May 28, 2013 2 Comments
Romanian writer, philosopher, and member of the Von Mises Institute, Ninel Ganea interviewed me concerning my own thoughts surrounding a variety of issues. Ninel runs Karamazov.ro and is posting the interview in 3 installments. Below is part 2.
Part 1 here
Part 3 here
You mentioned somewhere you were in between Orthodox Judaism and Eastern Christianity. Can you tell us what some of the strong and the weak points in these traditions?
These are complicated issues, but being raised with an interest in church and having a long interest in biblical theology, the Torah, prophets and wisdom literature had a profound effect on me. In my long religious trek, I basically got the point where I felt that there could be a divide with the Law and the New Testament. I’m the kind of person that is willing to question my own assumptions constantly, so I was willing to take a look at Judaism, especially since there is a close connect between the Kabbalistic view of the sephiroth and the Eastern Orthodox view of the divine energies. They are essentially describing the same things.
I branched out into reading Maimonides and modern Jewish writers, as well as looking at comparative liturgies. I also and found a lot of challenging material in Dr. Philip Sherrard, Maximos Confessor and Fr. John Romanides that led me to again look at the issue of Neo-platonism and the Trinity. The question that arose for me was, is this all derived from Hellenism? I’m not saying I have the answer to all that, I’m just saying what arose in my mind. At what point is the New Testament a radical departure from the Torah? How much continuity is there, really? I basically took these matters on for myself.
More recently, I’ve reexamined a lot of St. Maximos Confessor’s works, which have a lot of parallels with the kabbalists in regard to the macrocosm-mircocosm view he takes of the Incarnation. There is a strong argument to be made here for his view of the necessity of the logoi being unified in the Logos. This would actually solve a lot of philosophical and theological issues. There is a really good scholarly article by Stephen Clark on this titled “Maximus Confessor: Logos and Logoi,” that gets into this issue. I certainly think the Eastern view makes more sense than the Latin view, especially in terms of eschatology.
How do you explain the still living presence of the philosophy of empiricism although it has been discredited many times?
My university advisor used to comment on that frequently. I had several courses that dealt with phenomenology and Husserl is said to have lamented that naïve empiricism can never be killed. It seems to be immortal like a vampire, no matter how many times you kill it. The sophists existed in Plato’s time, and they exist still, and will continue. The reason for this in my analysis is simply the fall of man. Relativism is the end result of empiricism, which is ultimately what Adam and Even opted for in Genesis. Read more of this post