certain picture in the foreground. Religious images and metaphors might cause philosophical confusion if their special nature is not recognized. Wittgenstein provides a normative account of religious belief.

Keywords: Wittgenstein, culture, religion, philosophy, meaning, language

 

 

Livio Dimitriu

Founder and President of The Urban Studies and Architecture Institute, New York, Professor of Architecture, Pratt Institute, New York

The Structure of the Cross: Tectonics of the Symbol

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract: This project was developed and concluded in a rapid succession of sketches all the way through its detailed execution drawings and over an only five-hour period. The transformation of a thought was due to a series of factors that involved cultural references used only as a catalyst for the design process. The process was governed by an understanding and respect for the spirit of the early Christian faith as embodied in its thought and in the Orthodox faith.

Keywords: art, architecture, religion, cross, culture, worship

 

 

Paul J. LaChance

Theology Department, College of St. Elisabeth, New Jersey

Eclipse of God. Voegelin and Lonergan on Constitutive Meaning

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract: It is through the constitutive meanings of the community that individuals principally participate in the arch of history. For this reason, historians must approach meaning and ideology as integral to historical process. What matters most here is the divine meaning of human history. The historian of sacred history must be a theologian and must know how to talk about the incarnate Word and the Holy Spirit as having evolved themselves effectively and constitutively in history.

Keywords: meaning, Lonergan, Voegelin, theology, history, Logos, community

 

 

Alina Feld

Department of Philosophy, Hofstra University

Reflections on the Spiritual Renaissance in Post-Communist Romania

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract: The present essay is a speculative attempt to draw a profile of the Romanian spiritual inscape which became visible in the years following the 89 Revolution. Both the spiritual effervescence and the spiritual disenchantment are symptoms of a metaphysics which has constituted an underlying structure of mainline culture and which has surfaced in prominent works of the spirit or in historical events. The tree of life which polarizes the Romanian spiritual inscape is sacralization of history.

Keywords: Romania, communism, church, revolution, culture, spirituality

 

 

Viorica Colpacci

The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality, Artist, Director of “Spiritus” Art Gallery, New York

The Aesthetic of the Sacred Art

Symposium, Vol. XVI/1, 2009

 

Abstract: The term Byzantine Art is used in this paper to define the Sacred Art of the Byzantine World, which continued in the Orthodox Churches until today, and not in the classificatory sense as a precise period in Art History. Byzantine Sacred Art proves the presence of God among us through artistic creation. Is this true for all art, or only for some art? It is a question to reflect upon by any artist, today, when beauty is no more a criteria in art as well as in life.

Keywords: Byzantine art, orthodoxy, icons, worship, God, beauty

 


 

 

Symposium, Vol. XV/1, 2008  (click here)

Theology and Literature: The Deification of Imagination and Its Cathartic Function in Spiritual Growth

 

Richard Grallo

Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Image and Imagination as Components of Learning

Symposium, Vol. XV/1, 2008

 

Abstract: There are three basic aims to this paper: (1) to describe and define imagination and some of its associated products and processes; (2) to place these phenomena in an explanatory context of other cognitive processes associated with both learning and mislearning; (3) to briefly discuss some applications in the areas of education, counseling and self-regulation.

Keywords: imagination, cognition, psychology, education, counseling, process

 

 

Bert F. Breiner

Episcopal Church USA, Chaplain Grace Church School, New York; Adjunct Professor at Hunters College of City University of New York

Imagination and Science Fiction

Symposium, Vol. XV/1, 2008

 

Abstract: The use of imagination in science fiction varies considerably and on the basis of the amount of license that is allowed to its free play, the genre is often subdivided into three different types: (1) hard science fiction, (2) soft science fiction, and (3) fantasy. All fiction and all art imply the use of imagination. I would even argue that all thought implies the use of imagination. We go back and find analogies between the images presented in the science fiction story and materials in our own experience. These images “ring bells” and jar memories.

Keywords: fiction, imagination, memory, literature, art, experience

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

A Poet of the Transcendent:  Mihail Crama, "The Realm of Dusk"

Symposium, Vol. XV/1, 2008

 

Abstract: The poetical universe of M. Crama (The Realm of Dusk) runs in parallel to the physical universe in which he lives. This universe is not to be thought of in its actual evolved state only, but also in its primordial state; thus it becomes a dream world from another realm, a world that is to be discovered with surprise, as it is sweet and unmoved. One looks at it as a spectator and does not dare to touch it, lest it collapses. One would not want the dream to vanish. The stages of Crama’s poetical universe coincide most of the time with the great themes he is approaching.

Keywords: literature, theology, transcendence, poetry, history, cosmos, Crama

 

 

Carmen Harra

Psychologist, Writer

Understanding your  Spiritual  Nature

Symposium, Vol. XV/1, 2008

 

Abstract: Once we understand our spiritual nature, we can begin to understand how the reality of souls and divinity operates. It has its own order and its own laws which can be difficult to grasp in the face of so much pressure to believe that our man-made laws are logical and practical. Comprehending how much wiser and better the divine laws are, we can begin changing our lives for the better.

Keywords: psychology, spirituality, consciousness, God, life, faith

 

 

Ali Shehzad Zaidi

State University of New York at Canton

The Mythical Dream Voyage in “The Cobbler of Hydra”

Symposium, Vol. XV/1, 2008

 

Abstract: The Cobbler of Hydra has the immediacy of a dream. Through his narrative technique, Niculescu validates archaic thought and ancestral memory as a means to self-discovery. Apollo, the god of Light and Truth, guides a spellbound traveler on a journey of self-discovery. In that story, myth discloses the subterranean, oneiric reality that redeems our lives. The narrator runs in search of the cobbler’s place, only to find himself in a lifeless world of weeds, shuttered homes, and a death-like stench.

Keywords: literature, myth, journey, identity, story, life, Niculescu

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. XIV/1, 2007  (click here)

The Glory of Knowledge: Construction and Deconstruction. When Human Quest Ends in Apophasis

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Transcendence of God According to St. Gregory of Nyssa: Continuity and Discontinuity with the Thought of Origen. How is God Known?

Symposium, Vol. XIV/1, 2007

 

Abstract: All of St. Gregory’s mysticism has as its center the problem of God’s total transcendence. In order to express more clearly this concept, St. Gregory especially in The Life of Moses and the Commentary on the Song of Songs uses a diversity of metaphors and images among which the night, the cloud, the darkness and others, represent key words for an adequate understanding of the problem. There is a certain inner dynamism in St. Gregory’s allegorical interpretation or rather explanation of God’s transcendence, convincingly and beautifully built and expressed in his mystical writings.

Keywords: theology, mysticism, spirituality, knowledge, transcendence, God, Gregory of Nyssa, Origen

 

 

Richard Grallo

Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

The Absence of Question and Insight in Accounts of Knowledge

Symposium, Vol. XIV/1, 2007

 

Abstract: The topic of this paper is the absence of question and insight in accounts of knowledge. The goal is to briefly outline what happens when the events of insight and question are systematically overlooked, particularly by philosophers, psychologists and students in general. Questions emerge from an often unclear recognition of a gap in our understanding, knowledge or practice. Insights emerge as the solution to a problem, often

formulated as a possible answer to a question. These phenomena of question and insight, while interesting in their own right, may have an important role to play in the process of learning and in the emergence and refinement of knowledge

Keywords: knowledge, question, psychology, insight, counseling, education

 

 

Doru Tsaganea

Associate Professor of Mathematics, Metropolitan College of New York

The Concept of Infinity in Mathematics, Philosophy and Religion

Symposium, Vol. XIV/1, 2007

 

Abstract: The human being’s struggle for comprehending infinity – existentially and logically – is itself infinite. It is infinite in time, it is infinite in purpose, and it is infinite in the space and methods of knowledge. Defining infinity in a rigorous and operational manner has been one of the most challenging and important problems of mathematics. Nearly all great philosophers have been highly interested in the study of infinity in order to understand the structure of the universe and the complexity of logical reasoning. If the concept of infinity is important in mathematics and philosophy, it is even more important in religion. It is absolutely basic in both its connotations – metaphysical-existential, and logical.

Keywords: knowledge, logic, infinity, philosophy, mathematics, metaphysics, religion

 

 

Constantin Lucian Pirjol

Expert on Social Policies and Social Management, Alice-Salomon-Fachhochschule, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany

Stickiness. What Makes Knowledge Transfer Difficult

Symposium, Vol. XIV/1, 2007

 

Abstract: A useful starting point to clarify stickiness and its predictors is to use metaphors. The implementation stickiness is a matter of bridging the communication gap between source and the recipient. The rump-up stickiness is connected to the recipient’s effort to adjust the transferred knowledge to his own “reality”. the activity of the church concerning the knowledge transfer may have success or not, facing the same stickiness as every other organization.

Keywords: communication, knowledge, meaning, Church, psychology, decoding

 

 

Gloria Possart

Expert on Higher Education and Voluntary Services, Alice-Salomon-Fachhochschule, University of Applied Sciences, Berlin, Germany

Challenges of the Knowledge Society

Symposium, Vol. XIV/1, 2007

 

Abstract: The millenarian fascination of the birth and the departure of life is still present in spite of the Enlightenment and overabundance of scientific acknowledges. It is not only religion or the contemporary cultural trend development that reserve a specific honorable place for the points of entrance into life and the point of exit out of this life. The social sciences themselves (re)discovered in these two life poles a topic worth of precise attention. The paper identifies these two momenta that the human being trespasses as a challenge per se of our knowledge society.

Keywords: knowledge, science, society, religion, culture, modernism

 

 

Daniel Damian

Behaviour Specialist, Psychotherapist, Adjunct Professor, Metropolitan College of New York

Evagrius Ponticus: Gnosis as Contemplation

Symposium, Vol. XIV/1, 2007

 

Abstract: Evagrius Ponticus, in accordance with the Holy Fathers, identifies a progress in the spiritual contemplation. The objective of the natural contemplation is the knowledge of the material and immaterial beings, more specifically the “reasons” (logoi) of the material creation and angels. According to Evagrius, the intellectual capacity is not enough to gain access to the “gnosis that comes from God”. For Evagrius, the world is an epiphany, par excellence. In his cosmological vision, Evagrius articulates a hierarchical ontology, made up of multiple “levels” of reality. Evagrius Ponticus’ vision about gnosis and natural contemplation represents a hallmark of his theological system

Keywords: Evagrius, mysticism, theology, knowledge, contemplation, spirituality

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. XIII/1, 2006  (click here)

Unity in Diversity: Can We Live Together in an Apocalyptic World?

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Toward Theandric Restoration of the Divine Unity of the World in the Light of Its Secular and Biblical Apocalypse

Symposium, Vol. XIII/1, 2006

 

Abstract: The spreading panic over the apocalyptical syndrome of postmodern American mentality seems to be a rather cyclical millenary phenomenon, if not a “phenomenal” melodrama that is fictionally performing the ending of the world as it is depicted in the most virulent forms of credulity and incredulity of the inevitable eschatological terror still in progress. Life’s tendency in the secular apocalypticism appears to be the non-being, and this meaningless nonsense is totally different from life’s meaning revealed in Apocalypse

Keywords: theology, incarnation, eschatology, culture, secularism, meaning

 

 

Richard Grallo

Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Learning, Functional Interferences and Personality Dynamics in Contemporary Context

Symposium, Vol. XIII/1, 2006

 

Abstract: This paper will focus on aspects of unity and diversity in the human person, and in particular it will be a summary of some of the work I have been doing for a number of years as a psychologist. The intent of this work has revolved around three clusters of questions: (1) How is it that we humans learn? What is happening when we learn going on there? Is there any kind something of a unity of structure, a unified and integrated structure of cognitive processes? (2) In contrast, how can human learning be interfered with and distorted? So we frequently find ourselves with a great diversity of errors, misconceptions and misunderstandings, not only in this age but it seems in any age. (3) How does this dynamic of learning and its interferences with learning affect the development of what a person ultimately becomes? Also, how does it affect the functioning of personality?

Keywords: education, psychology, cognition, learning, person, counseling

 

 

Mihaela Albu

Professor of Comparative literature, State University of Craiova, Romania

National Identity and European Diversity. A Case Study: Romania

Symposium, Vol. XIII/1, 2006

 

Abstract: In the contemporary world, when one of the most common concepts is globalization, it seems paradoxical to speak about “national identity,” but it is also obvious that with Europe divided into various countries, each nation belongs both to a specific culture and to the culture of the old continent. The interest in the definition of the Romanian identity can be found as a main point on many other thinkers’ and writers’ agenda, especially in the interwars period. Constantin Noica and Mircea Vulcanescu enriched the space of the cultural knowledge in the field of Romanian identity. Both used the level of language in their presentations to follow the way identity is constructed. Their books brought a special contribution to the analysis of Romanian identity.

Keywords: Romania, identity, globalization, culture, literature, philosophy

 

 

Gale Bellas

Professor of English Literature, Fairfield University, Connecticut

Identity, Otherness and Reconciliation in a Pre-Apocalyptic World

Symposium, Vol. XIII/1, 2006

 

Abstract: It is my belief that Bakhtin, an orthodox Russian, has fashioned his paradigm of human interaction and communication, on the model of the Holy Trinity. In his dialogic model, Bakhtin is suggesting that human beings are called to reproduce the same mutual love, reciprocity and interdependence that exist in the Trinity, which inherently means that we are called to fight against the opposite in our interactions with others, which would be oppression, injustice and discrimination. Bakhtin believed that the rational models of thinking that societies and people adopt, directly impact the way that people view the world, self and other.

Keywords: identity, communication, trinity, interdependence, Bakhtin, culture

 

 

Steven Cressap

Chairman of Professional Development and Education for the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education; Assistant Professor, Metropolitan College of New York

Apocalypse Wow! The Aesthetic Value of Catastrophes and Terror

Symposium, Vol. XIII/1, 2006

 

Abstract: One fascination shared by everyone is apocalypse. In Western culture apocalypse comes in both secular and religious forms. Whatever form it takes, and whatever interpretation may be placed on it, any apocalyptic narrative has an automatic aesthetic value. This fact about the appeal of apocalypse poses a problem for both aesthetics and ethics, not to mention theology and cultural anthropology. I want to focus on how apocalyptic narratives have permeated our culture. of all varieties of apocalyptic narrative the most common is city-destruction, since it is more or less natural for city-dwellers to identify their particular locale as equivalent with civilization and even the world.

Keywords: culture, modernism, civilization, value, ethics, aesthetics

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Day of the Lord: The Apocalyptic Dimension of the Old Testament Prophets’ Warnings

Symposium, Vol. XIII/1, 2006

 

Abstract: One of the main aspects of the Old Testament prophetic books is eschatology in both its dimensions, temporal and atemporal, that is, with its practical implications for people’s daily life, and with its future perspective. Eschatology is the “place” where God and man are supposed to meet: God acts to help man realize the right way of living, man acts toward God, in particular when he or she gets the message. Out of his love for people God reveals Himself in many ways so that everybody can come to the knowledge of His will. But it seems that regular types of revelation do not help to fulfill God’s goal. Then, out of the same love, God recourses to an unusual, strange, extraordinary way to reveal His divine will: the apocalyptic, where the good is to be noticed through fear and all that it generates.

Keywords: Old Testament, prophets, eschatology, revelation, God, faith

 

 

Gregory Jose

Assistant Professor of Statistics and Accounting, Metropolitan College of New York

Aspects of the Apocalyptic World: Tsunamis, Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Mudslides, and Their Aftermath in the New Millennium

Symposium, Vol. XIII/1, 2006

 

Abstract: Thoughtful people, particularly those of many religious faiths have speculated as to whether these indeed are the last days. After all, in the Gospel of Apostles, Jesus Christ foretold the future of the world in apocalyptic terms when Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him about signs indicating that the end of the world was near. We ushered in a new millennium a few years ago, but all is not well with the humanity, thanks to natural and man-made calamities. Human beings everywhere must redouble their efforts to act on their best natural impulse, which is to reach out to one another with love and understanding. The choice is stark: we either live together or perish together.

Keywords: Bible, Gospel, culture, community, eschatology, world

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. XII/1, 2005  (click here)

Globalization from A (Archaeology) to S (Sprituality): What Is It and Who Needs It?

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

A Contemporary Dilemma: Globalizing Religion or Spiritualizing Globalization.

Symposium, Vol. XII/1, 2005

 

Abstract: Contemporary problems created by the new era of globalization are far from being exhausted, debated or eventually resolved. All existential levels of the world are globally affected in many ways. Even the modern and post modern autonomous fragmentation of the world’s divine unity seems to be increased rather than being decreased by the contemporary globalization now in progress.

Keywords: religion, spirituality, culture, globalization, secularism, modernism

 

 

Bert F. Breiner

Adjunct Professor, Department of Religion, Hunters College, City University of New York

Some Thoughts on Globalization and the "Clash of Civilizations"

Symposium, Vol. XII/1, 2005

 

Abstract: Globalization is one of those concepts that on the surface seem so self-evident that it is not necessary to define it or to describe it. Globalization seems to pervade all aspects of our culture and our society in a way that would have been unimaginable just a generation ago. One of the major impacts of globalization is precisely the fact the social, political and intellectual elite of countries throughout the world increasingly use a few languages as their primary means of thinking and working.

Keywords: globalization, history, civilization, society, culture, religion

 

 

Steven Cressap

Chairman of Professional Development and Education for the Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education; Assistant Professor, Metropolitan College of New York

Globalization and Entertainment: Three Phases of Mass Virtual Pleasure

Symposium, Vol. XII/1, 2005

 

Abstract: Mass virtual pleasure has become institutionalized in the form of what we today call entertainment. With institutionalization came for the first time in history the feasibility of spreading entertainment throughout the world. the post-postmodern phase of entertainment globalization has to be understood in the context of the present cultural period. It is a period that differs in significant ways from what came before, and so far the differences do not seem to be wholly reassuring.

Keywords: globalization, entertainment, society, modernism, technology, culture

 

 

Richard Grallo

Associate Professor of Applied Psychology, Metropolitan College of New York

Global Change: Prospects for Plutocracy on a “Learning Planet”

Symposium, Vol. XII/1, 2005

 

Abstract: I examine globalization briefly from three points of view. The first is the viewpoint of educational psychology, a branch of psychology that is concerned with learning and teaching. In these remarks on globalization, an attempt will be made to relate it to learning and whether learning is happening or not. The second viewpoint is clinical psychology. This is another branch of psychology, and its concern is with the elusive phenomenon of mental health. When we think about globalization, we can examine the kinds of environments we are creating and whether or not they are conducive to mental health. Finally, the third viewpoint is that of philosophy. From this discipline, we can examine some of the goals of globalization and whether or not they are worthwhile.

Keywords: globalization, education, psychology, learning, society, philosophy

 

 

Theodor Damian

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Globalization as Reconstruction of the World: The Theological Value of Recapitulation.

Symposium, Vol. XII/1, 2005

 

Abstract: Globalization is one of the most debated and hot topics today. The strong reaction people have at World Trade Organization meetings is one indication of that. Another one is the quantity of writing on the topic. According to internet resources every field of life is affected by globalization. Only Google gives 6.560.000 entries for the word. If globalization would not drastically affect people’s lives there would probably be less interest for it. Because of its implications in human life at all levels, those who are happy with it are quick to praise and preach it, whereas those who are unhappy and skeptical are quick to protest, warn and discourage. I will try to look at this phenomenon not so much from the point of view of its external manifestations that have to do with technology, economics, politics (Americanization for many), but from the point of view of its inner forces, drives, and characteristics. In doing that I will make an appeal to theology and metaphysics that can facilitate a new understanding and interpretation of it.

Keywords: theology, culture, society, globalization, metaphysics, spirituality

 

 

Vadim Moldovan

York College, The City University of New York; Metropolitan College of New York

 “Vertical Solidarity” vs. Capitalism: A Social Work Perspective on Globalization

Symposium, Vol. XII/1, 2005

 

Abstract: No strategies for achieving “global solidarity” are being proposed here. Instead, this paper represents an attempt to identify a potential role of the social work profession in dealing with the social impact of global capitalism. Economic globalization, as the root cause of contemporary social problems, should be clearly diagnosed before any form of treatment can be attempted. In turn, this realization can lead to the global cooperative strategies of dissent in the name of human dignity and social justice.

Keywords: society, economy, capitalism, globalization, dignity, justice

 


 

 

Symposium, Vol. XI/1, 2004  (click here)

Science and Theology: New Challenges and Perspectives

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Postmodern Science and Theology: New Scientific Temptations and Challenges versus Ecumenical and Theological Perspectives.

Symposium, Vol. XI/1, 2004

 

Abstract: As a theologian concerned with the Divine truth in Eastern Orthodox Theology, I would like to emphasize in what follows, a possible correlation between the various forms of truth in the so called post-modern religion, philosophy and science. Certainly, the unity of the divine truth on which the spiritual order of the world is transcendentally grounded, has to be understood as the ultimate concern proclaimed by the actual plurality of religions and multitude of philosophical and scientific conceptions. Regrettably, this ontological unity of the world appears to be now, more than ever, broken and fragmented. Instead of being reduced by theological, philosophical and scientific means, this fragmentation seems to be increasing ad infinitum.

Keywords: theology, Orthodoxy, philosophy, science, society, spirituality

 

 

Bert F. Breiner

Episcopal Church USA, Chaplain Grace Church School, New York; Adjunct Professor at Hunters College of CUNY

Consciousness, God and the New Physics

Symposium, Vol. XI/1, 2004

Abstract: In classroom discussions, I have occasionally alluded to the role consciousness plays in the currently fruitful dialogue between physics and theology. In the manner of a caricature, I would speak of a science which exams the universe with intentional consciousness and suddenly realizes that what is missing from its equations is precisely any recognition of intentional consciousness. Like most caricatures, that is a lopsided presentation of an element of the truth. And yet, it does reflect an element of the rich encounter between contemporary physics and Christian theology.

Keywords: psychology, physics, theology, consciousness, God, spirituality

 

 

Richard Grallo

Associate Professor of Human Services, Metropolitan College of New York; Quest Institute, New York

Religion and Contemporary Science as Quest

Symposium, Vol. XI/1, 2004

 

Abstract: It seems to me that Metaphysics enters the scene of the 21st century in wedding clothes. We are bound to the mystery the way we are bound to life. That is why the metaphysical quest is not only the most normal way of self-conscientization, it is the most imperative and essential. One of the most fundamental things that powerfully challenges our mind is the phenomenon of order through which everything is kept into being. What is life? What is order? Is life a kind of order? It seems that order is of a higher provenance than the elements of the system, it transcends the system.

Keywords: metaphysics, psychology, consciousness, knowledge, life, systems

 

 

Theodor Damian

Associate Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Science and Religion: The Transcendent Ground of Order

Symposium, Vol. XI/1, 2004

 

Abstract:  L. Wittgenstein was clear in his message about world and life: everything is mystery. “The entire modern conception about the world is based on the illusion that the so-called laws of nature represent the explanation of the natural phenomena” [...] “It seems to us that when all possible scientific questions were answered, the problem of life remains completely untouched.”

If everything is a mystery, then where do we start? Or, maybe even better, do we need to start at all? What happens if we don’t start? Of course, if man has an inquisitive mind, that does imply that it is normal for us to start, to think, to ask questions. After all, both, Meister Eckhart and Nietzsche taught us to have a ”why” for everything.

In this paper I am exploring the concept of order, its relation to the system and the rationality it implies as well as the possibility of knowledge and suggest that mystery is part of its reality and that on this basis it brings us to God.

The idea of order is a possible ground where science and religion can meet and grow in mutual dialogue.

Keywords: religion, science, knowledge, order, metaphysics, mystery

 

 

Napoleon Savescu

Dacia Revival International Society, New York

Religion versus Science

Symposium, Vol. XI/1, 2004

 

Abstract: Today scientists explore the existing archeological, genetic, and linguistic evidence suggesting that the flood rapidly created a human diaspora that spread as far as Western Europe, Center Asia, China, Egypt, and the Persian Gulf. They have suggested that the Black Sea peoples could well have been the mysterious proto-Sumerians who developed the first great civilization in Mesopotamia. Biblical Noah’s Flood is solidly demonstrated by contemporary science. It is an astonishing religious story that sheds new light on our roots and gives fresh meaning to ancient myths

Keywords: religion, history, science, archeology, civilization, myth

 

 

Mihai Vinereanu

Graduate School and University Center of CUNY

Linguistic Contributions to the Understanding of the Early Christian Lexicon of the Romanian Language

Symposium, Vol. XI/1, 2004

 

Abstract: I analyze some of the most important lexical data denominating notions of the Christian faith. I would like to mention from the beginning that I will discuss the oldest Christian lexicon which is coming either from Latin or Dacian, terms that define the fundamental aspects of Christian belief. This paper is not concerned with the lexical elements regarding the administrative structure of the Orthodox Church. old Romanian lexicon regarding different religious notions come either from Latin or Dacian, a language related to Latin and other old Italic languages.

Keywords: Christianity, language, faith, church, communication, meaning

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. X/1, 2003  (click here)

Contemporary Culture in the Light of Christian Spirituality at the Beginning of the Third Millennium

Secular Realities and Spiritual Perspectives

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Contemporary Culture in the Light of Christian Spirituality at the Beginning of the Third Millennium: Secular Realities and Spiritual Perspectives.

Symposium, Vol. X/1, 2003

 

Abstract: The main commitment of this topic is to articulate a reasonable answer to a dilemmatic issue, if there exists or not a real contemporary culture at the beginning of the third millennium. If it exists, then we need a comprehensive new look at this contemporary culture to see what it consists of because we have to finally acknowledge that under the affixed label contemporary culture coexists within a plurality of cultures at the same time. If it doesn’t exist, then we have to find out whether or not this contemporary culture has somehow passed away along with the second millennium.

Keywords: religion, spirituality, culture, modernism, society, secularism

 

 

Richard Grallo

Professor of Human Services, Metropolitan College of New York; Quest Institute, New York

How to Think about Culture

Symposium, Vol. X/1, 2003

 

Abstract: Would you agree with these statements? (1) Asking people you just met about the money they make is never polite. (2) The color of wrapping paper for a gift to an adult generally does not matter. (3) It is courteous to write a thank you note after receiving a gift. (4) Someone who does not make eye contact when speaking with you is being evasive. If you agree or disagree with these statements with a great deal of certainty you may be more influenced by your culture than you think. The accelerating development of communications has brought in its wake both an increasing push toward “globalization” and an increasing resistance to it. It has also highlighted not only cultural differences but cultural clashes. To gain a better understanding of what is happening we need to ask and correctly answer a variety of questions regarding the meaning and functioning of culture. Included among them are the following: (1) What is culture? (2) What is the role of culture? (3) What are the sources of culture? (4) How can we fool ourselves about culture? (5) What can one person do to learn more about culture?

Keywords: culture, consciousness, learning, psychology, globalization, communication

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Metropolitan College of New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Globalization: Between Fear and Joy. The Future of Religion

Symposium, Vol. X/1, 2003

 

Abstract:  One of the most debated labels today that indicates a powerful movement, a complex phenomenon that we are confronted with is globalization. In this paper I plan to explore this phenomenon, to look at several of its aspects and implications, to raise questions and especially to see how religion in general and Christianity in particular could be affected by it. I do not plan to address the topic in all its possible details, just as I do not intend to offer answers and solutions. Rather, I would like those considerations to be part of the effort to conscientize the issue, to be a sign of the need for the Church to get involved in the debate and dialogue that relates to its present and future in our society

Keywords: globalization, religion, society, secularism, spirituality, church

 

 

Daniela Anghel

The National Institute of Thraco-Dacian Studies, Bucharest

Contemporary Culture between Real and Ideal.

Symposium, Vol. X/1, 2003

 

Abstract: Culture is a dynamic phenomenon, a system of values that is continuously transforming. One could talk about different aspects of culture: tradition, modern culture, cultureless society, acculturation, and multiculturalism. But more important is our attitude concerning culture as its creators, connoisseurs and promoters. The culture, created outside of Paradise, was totally different. Now he has to create a system of values that will lead him to rediscover the meaning of life. Culture is a creative activity being an assimilator and promoter of the values it created. In order for the contemporary world to find spiritual meaning in life, culture, science and art, it needs to experience the Christian ideal of goodness, truth and beauty, as they are embodied in our Lord Jesus Christ, and to follow the way to God under His leadership.

Keywords: culture, modernism, spirituality, tradition, religion, society

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. IX/1, 2002       

Prayer as Theology of the Mind and of the Heart for the Humanity in the New Millennium

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Apanthisma and the Humanity in the New Millennium

Symposium, Vol. IX/1, 2002

 

Abstract: Our paper is trying to approach, from a patristic perspective, the Prayer as Theology of the Heart and of the Mind, and the Humanity in the New Millennium. The humanity of the third millennium appears to be spiritually too much precipitated and agitated, lacking inner peace and quietude of the souls, and in some way alienated from God, and unable to find by herself an exit from this strange situation. The prayers of the Holy Fathers published in Apanthisma are the most representative and significant of the Orthodox Spirituality

Keywords: theology, prayer, modernism, society, secularization, Orthodoxy

 

 

Richard Grallo

Professor of Human Services, Audrey Cohen College, New York; Quest Institute, New York

Questioning, Contemplation, and Receptivity to What Is

Symposium, Vol. IX/1, 2002

 

Abstract: The topic of this paper is the role that questioning might play in both meditation and contemplation, understood as distinct activities. Both meditation and contemplation have been shown to be important activities of consciousness that are associated with a variety of benefits. Included among these are: (1) affectively, the calming of intense emotions, (2) cognitively, the clarification of thoughts and purposes, and (3) behaviorally, the guidance of behavior by a more precisely targeted and focused consciousness.

Keywords: meditation, questioning, psychology, consciousness, education, behaviour

 

 

Nicholas Groves

Chicago Public Library, Roman Catholic Theologian

The End Is in the Beginning: the Human Person According to St. John Climachus

Symposium, Vol. IX/1, 2002

 

Abstract: I shall be looking at a topic which is very close to the heart of our Orthodox Christian faith. Namely, how the human person, you and I, man or woman, child or adult, sick or well, wealthy or poor, is a unit: body and spirit, thought and emotions, heart and mind. God, as the book of Genesis (the book of “beginnings”) tells us, created each of us as such according to God’s image and likeness. In our prayer we are, according to scripture, mediated through tradition to bring the mind into the heart and so discover the stillness (hesychia) that is in our hearts and in the heart of God.

Keywords: theology, mysticism, spirituality, personhood, prayer, psychology

 

 

Bert F. Breiner

Episcopal Church USA, Chaplain Grace Church School, New York; Adjunct Professor of Human Services, Audrey Cohen College, New York

Christian Prayer for the Third Millennium: the Prayer of the Spirit in Us

Symposium, Vol. IX/1, 2002

 

Abstract: The thesis of this paper is that Christian prayer is the best hope for the world in the future. The ultimate goal of Christian prayer, as described in the literature on prayer and the spiritual life, is contemplation. In particular, it is the direct contemplation of God, the vision of God which is the ultimate, “first,” contemplation. At first glance, this seems strangely removed from the problems of the world in which we live. It seems, rather, to speak of the fulfillment of the individual soul in the contemplation of God. But there is another dimension to this union of the soul with God which is the goal of the spiritual life in general and of contemplative prayer in particular.

Keywords: Christianity, contemplation, spirituality, prayer, salvation, vision of God

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Audrey Cohen College, New York; president of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Psalm 103: Doxology as Philosophy of Life. Historico-critical Exegesis and Theological Interpretation

Symposium, Vol. IX/1, 2002

 

Abstract: Psalm 103 is a mixed form: as a thanksgiving song of the individual, it contains the declarative praise of what God has done for the individual; as a hymn, it contains descriptive praise about God’s attributes as related to the fullness of His being and activity. This Psalm, which announces the Gospel of Love, is in a sense a prefiguration of the essence of Christ’s message for us about God the Father. God, the Creator of the universe, does not withdraw from creation in His impenetrable hiddenness, but without diminishing anything from His majesty and greatness, comes “down to be with his people in their lives.”

Keywords: psalms, doxology, spirituality, God, creation, salvation

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. VIII/1, 2001  (click here)

Humanity in the Third Millennium and the Mystery of the Divine

 

Vasile Vasilachi

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Who Is God and Who Is Man?

Symposium, Vol. VIII/1, 2001

 

Abstract: The mystery of the Divine makes us think of the mystery of man. Who is God and who is man? Two questions we need to never cease to struggle with. Speaking of the mystery of man’s connection to God one must not separate the deification of the soul from the glorification of our bodies by God. There is a new quest for God, a new interest in man’s spiritual journey into eternity, in one’s spiritual betterment, echoing the biblical and patristic teachings on that subject.

Keywords: theology, mystery, anthropology, spirituality, Patristics, deification

 

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Humanity in the Third Millennium in the Light of the Divine Mystery

Symposium, Vol. VIII/1, 2001

 

Abstract:  The spiritual equilibrium between the mystery of the Divine and that of man has been almost destroyed. The gates of the anthropocentric humanism have been triumphantly opened to a new era. The Western anthropocentrism has claimed the victory of the modern and postmodern era everywhere in the world. Pantheism did also. But, by the grace of God, the theocentric humanism has not passed away. The mystery of man cannot be approached only by rationalistic ideas, and certainly it cannot possibly have a sense of orientation outside of the Divine mystery.

Keywords: theology, anthropology, modernism, mystery, society, salvation

 

 

Richard Grallo

Professor of Human Services, Audrey Cohen College, New York

Human Strivings and their Ultimate Goals: A Psychological Viewpoint     

Symposium, Vol. VIII/1, 2001

 

Abstract:  My topic is the remarkable capacity of human transcendence. This has traditionally been a topic of concern for philosophers and theologians because of its connection to ultimate questions about human identity and destiny. However, it is also a topic of particular interest to psychologists because of its apparent relation to human growth and to the distinct phenomena of refusals to grow and of human decline. Of course, in the much more recent Western psychological literature, aspects of transcendence are not usually discussed under that name; but what research psychologists have discovered regarding “human growth”, “development”, “actualization” and their opposites may prove fruitful in future dialogues among representatives of various disciplines and traditions.

Keywords: psychology, religion, transcendence, humanity, identity, questioning

 

 

Eugen Pentiuc

Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Holy Cross Greek School of Theology, Boston, MA

The Tetragrammaton. From Revelation to Mystery

Symposium, Vol. VIII/1, 2001

 

Abstract:  Any revelation of God in the Bible instead of being a dispel of mystery is often an open door leading to a more profound mystery. The first revelation of God in the Bible is as Creator. The One who brings a whole, sophisticated, and colorful world out of nothingness into existence. With respect to the pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton the earliest evidence is found in the writings of Clement of Alexandria (the Greek transcriptions Iaoue and Iaouai) and those of Theodoret of Cyrrhus (Iabe and Iabai).

Keywords: Bible, mystery, revelation, Patristics, existence, eschatology, tetragrammaton

 

 

Bert F. Breiner

Episcopal Church USA, Adjunct Professor of Human Services, Audrey Cohen College, New York

Incarnation, Deification and Interfaith Dialogue

Symposium, Vol. VIII/1, 2001

 

Abstract:  The doctrines of the Incarnation and Deification are opposite sides of the same coin, the Mystery of our Salvation. There can also be little doubt that interfaith dialogue and interfaith relations are becoming an increasingly urgent concern of Christian theologians. In all parts of the Church, Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, theologians are struggling to elucidate an appropriate Christian response to the faith of others. Any understanding of how faithful Christians ought to relate to men and women of other faiths will be fundamentally unsatisfying unless it is firmly grounded in the central doctrines of Christian faith.

Keywords: Christology, mystery, salvation, deification, church, faith

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Audrey Cohen College, New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Relation Between the Incomprehensibility of God and the Naming of God in the Theology of Pseudo-Dionysius

Symposium, Vol. VIII/1, 2001

 

Abstract:  In this work I will first present Pseudo-Dionysius’ doctrine on the incomprehensibility of God, and then, that of the naming of God, after which I will examine the relation between these two doctrines. The conclusion will consist of a few general considerations on the subject as a whole. What is very important for the actualization in the spiritual life of Pseudo-Dionysius’ mystical theology is the fact that both cataphatic, in what it has mystical in it and, to another degree, in what it has natural, and apophatic ways of knowledge of God lead towards the participation of the soul in the divine life.

Keywords: patristics, mystery, God, spirituality, knowledge, faith

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. VII/1, 2000  (click here)

Jesus Christ as the Theandric Paradigm of Man’s Restoration at the Dawn of the Third Millennium

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Jesus Christ as the Theandric Paradigm of Man’s Restoration at the Dawn of the New Millennium.

Symposium, Vol. VII/1, 2000

 

Abstract:  All religious paradigm shifts of this western postmodern era are dealing, more or less, with the personal or impersonal relation between God and man throughout the millennia. There is a real paradigmatic movement that tries to reinforce, from various points of view, the old or the newly established rapports between transcendence and immanence, between divinity and humanity. In this framework, special attention is granted to the new interpretations of the ontological relationship between God and man, in order to eventually update them in accordance with both, the new order of the world, already in progress, and the divine order of the world.

Keywords: Christology, incarnation, postmodernism, anthropology, ontology, salvation

 

 

Bruce Buglione

Professor of Higher Education Administration, Vice President of Audrey Cohen College, New York

Theandric Explorations in Higher Education

Symposium, Vol. VII/1, 2000

 

Abstract:  My observations focus on how one particular secular institution of higher education, Audrey Cohen College, struggles with the question of how to present Divine nature and its human manifestation in one’s professional life. Purpose-Centered System of Education is a model of learning developed at Audrey Cohen College. It informs all the educational programs that the college offers. A transdisciplinary model, it seeks to integrate information from disparate sources into unique configurations that are delivered to the students through what are referred to as Dimensions of Learning.

Keywords: education, divinity, learning, transdisciplinarity, profession, society

 

 

Elena de Avila

Adjunct Professor of Philosophy of Education at Audrey Cohen College, New York

Faith in Jesus Christ and Self-Esteem

Symposium, Vol. VII/1, 2000

 

Abstract:  Developing self-esteem and maintaining it at a healthy level is a question not exclusively for psychology but also a question of ontology, epistemology and axiology. I would like to reflect on how and why the faith as taught by our Lord Jesus Christ is distinctive in maintaining self-esteem at a healthy level. God’s relationship with us is much more complex than a mere physical location that we express through the words internal or external. If we measure ourselves according to Jesus’s testimony about our existence, then our locus of control should be internally divine. This internally divine locus of control does not imply that God shares the reality of existence with the self. It is that the reality of the self is possible through God.

Keywords: theology, epistemology, faith, self-esteem, psychology, salvation

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Audrey Cohen College, New York; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Man’s Recapitulation in Christ According to St. Irenaeus and Its Significance for Our Life Today.

Symposium, Vol. VII/1, 2000

 

Abstract:  In this presentation about Irenaeus’ teaching on Recapitulation, I will first introduce briefly this concept as particular to Irenaeus. I will then speak about Participation as an aspect of Recapitulation and a way for Deification. The whole presentation will be developed in the general framework of St. Irenaeus’ anthropology and Christology. The concept of Recapitulation, as it is used and developed in all his writings, constitutes one of the major structures of Irenaeus’ theology, the element which gives it its consistent unity and force.

Keywords: patristics, Christology, Old Testament, faith, recapitulation, salvation, St. Irenaeus

 

 

Eugen Pentiuc

Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Holy Cross Greek School of Theology, Boston, MA

 

Above All His Friends: Ambiguity of Messianic Prophecies in the Old Testament.

Symposium, Vol. VII/1, 2000

 

Abstract:  For Christians, the Old Testament is relevant, among other reasons, because it contains a considerable number of Messianic prophecies, inspired sayings pertaining to the person and activity of the Anointed One. We are going to dwell on some of the most representative Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament showing how the inspired writers used a paradoxical language to try to convey what is beyond any description.

Keywords: Old Testament, prophets, Christianity, Messiah, Christology, worship

 

 

Constantin Tennyson

Former Dean of the Transportation Institute of Bucharest, Chairman of IANCRE (International Association for Conservation of Natural Resources and Energy)

Science and Religion in the Context of Jesus Christ’s Teaching.

Symposium, Vol. VII/1, 2000

 

Abstract:  As we can observe today in many scientific and religious organizations, a great interest is evident concerning the relation between these two fields of activity. The debate is not a new one and has many implications. Because in the past there were many misconceptions and prejudices, we can have a better understanding by focusing our attention on recent debates and selecting some of the most representative examples from a huge quantity of data related to this subject.

Keywords: religion, Christology, science, prejudice, modernism, society

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. VI/1, 1999  (click here)

The Theological Legacy of Fr. Dumitru  Staniloae and its Ecumenical Actuality

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Together with Fr. Staniloae on the Theological Mainline of the Romanian Orthodoxy and Ethnicity

Symposium, Vol. VI/1,  1999

 

Abstract:  From an ethnical point of view, Fr. Dumitru Staniloae belongs to all Romanians everywhere in the world, but ecumenically, he belongs to the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, once undivided, for whose spiritual unity he dedicated his entire life and theology. Despite of his ecumenical recognition and theological fame, the real Fr. Dumitru Staniloae is surprisingly still very much unknown and even misunderstood in many regards by the new generations of intellectuals in Romania and abroad.

Keywords: Romania, theology, Staniloae, education, spirituality

 

 

Ronald G. Roberson CSP

Associate Director, Secretariate for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, USA

Ecumenism in the Thought of Dumitru Staniloae

Symposium, Vol. VI/1, 1999

 

Abstract:  Dumitru Staniloae’s whole theology makes clear that there can be only one Church because there is only one Christ, whose extended body it is. Staniloae affirms that all human persons stand in a certain relationship to God when they perceive order and meaning in creation. Consequently, all humanity and all religious faiths possess at least a limited knowledge of God and are related to the Church. The task that lies before Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox theologians, according to Staniloae, is to establish definitively that there is no substantial difference between their respective Christologies. Staniloae states that the Orthodox Church alone has preserved the equilibrium and complex richness of the Christian faith.

Keywords: Staniloae, ecumenism, personhood, faith, orthodoxy, christology

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Audrey Cohen College, NY; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Theology of the Gift in Fr. Staniloae’s Synthesis

Symposium, Vol. VI/1, 1999

 

Abstract:  In the present paper I would like to emphasize only a few aspects of the theology of gift in the works of the great Romanian theologian Dumitru Staniloae, just as its title indicates; more precisely I will try to place the idea of gift in the context of the major lines of the Christian doctrine: The Holy Trinity, Christology, Pneumatology, Ecclesiology, Eschatology as they were developed by Fr. Staniloae. The paper intends only to signal, not to exhaust. According to Fr. Staniloae the gift must not be dealt with for its own sake, in separation from its two intrinsic poles: the giver and the receiver. The world as place and means of God’s revelation and of man’s living is a divine gift, Fr. Staniloae explains.

Keywords: Staniloae, trinity, spirituality, ecclesiology, faith, church

 

 

Eugen Pentiuc

Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Holy Cross Greek School of Theology, Boston, MA

Principles of Biblical Hermeneuts in Fr. Staniloae’s Theology

Symposium, Vol. VI/1, 1999

 

Abstract:  According to Dumitru Staniloae, one must distinguish between the literary forms used by the sacred authors and the content of the revelation which transcends the normal content of those forms. Fr. Staniloae’s merit is to point to God’s revelation through free acts which clearly underscores the personal character of God unconditioned by the material world. Theologian of minute nuances and profound spirituality, Fr. Staniloae, proposes a very complex picture of the organic unity between the two Testaments, by restoring the balance between revelation as promise and as gift.

Keywords: theology, Staniloae, trinity, church, spirituality, revelation

 

 

Ioan Ionita

New St. George Romanian Orthodox Church, Lansing, Illinois, translator in English and editor of Fr. D. Staniloae’s Dogmatic Theology

The Spiritual and Cultural Significance of Fr. Staniloae’s Visit to America

Symposium, Vol. VI/1, 1999

 

Abstract:  Father Staniloae’s historic visit to America had a great importance and significance both for the Romanian communities and for the American theological circles. The contacts he made and the discussions he had in addition to the lectures he gave increased the interest in the Orthodox theology. Everyone recognized in Father Staniloae an Orthodox theologian who cannot be ignored by those who want to have a complete picture of Orthodoxy and its witness in contemporary society as well as the enormous value that his entire work has which is his experience of God shared with us.

Keywords: Staniloae, America, orthodoxy, theology, society, modernism

 

 

Lucian Turcescu

Adjunct Professor of Systematic Theology and Early Church History, University of Antioch, NY and St. Michael’s College, Univ. of Toronto

Communion Ecclesiologies According to Some Orthodox Theologians

Symposium, Vol. VI/1, 1999

 

Abstract:  I analyze the concept of “eucharistic ecclesiology” in Afanasiev’s exposition, in Zizioulas’s attempt to improve it, and in Staniloae’s critique. I think that this concept cannot satisfactorily explain the complex reality which is the Church. The role of this concept was important in the unlocking of the ecumenical dialogue, especially between Roman Catholics and Orthodox. Moreover, “eucharistic ecclesiology” has brought local church to the attention of theologians. This concept can no longer further the ecumenical dialogue, unless its designers take also seriously into consideration other aspects of the sacramental life and the faith of the Church. Yet in this case, the concept under scrutiny cannot be called “eucharistic ecclesiology” anymore.

Keywords: communion, theology, church, ecclesiology, eucharist, sacraments

 


 

 

Symposium, Vol. V/1, 1998  (click here)

Rediscovering God:  The Relation Between God and Man and its Significance for Our Life Today

 

George Alexe

Senior theologian, The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Image of Modern Man without the Likeness of God according to Fr. Staniloae’s Theology

Symposium, Vol. V/1, 1998

 

Abstract:  Fr. Staniloae’s theology is spiritually actualizing the Orthodox teaching of the image and likeness of God in man and its implications for the salvation of the modern world: the salvation of mankind in Jesus Christ is finally the restoration of the perfect communion between God and man, because, from the very beginning, the world was the masterpiece of God’s love, created in His image and likeness, and its destination was always its divinization by grace. Fr. Staniloae has created a new spiritual synthesis, a new world view of the Eastern Orthodox spirituality based on the image and likeness of God in man.

Keywords: Staniloae, anthropology, modernism, salvation, imago Dei, deification

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Audrey Cohen College, NY; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Concept of Imago Dei in St. Gregory of Nyssa’s Theology and its Significance for our Life today

Symposium, Vol. V/1, 1998

 

Abstract:  In this paper I will try to present some guidelines of St. Gregory of Nyssa’s theology of imago dei introducing first, in a few words, his personality, theology and a general theological background of his time. After that, I will proceed to a systematic presentation of the development of the concept of imago dei in its different stages: before the Fall, after the Fall and its restoration in Jesus Christ, including different aspects and implications of the involution and evolution of the image of God in the life of human beings and in that of creation.

Keywords: imago Dei, patristics, theology, salvation, society, modernism

 

 

Eugen Pentiuc

Research Fellow at Harvard University

That Good Which Is in Us: A Few Insights in the God-Man Relationship in the Book of Hosea

Symposium, Vol. V/1, 1998

 

Abstract:  Hosea (a prophet of the 8th century B.C.) was the first biblical writer who dared to talk about the relationship of God to Israel in terms of a marriage between a man and a woman. As Hosea puts it, the new relationship with God is not simply a repaired or revised edition of the initial relationship. In His infinite love for humankind, God the merciful One, starts all over again. He receives his lost son as the true heir of all his possessions. All the details of the parable (ring, sandals, robe, banquet) point to this dignity.

Keywords: Old Testament, Prophets, metaphor, revelation, theology, anthropology

 

 

Serban Andronescu

Danubian Academic Society of America; American Institute for Writing Research

Rejection of God in Modern Society: Counter-Culture, Secular Humanism, New Age

Symposium, Vol. V/1, 1998

 

Abstract:  Secular humanism is expanding with such persistence in the contemporary world that traditional organizations with serious and verified experience whether cultural or religious seem fading away. The secular humanist makes use of the ideas of freedom, justice, reason, art and education like any other man of culture but avoiding any reference to God except of criticizing His laws. For promoting their obnoxious aspirations, the secular humanists and their supporters are directly responsible for the depravation of our youth.

Keywords: secularism, God, culture, modernism, humanism, New Age

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. IV/1, 1997         

Freedom and Responsibility in Contemporary Society

 

Richard Viladesau STD

Professor of Fundamental and Systematic Theology at Fordham University

Freedom and Responsibility in Contemporary Catholic Systematics

Symposium, Vol. IV/1, 1997

 

Abstract:  I will attempt to summarize a single systematic theological perspective on the question of “transcendental Thomism.” The presentation comprises five unequal parts: 1) an introduction to the posing of the question about freedom and responsibility; 2) a brief overview of the historical background to the contemporary theological question; 3) the theology of freedom in the Second Vatican Council; 4) an exposition of the transcendental Thomist perspective, including the distinction of different kinds and levels of freedom; 5) an application of this position to the theme of liberation.

Keywords: freedom, responsibility, theology, Roman Catholic, Thomism, salvation, Second Vatican Council

 

 

Dumitru Abrudan

Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Sibiu Theological Institute; President of Oradea School of  Theology

Election and Obedience. Aspects of the Relation between Yahweh and Israel

Symposium, Vol. IV/1, 1997

 

Abstract:  Choosing Israel is an absolutely free and sovereign decision made by God, who in His self sufficiency cannot be constrained by anybody or anything. Yahweh, who is a forgiving and merciful God, does not seal forever a state of affairs resulting from disobedience and lack of submission of His people. Our responsibility is realized by the way in which we relate everything we do to God and to the world in which we live. Our merit will be measured by the way in which we express our faith in God and in which we will establish our relations to others, and we will receive our due reward.

Keywords: Old Testament, election, obedience, responsibility, theology, freedom

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Audrey Cohen College, NY; President of the Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Concept of Freedom in Nicholas Berdiaev’s Philosophy

Symposium, Vol. IV/1, 1997

 

Abstract:  Through all the features of his life and work, Berdiaev became known not only as a philosopher of freedom, but also of the transfiguration of the cosmos, and as a prophet of the eighth day of the world’s creation. I present the basic ideas of Berdiaev’s understanding of freedom and the solution Berdiaev sees for the problems of humanity in our world and different critical reflections related to his philosophy and orthodoxy as the tradition in which he was formed and educated. The active eschatology of Berdiaev’s philosophy is characterized by hope and realism and based on the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Keywords: Berdiaev, freedom, responsibility, philosophy, existentialism, eschatology

 

 

Thomas E. Schirmer

Priest-in-Charge, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Astoria, NY

 “Freedom from” and “Freedom for”

Symposium, Vol. IV/1, 1997

 

Abstract:  First human beings were created with freedom for. They were created and given to each other to be fully human, to enjoy the delights of all creaturely pleasures. But they were creatures, and God was God. But they yearned for freedom from their creatureliness. They wanted to play God. They ended up not only with freedom from their pretensions; they ended up with freedom from their true selves as God had intended them to be. They had turned freedom for into freedom from.

Keywords: freedom, theology, creation, anthropology, sin, salvation

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. III/1, 1996       

Divine Creation and Human Responsibility in the Context of Contemporary Ecological Preoccupations

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Audrey Cohen College; Adjunct Professor of Church History, St. Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary; President of The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Doctrine of Creation in Pseudo-Dionysius Areopagite’s Theology

Symposium, Vol. III/1, 1996

 

Abstract:  In this paper, my focus will be on the visible world, although I will have to make several references to the invisible world. I will develop my presentation in the general framework of the Protology, Soteriology and Eschatology of Dionysius. These three general headings will relate to the main Dionysian cosmological structure, the Procession and the Return (through Purification, Illumination and Union). The Procession comes in the line of Protology, and the Return in the lines of Soteriology and Eschatology of Dionysius. Dionysius’ thought often seems to be contradictory. Although I will make a few comments from time to time on that, however, it is not the purpose of this presentation to enter this domain.

Keywords: creation, patristics, soteriology, mysticism, eschatology, theology

 

 

Eugen Pentiuc

St. Michael and Gabriel Romanian Orthodox Church, Southbridge, MA, and Harvard University, Boston, Near Eastern Ancient Languages Department

Shepherds of the Seventh Day

Symposium, Vol. III/1, 1996

 

Abstract:  The seventh day is not only the end of creation as a unique divine act. There is also another meaning of the final day, which lies on the divine blessing. According to the Genesis narrative of Creation, we are called by God to be his stewards/ assistants in preserving and modeling the creation up to His will. Between humans and land animals there is a certain unity: both are created on the same day (6th day), and Adam is looking for a companion among animals. The purpose of man’s creation is conditioned by the general purpose of the universe.

Keywords: Old Testament, Sabbath, God, creation, stewardship, environment

 

 

John Blackwell

Executive Minister for the Metropolitan and the Suffolk Association of the New York Conference of the United Church of Christ, USA

The Lordship of Christ and a Christian Responsibility toward Creation

Symposium, Vol. III/1, 1996

 

Abstract:  The Incarnation powerfully reinforces the affirmation that the created world is good (we must act responsibly toward the world, loving and caring for it). Over many centuries the mainstream of the Christian tradition has emphasized the human experience of meaning and purpose. Christians have proclaimed that God is an acting, personal and moral being. Christians have also believed that human beings share those characteristics because they were created in God’s image. We need to reexamine our Christian beliefs and study closely the traditional interpretation: (i) that interpretation may reveal ideas or beliefs we now would regard as mistaken and misleading; and (ii) our investigation may reveal other ideas and beliefs that would point the way toward a more careful and caring behavior toward our natural environment.

Keywords: Christology, creation, responsibility, imago Dei, morality, anthropology

 

 

Thomas Schirmer

Priest-in-charge, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Astoria, New York

Rogation and Ascension

Symposium, Vol. III/1, 1996

 

Abstract:  We pray that we, being thankful and being mindful of the account that we one day must give, may be faithful stewards of God’s good gifts. We pray that we humans may cooperate with God’s initiative. Of such stuff is Salvation History made. God acts; we respond. Rogation and Ascension illuminate each other. Human labor and the Ascended Lord are united. During the Rogation Days we pray that we might share Our Lord’s perspective both on the created order and on our work with it and stewardship of it.

Keywords: theology, Christ, Church, worship, stewardship, creation

 

 

Antony Sansone

St. Joseph's Roman Catholic Church, Astoria, New York

Creation - God's Covenant with His Chosen People

Symposium, Vol. III/1, 1996

 

Abstract:  We know in ages past, when former societies tended to seek the divine in creation, they became prey to the belief in worshipping nature subjectively as a powerful element and they succumbed to pantheism: the worship of nature as God. The original premise speaks about creation, i.e. nature itself as God’s covenant with the highest order of creation, the human individual. Due to the Christic event the bond between God, humanity and nature has intensified.

Keywords: creation, worship, theology, covenant, Christology, responsibility

 

 

Constantin Tennyson

Former Dean of the Transportation Institute of Bucharest; Chairman of the International Association for the Conservation of Natural Resources and Energy (IACNRE)

Ethical Considerations Related to Ecology

Symposium, Vol. III/1, 1996

 

Abstract:  Our attention has to be directed inwards, toward the invisible components of our human nature, protecting them and giving them the proper food for a sane intellectual and spiritual life. By doing this, we can continue to live in the midst of the Divine Creation as real superior beings. From experience and divine inspiration emerged the moral values and the solution of the social life, by correcting the behaviors of the past, especially cruelty and selfishness, culminating with Christianity.

Keywords: ecology, ethics, nature, spirituality, social life, Christianity

 

 

Serban Andronescu

Danubian Academic Society of America; American Institute for Writing Research

An Ecologist of Morals in XVIIth Century France: Blaise Pascal

Symposium, Vol. III/1, 1996

 

Abstract:  One of the most active writers of Jansenist literature, the man who put his genius in the service of the movement, the ecologist of morals of his time, was Blaise Pascal. Although a free-thinker and a friend of the libertines as a young man, Pascal became an ardent Jansenist, an adept of basic Christian values and a frequent visitor of Port-Royal. In his Apologie, Pascal expressed his most profound belief in the redeeming force of the Christian religion as well as his even deeper sorrow for the misery of any man without God.

Keywords: ecology, Pascal, morality, freedom, values, christianity

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. II/1, 1995       

Quo Vadis Homo? Salvation and the Modern World

 

Elena de Avila

Adjunct Professor of Philosophy of Education, Audrey Cohen College, New York

What is Salvation? - Is Salvation a Topic of Interest in our Culture?

Symposium, Vol. II/1, 1995

 

Abstract:  I hold that Salvation depends on our ubiquitous awareness of God that facilitates an open channel of communication with God (it can be explained as a sense of the presence of God in everything we do that can be attained only through constant prayers). Human beings are in constant search for God and this may take different forms, but they will always be personal matters. So, when people bring their offerings to God, expectations are created that God will like and receive the gift. If God receives the offerings, He is with us, and we are in communion with Him.

Keywords: salvation, God, culture, prayer, communion, church

 

 

Dick Wechter

Synod of the Trinity, Harrisburg, PA;  Associate for Stewardship and Mission Interpretation, Presbyterian Church USA

The Cross as a Cultural Symbol of Salvation

Symposium, Vol. II/1, 1995

 

Abstract:  My interest in crosses began many years ago in India where I was a missionary, then I began to collect crosses, to learn about the cultures to which they belonged and to give speeches about them and about crosses as enculturated missionary tools in the spreading of the Christian faith to the nations.

Keywords: Christianity, India, mission, culture, faith, cross

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Audrey Cohen College; President of The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

Contemporary Orthodox Soteriology

Symposium, Vol. II/1, 1995

 

Abstract:  The main real concern of salvation, in the Orthodox Tradition, is related to death; the death of the unbeliever and that of the believer in so far as he/she is still separated from God. I present a few considerations about man, man as Imago Dei, evil, sin and the Fall. I also present the concept of salvation in itself, according to the Orthodox Tradition and then, I will treat it in its organic relation to Jesus Christ in His Incarnation, death and resurrection. In the last part of the paper, I present the Orthodox doctrine about the Church as a place of salvation. I will speak about sacraments and salvation, the theology of the world as a gift, the relation History-Eschaton; in a soteriological framework, I will briefly present the concepts of Synergy and Participation as means for Theosis.          

Keywords: salvation, orthodoxy, imago Dei, Christology, sacraments, Theosis

 

 

Luís Avila

Professor at Columbia University, New York, Chemistry Department

What do we do Everyday for our Salvation?

Symposium, Vol. II/1, 1995

 

Abstract:  Thinking about death implies realizing that the life we spend on earth is so short and a period of seventy years means nothing compared to eternity. Prayer time can be long or short, but it has to be here and now. It is not a quantitative matter but a qualitative one. Working for our salvation is a complex and multidimensional process. Besides prayer we need above all, love. Love is involved in all our actions and love means charity, which is sharing, helping, supporting. We cannot say a prayer, we cannot live if we are not free from the idea of possession.

Keywords: ethics, worship, salvation, altruism, church, society

 

 


 

Symposium, Vol. I/1, 1994   

Worship and Identity of our Contemporary Society

 

Dick Wechter

Synod of the Trinity, Harrisburg, PA;  Associate for Stewardship and Mission Interpretation, Presbyterian Church USA

Spirituality of the Liturgy

Symposium, Vol. I/1, 1994

 

Abstract:  I reflect on the importance of God’s spirit being present during “The Liturgy”. We must understand how the words worship and liturgy are used in the Protestant and Orthodox communities. The words can be used in an interchangeable manner. Protestant community relates better to the word worship. Protestants attend Sunday morning worship but follow a liturgical order of service. Orthodox folks gather for “The Liturgy” and worship God together. This direct connection between spirit and worship is an essential element of spirituality for it is the creation of an atmosphere where God's presence may be felt.

Keywords: spirituality, theology, worship, communion, sacraments, ecumenism

 

 

Theodor Damian

Professor of Philosophy and Ethics, Audrey Cohen College; President of The Romanian Institute of Orthodox Theology and Spirituality

The Liturgy between Chronos and Kairos in our post-modern society as an urgent issue of the Church

Symposium, Vol. I/1, 1994

 

Abstract:  I do not speak here of the Liturgy in its primary, etymological sense, that of simple public work. I speak of Liturgy as a public work related to a god, and especially to this God who is revealed for us in Jesus Christ. When I say that Liturgy is central in human life, I mean that it is consistent with the human being's spiritual structure and therefore, it is an ontologic necessity. In this paper, I will present only a few of the risks and crises that hit the Christian Church in respect to its Liturgy. The Liturgy underlines the seriousness of the role and the place of the Church in the world and the ability and power of the Church to bring the world and the whole creation to its fulfillment in the perspective of the beauty and the glory of the Kingdom.

Keywords: society, modernism, church, liturgy, communion, salvation

 

 

Benjamin Patterson

United Church of Christ, Professor of Psychology, Audrey Cohen College, New York

The Universality of the Liturgy

Symposium, Vol. I/1, 1994

 

Abstract:  The Liturgy becomes a foundation for communion and community, it continues to be celebrated in our daily life and interactions and all the more since in proclaiming the right to worship God. The Liturgy makes us discover our gifts and then put them at work in the world; thus through ourselves the Liturgy flows into the world to sanctify and transfigure it, to make more evident God's presence in His creation. We must begin today to affirm and witness our Christian identity and to give glory to God by making our liturgical life and praxis an instrument for the world's conversion.

Keywords: liturgy, communion, church, sanctification, Christianity, transfiguration