NR. 4 – 2013

Rezumate Studii Teologice 2013.4

Vasile Adrian CARABĂ Se poate vorbi astăzi despre o filosofie bizantină? Interpretări noi la o temă veche

Summary: Can We Speak Today about a Byzantine Philosophy? New Interpretations to an Old Topic

Many are now taken aback by the notion of „Byzantine philosophy”, because histories of philosophy seldom consecrate a chapter to Byzantine philosophical thought. It was only in 1949 that Basile Tatakis’ Byzantine Philosophy, a supplement to the History of Philosophy issued by Émile Bréhier, put forth the first such tenet, an extraordinary enterprise since the times’ scholarly circles, especially the French ones, would not deem justified the collocation „Christian philosophy”. This denial obviously included Byzantium. We may wonder why this phrase could be perceived as self-contradictory and who might be entitled to produce a definitive definition of philosophy, since according to Günther Patzig, „philosophy changes its substance” in time, by „circulating” the various trends and sub-trends of philosophy?

The main argument in support of such denial of „Christian philosophy”, in particular the Byzantine one, is that it juxtaposes two contradictory notions: philosophy is rational par excellence, whereas Christianity operates with the revealed and the irrational. Martin Heidegger’s question, in his lecture entitled „What is philosophy?”: „Has reason declared itself to be the master of philosophy? If so, by which right?” can be reversed: since when is philosophy the absolute master of reason, and by which right? Christianity does not exclude reason in the process of gaining knowledge, but rather reason is paralleled by faith. It is about the relationship between immediate and mediated knowledge. In the absence of faith, the rational man is „blind to everything”, for only „the man who sees the One also sees it all”, St Symeon the New Theologian states in neo-Platonic terms.

Byzantine thought distinguished between „our philosophy” (ἡ ἡμετέρα φιλοσοφία), revealed and understood through reason informed by faith, and „outer wisdom” (ἔξω σοφία), namely the philosophy of Antiquity, that stops short of mystery, which the Byzantines also called „worldly philosophy” (κοσμικὴ φιλοσοφία) opposing it to the divine one (ἡ κατὰ θεὸν φιλοσοφία). However, the Byzantines, through St John Damascene, took over and sanctioned the six definitions of philosophy, whose Neoplatonic-Alexandrine paternity is temporarily accepted until older origins are proven: 1) knowledge of existing things as such; 2) knowledge of things divine and human; 3) concern for death; 4) likeness to God; 5) the art of arts and science of sciences; 6) love for wisdom. Thus, philosophy is not merely theoretical but also practical. It entails a manner of living, a philosophical lifestyle (τρόπος φιλόσοφος), as happens with the monks who in Byzantium were dubbed philosophers. The main themes of Greek classical philosophy are not lost but rather developed in Byzantium, which critically reconsiders them from a Christian standpoint, leading to a reconfiguration of philosophy at large.

To scholars such as Klaus Oehler, Byzantine philosophy is nothing but the medieval outlook on ancient philosophy. This inevitably raises the issue of the relationship between originality and autonomy. It is common knowledge that Byzantium did not produce any new philosophical movements; „the formal philosophy of Antiquity was first given a Christian direction, to be followed by the extensive interpretation and definition of this legacy” (K. Krumbacher). Fidelity in the Byzantine philosophy, a matter less investigated today, does not have exclusively Christian roots. The Byzantines adopted the methodology of their predecessors, but regarding philosophical content, their perspective was „theological”, for „what matters is […] to interpret truth as uttered some time, not conquer it yourself as a novelty” (C. Noica). Not absolute novelty: for instance, theophany, understood „in the sense of authentic divine revelation” joins „Plato’s agathophany and Plotinus’ henophany” (P. Joannou). Absolute novelty would, of course, lend autonomy from Christian theological thought bringing philosophy in conflict with theology and the Church. Therefore, to the Byzantines and during the Byzantine era, philosophy can only have a Christian character, as a fulfillment of ancient Greek philosophy.


George ENACHE The Monastic Issue in Modern Romania between the Liberal Indifferentism and the Communist Denial

Rezumat: Problema monahală în România modernă. Între indiferentismul liberal și contestarea comunistă

Istoriografia română a interpretat multă vreme Legea secularizării averilor mănăstirești (1863), dată de domnitorul Alexandru Ioan Cuza, mai mult din perspectiva intereselor economice și naționale ale statului român la acel moment. S-a analizat mai puțin adoptarea acestei legi din perspectiva fenomenului general al laicizării societății românești în perioada modernă și a diverselor curente intelectuale care au influențat atitudinile elitelor românești.

Studiul de față trasează câteva momente semnificative ale dezbaterii intelectuale privind importanța și misiunea monahismului în societatea românească modernă. După o scurtă incursiune asupra rolului monahismului în Evul Mediu și în perioada premodernă pentru societatea românească, sunt analizate concepțiile despre monahism ale Elenei Ghika (Dora d’Istria), care critică monahismul în numele unui creștinism militant, asimilat altor „ideologii” cu caracter revoluționar, idei care sunt destul de răspândite în mediul cultural european din perioada Revoluției de la 1848. Ideile Elenei Ghika se întâlnesc aici cu ideile liberale, care considera la rându-i monahismul un stil de viață nepotrivit unei societăți active, precum cea modernă, însă se deosebesc de acestea prin faptul că, totuși, creștinismul este considerat ca un potențial principiu activ, de dezvoltare a societății. Deși opera Dorei d’Istria nu a avut un impact semnificativ în mediul cultural românesc, ea este totuși de mare ajutor pentru a înțelege o anumită forma mentis care domină elitele românești ale vremii, care, fără a elabora discursuri sistematice, manifestă o atitudine destul de reticentă la adresa monahismului, fie că sunt indiferente din punct de vedere religios, fie că atribuie un anumit rol creștinismului, de natură politică sau spirituală. În orice caz, atitudinea generală este că monahismul operează o deviație în viața oamenilor, care nu este nici naturală, nici nu este, după cum crede Dora d’Istria, în adevăratul spirit al creștinismului.

Opera Dorei d’Istria este importantă, deoarece introduce și în cultura românească o cheie coerentă de dialog fertil între creștinism și modernitate, pe care vor merge, la sfârșitul secolului al XIX-lea, o serie de oameni ai Bisericii Ortodoxe Române, care vor căuta să demonstreze compatibilitatea dintre ortodoxie și spiritul modern, negată în numeroase rânduri. Ierarhii Visarion Puiu și Vartolomeu Stănescu sunt cele mai reprezentative personalități care ilustrează aceste tendințe, apărând creștinismul în general, dar și monahismul, vorbind de un monahism activ, iar nu de unul dedicat exclusiv contemplației, printr-o reinterpretare a principiului ora et labora.

Ideile lor și ale altora au stat la baza reformării monahismului în perioada interbelică, fenomenul monahal cunoscând în această perioadă o revigorare remarcabilă, datorită răspândirii curentului „spiritualist” în rândul elitelor și accesului la cultura înaltă a unor elemente din mediul rural, crescute în dragoste față de mănăstiri. Un fenomen interesant al epocii, care va continua și în anii comunismului, este combinația de „activism” și trăire isihastă.

Ca și colaborator al episcopului Vartolomeu Stănescu, patriarhul Justinian Marina s-a inspirat din ideile acestuia în raport cu monahismul. „Activismul” monahal a părut o idee care părea mai acceptabilă pentru regimul comunist, decât „misticismul” care era combătut prin propagandă și măsuri represive. „Reformele” monahale ale patriarhului Justinian nu sunt, prin urmare, o „comunizare” a monahismului, așa cum s-a scris de multe ori, ci reflectarea unei tendințe interbelice de reformă a monahismului într-un spirit mai „activ”, dar care a prezervat totuși spiritul „mistic”, dovadă fenomenele Slatina, Prislop, etc.

Studiul se încheie cu o scurtă privire asupra condițiilor care au condus la adoptarea Decretului 410/1959, despre care se spune că a fost inspirat de măsurile din vremea lui Cuza. Rămânând în cheia dezbaterilor intelectuale, se poate spune că între măsurile din 1863 și cele din 1959 sunt tot atâta asemănare și distanță cât este între revoluția franceză și cea rusă. De asemenea, o judecată asupra felului în care trebuie să raportăm monahismul la modernitate ține foarte mult de modul în care gândim și evaluăm însăși modernitatea. O respingem cu totul, sau numai anumite aspecte, „aberante”? Cazurile prezentate de noi au vizat discursuri care acordau un rol pozitiv modernității, însă au respins „modernități eșuate”, precum comunismul.


Ciprian STREZA Sfânta Liturghie – Cina la masa Împărăției și complementaritatea modurilor de împărtășire de Hristos

Summary: The Holy Liturgy – The Royal Banquet in God’s Kingdom, and the Complementarity of the Ways to Achieve Communion with Christ

The Orthodox Church is first and foremost a liturgical Church. The Eucharistic Liturgy sits at the centre of the Church life, as all the endeavors of the ecclesiastical pleroma stem from the Eucharistic celebration. The Eucharistic Synaxis radiates the power and the energy that moves the Church towards Her purpose. The Holy Liturgy, the heartbeat of the Orthodox Christian spirituality, dynamises the Church within Her inner and outer purpose. Each celebration of the Holy Liturgy is an opportunity and a means to advance towards the Kingdom of the Holy Trinity, as well as a time when the faithful are prepared and sent on to fulfill Christ’s mission.

The Holy Liturgy is the as a real participation of the saving event of Christ, of the new life in the Holy Spirit, of the presence in this world of the Kingdome to come. It is not only a mere mean or meal (Supper), but also the sacramental recapitulation of the whole Economy of salvation, the total epiphany of the personal presence of Jesus Christ in the Church, as well as the reward and goal of the spiritual, ascetic, life and the starting point for an more profound personal communion with Christ by the way of the fulfillment of His evangelical commandments and unceasing prayer. In the Liturgy the Christians have a diversified, inseparable and complementary ways of the personal presence and communion of Christ in the Divine Liturgy and the Orthodox spirituality: in the architecture of the Church as a vision of the christified cosmos, in the Holy Icons, in the Word of the Scripture, in the liturgical rites and prayers, as well as in the Eucharistic Gifts and in the Holy Communion.

The Liturgy is in itself an integrative deed or an all-encompassing act that compasses all the aspects of the ecclesial life, for it is truly a divine and human feat. In it, the faithful bring praise and glorify God, while God does His redeeming work amongst His new people. The verb λειτουργεῖν translates as ‘doing something for the people’, while λειτουργία used to signify an action, or a work done for the benefit of the people. It is this meaning of the word that was utilized in the Old and the New Testament, only they used it in analogy with the significance that the noun used to have in Antiquity. The Early Christianity used the term “Liturgy” in order to give a blanket name to the sum of all those rituals that men of faith employed so as to express either their gratefulness or gratitude towards God, or God’s sanctifying work for the people. In time though, this notion came to signify exclusively the consecration of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

The Patristic Theology has always had a broader understanding of this notion. Hence, it views the Liturgy as the communion of eternal love between the Persons of the Holy Trinity, which all creatures are called to immerse in through grace, a communion that has been made available to men within the Church, through the grace and activity of the Holy Spirit. The love between the divine Persons appears hypostatized in the Liturgy – the primary worship service that brings the faithful together to partake of the visible ritualistic acts –, it is the breath of life that brought the world into being, that refashions and reorganizes the creation into its new image – the Church, and that infuses Her with missionary authority, thus preparing it for the mysteries of the life to come.

For the patristic thought, the Holy Liturgy is the consummate love between the Persons of the Holy Trinity, as a perfect communion between three ‘I’s’ Who are co-inherent to one another, is in fact a love essentially linked to God, just like its manifestation is, which means that “God has always been a common/joint/shared act of love, as large as His absoluteness and His unblemished subjectivity. In perfect love persons do not merely engage in a reciprocal exchange of self; they also affirm themselves reciprocally and personally, and establish themselves in existence through giving and receiving. But the divine love is all efficacious … The acts, via which the divine persons affirm one another reciprocally in existence through perfect love, are eternal acts and have a totally personal character, although they are acts in which the divine persons are active together.

The Liturgy is the dynamics in and through which the created world abides. From this standpoint, the dichotomy between sacred and profane, between liturgical and social ministry, between prayer and social involvement, simply disappears and everything is presented to the faithful as the sole and unique sampling of the sacrificial love of the Holy Trinity, which is at the basis of all things and works that are in this world and in the one to come. This ineffable kind of love has been both the foundation and the fountain of the apostolic mission and witness.


Ovidiu SFERLEA Emilia sau Emmelia, cum o chema de fapt pe mama Sfântului Vasile cel Mare?

Summary: Emilia or Emmelia, What Was in Fact the Name of St Basil the Great’s Mother?

The name of St Basil the Great’s mother has enjoyed a curious fate in Romanian patristic bibliography of the last century, in which it is found most of the time under the form Emilia. My inquiry starts from this largely attested fact, and aims to bring a contribution to the recovery of the correct form Emmelia.

While the form Emilia is the option of all major Romanian Handbooks of Patrology in use today, closely followed in this by a vast majority of scholarly literature on St Basil, one might at once take pain to notice its Latin overtones, and so to find it rather bizarre for an aristocrat Greek women from the fourth century Cappadocia to bear such a name. This, however, proved to be plainly not a very intriguing detail for most of the Romanian authors treating about St Basil’s family, since I was able to discover only two exceptions to the overwhelming current consensus on the question, namely in the Reverend Fr Ioan G. Coman and the Archdeacon Ioan I. Ică jr.

In contrast with this practice, the ancient sources provide us with consistent evidence that the original form was Emmelia. This is well attested, for instance, in St Gregory of Nazianzus (Funebris oratio in laudem Basilii Magni 10,1), in the Constantinopolitan Synaxarion (First of January) and in Manuel Philes, a late Byzantine religious poet from the 14th century (Carmina 5,46). In Suda Lexicon (10th century, one may also find a form Ἐμμελία, which is clearly the result of a late attempt to bring the spelling of the original Ἐμμελία in line with the common noun ἐμμέλεια, as by the 10th century they were read in the same manner. In earlier periods, Ἐμμελία and ἐμμέλεια were, however, carefully distinguished, as one may learn from a passage of (Pseudo-)Herodianus, a grammarian from the 2nd century, A.D.

What has Ἐμμελία to do with Emilia? When one takes a closer look, these names reveal to be just two false friends. Emilia is the Romanian form for Aemilia, a Latin name whose archaic spelling was Aimilia, and meaning obscure. By contrast, Ἐμμελία has a wholly Greek and transparent etymology. Tempting as it may be at first sight to confuse the two, they are actually different in almost every respect. This conclusion is strongly supported by the way in which Aemilia is rendered in Greek authors from the imperial period. Thus, in Polybius, Strabo or Plutarch one finds consistently Aἰμιλία, and Αἰμιλιανός for the Latin Aemilia and Aemilianus, respectively, but never Ἐμμελία. As a further confirmation, in the parallel Latin translation of St Gregory of Nazianzus’ Funebris oratio in laudem Basilii Magni, the modern Editors of J.-P. Migne Patrology have quite naturally rendered the common noun ἐμμέλεια by the Latin concinnitas, while they have simply transliterated Ἐμμελία as Emmelia. Indeed, no correspondent exists for Ἐμμελία in Latin.

How came Emmelia, then, to be assimilated to Emilia in Romanian scholarly literature on St. Basil? My suggestion is that their similar sonority has provided a good starting point for this confusion. The only 20th century Romanian translation of Funebris oratio in laudem Basilii Magni – which renders Ἐμμελία by Emilia – may also have contributed to a significant extent. And the decline of classical studies among Romanian patristic scholars during the communist era has achieved to do the rest.


Oana-Mădălina POPESCU Paraclisul Sfinților Împărați Constantin și Elena

Summary: Paraklesis to the Holy Emperors Constantine and Helena

The present study analyses and puts into scientific circulation two religious manuscripts, which have not been published so far, preserved nowadays at the Library of the Romanian Academy, in Bucharest, being recorded under no. 4913 and respectively 2015. They contain an ancient hymn, dedicated to the Saints Constantine the Great, the emperor of the Byzantine Empire, and to his mother, Helena. The religious text was elaborated, as we can see, by a person named Tarasios, whom we consider to be the Patriarch of Constantinople. So, we assume that the original form of the hymn was written in Greek, at the end of the eighth century or at the beginning of the ninth century and it was translated, subsequently, into the Ancient Slavonic, as it was largely used into the Orthodox community, into the Byzantine Commonwealth.

The Ms. rom. 4913 was written in Romanian, with Cyrillic characters, at Hurezi monastery, in 1776, where another manuscript of this type had been translated, two years before, in 1774. The manuscript 2015, from Cernica Monastery, contains also the hymn, with small differences, therefore we present both variants here, for comparison. The Mss. 4913 and 2521, written at Hurezi monastery, in 1776 and 1774, have been translated into Romanian, having as model the Slavonic printed work, dating back 1696, published during the reign of Constantine Brâncoveanu, the ruler of the country. And, not accidentally they were translated at Hurezi monastery, because that monastic settlement had been dedicated to the Saints Constantine and Helena, being designed as the necropolis of Constantine Brâncoveanu and his family.

The hymn points out some important events of the lives of Constantine the Great and Helena, as the moments of perceiving the Cross in the sky, the discovery of the Cross by the empress Helena, the baptism of the emperor. It also contains some interesting epithets for the emperor and empress, regarded as great rulers and saints, crowned by God, being equal to the Apostles (isapostolos, in Greek).


Pr. Gruia ZAMFIRESCU Prima lege privind organizarea învățământului teologic în Țările Române – Legea seminarelor preoțești din Muntenia, 1834 (condițiile apariției legii, conținutul ei, regulamentele conexe)

Summary: First Law for the Organization of Theological Education in the Romanian Principalities – The Law for Theological Schools, Wallachia, 1834 (Context, Content, Additional Regulations)

In Wallachia scholarly education developed in tight relationship with church life. Though schools had always existed, only rulers such as Alexandru Ipsilanti (18th century) and Ioan Gheorghe Caragea (19th century) created a local school system. The former established “lower schools” – within the two bishoprics he employed teachers “for elementary knowledge” – in each town of the country and reorganized the Princely School in Bucharest in three courses of study each covering three years. He also attempted to open a seminary (the name belongs to the historian Nicolae Iorga) affiliated to Obedeanu church in Craiova. The second ruler first reorganized the schools in Oltenia, the Slavonic and the Romanian schools at the “St George” Monastery, the music school at the St Sava and the Princely School, all three in Bucharest. The ruler even appointed a committee intended to reform uniformly the educational system in Wallachia. Until the modern era schools were taken care of by the Metropolitan Church and functioned due to the funds coming from the special taxes collected from priests and monasteries. Yet, there were only specially appointed teachers at the Metropolitan Church or in some important monasteries.

According to The Organic Regulation there appeared The Regulation for Public Schools in the Wallachian Princedom in 1832 and The Law for Seminaries, Archpriests and Priests in 1834 which was the first law concerning the organization of priest schools in all the Romanian countries. The Law contained just nine articles, and among these only the first four regulated the organization and the functioning of priest schools. They contained the following clauses:

– the obligation of opening priest schools affiliated to every (arch) bishopric in the country. Some years after the law was passed in 1836-1837 four seminaries were opened in Wallachia: in Bucharest, Curtea de Argeș, Buzău and Râmnicu Vâlcea, as the first special schools for the training of the clergy.

– the establishing of the number of scholarships depending on the size, financial possibilities and necessities of every parish. According to the law there would be seminaries with 20, 30 and 40 scholars to whom could be added very many other students who could provide their own food and clothing).

– the alloting of fees collected taken from priests and deacons only for the organizing and functioning of seminaries in the country. One could ensure the following activities: the building of seminaries (based on the 1832-1833 taxes), salaries and didactic materials, uniforms and supplies for the scholars. In case the collected amounts were not enough, they had to be completed with funds from the (arch) bishoprics.

– the establishment of compensations for the financial efforts of the priests: favoring the enlisting of their sons in seminaries and their right to become priests in the first row. Moreover, the law applied special conditions for the scholars to belong to ”sons of priests” in the case of Argeș and Buzău bishoprics.

The law did not mention the exact number of school years for each seminary or for all, neither the curricula. These were stipulated by two decisions of the School Clerical Authority concerning the organization and the functioning of the seminaries in the country and the opening of the Central Seminary in Bucharest.

The studies in the preparatory seminaries lasted four years. The first one was a preliminary year during which the enlisted students learned the elements of writing, reading, grammar and arithmetic alongside with church learning and chanting, as well as the exegesis of the Gospels (on Saturday mornings). As it was not considered “theological learning”, it was obligatory only for “those clerics who had had no previous preparation in order to study in this school.”

In the capital city of the country, Bucharest, those who graduated the preparatory seminaries could pursue their studies with an additional three-year lecture at the Central Seminary. The graduates / priests could thus benefit from further education and they could hope to reach a superior hierarchical level, namely archpriest or father superior of a monastery.

The topics which were studied both in the preparatory seminaries and in the Central one covered a large area. Besides theological learning, with subjects like Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Catechism, Pastoral Theology, one could get lay education in subjects such as Mathematics, Writing Skills, Geography and even a lecture on “vaccination, veterinary medicine and popular physics”. Classical languages were taught elements of Parish Management as well. The Metropolitan priest of the country inspected the seminaries each year.

The law had as purpose to form candidates to priesthood who should possess some knowledge above the level of their future parishes, who should set examples of Christian life, culture and enlightenment for the people.

The intention of the law maker was that in the years to come all the priests of the princedom should be chosen only from seminary graduates.


Alexandru PRELIPCEAN Historia concordatorum, historia dolorum? Istoria concordatului cu Statul român (1920-1929) și implicarea Bisericii Ortodoxe Române

Summary: Historia Concordatorum, Historia Dolorum? The History of Concordat with the Romanian State (1920-1929) and the Involvement of the Romanian Orthodox Church

This study describes concisely the history of Concordat with the Romanian State in the interwar period. Beyond the need for a diachronic presentation of events occurred between 1920-1929, then from the first negotiation to Concordat ratification, we aim to present and understand the relationship between Church and State, on the one hand, the Romanian Orthodox Church and the Romanian State, on the other hand, the relationship created – through the provisions of Concordat – between the Catholic Church and the Romanian State. In the background research, we intended to establish whether the Romanian Concordat is a paradigm for Church-State relations, or rather a painful reflection of the long history of Concordat.

Numerous bibliographic materials in addition to primary sources make the Concordat concluded by the Holy See with the Romanian state in the interwar period a chapter widely discussed by Romanian historiography. Objective investigation of materials produced in that period shows that the existence of a Concordat Romanian territory has generated interest from all members involved in this dialogue. From synthetic analysis of the concept of “Concordat”, moving quickly through international arrangements, we come to examine in particular the history of Romanian Concordat – conducted over a period of almost a decade. We present not only the conflict between the parties engaged in dialogue (Church/-es and State/-s), but also between members on the same „side”.

Special attention was given to the Romanian Orthodox Church in relation to the conclusion of a Concordat. Based on the information provided by primary sources, valuable works and studies published in the interwar period, as well as information drawn from national and international media, we hope that we were able to identify and outline the views held by the Orthodox Church on this bilateral act.

The creation of a Romanian Concordat was in our best national interests, but in the best interests of the Vatican. Also, as the Romanian Orthodox Church was less well-organized and wealthy than the Catholic one and other religious denominations, serious assault on Catholic opposition was seen as a mistake by the Romanian State. By debating and concluding the Concordat with Rome, Romanian governments between 1920-1927, and the monarchy in Romania showed their lack of patriotism, giving to the Vatican rights which threatened even the state. The first period in the history of Romanian Concordat (1920-1921) was particularly a period of “exploration” and “speculation” between the two “groups” engaged in dialogue. The skilful interpretation made by Octavian Goga and other persons involved in this diplomatic interaction led to the rejection of the two drafts of the Concordat, extremely favorable for the Vatican. Even though the Latin origins of the Romanian people were invoked as a reason for concluding a Concordat, however the result was not the one expected by the Vatican. Nevertheless, neither did the proposed Concordat satisfy the Romanian national interests, because of its ambiguity stemming from our incomplete knowledge of Catholicism. The years 1921-1924 were “silent” concerning the Concordat. The country was undergoing political, economic and social turmoil, and the matter of a Concordat was not a priority for the Romanian State. During the period 1924-1926 several texts were suggested, but no one was signed. The involvement of Transylvanian Hungarians and their many notifications to the Vatican, as well as the pressure put by the Hungarian diplomat to the Holy See, led Catholic authorities to speed up, on the one hand, the signing of a Concordat, and on the other hand, not to make concessions. Again, the Romanian State proved to be extremely poorly prepared against Catholic diplomacy. The backstage games, the Romanian indifference and ignorance had adverse consequences for the Romanian State, a State unable even to keep some of its sovereign rights.

If for the theological world the presence of Concordat in our national history is one of its dark moments, for the political world the Concordat was regarded as a simple diplomatic document between two States. Moreover, the blame for concluding the Concordat was very easily put on the two “parties” or even between members of the same “party”.


Nicolae DRĂGUȘIN Critica argumentului ontologic și proiectul noii metafizici la Immanuel Kant. O încadrare teologică a unei (re)surse a modernității

Summary: The Criticism of the Ontological Argument and the Project of the New Metaphysics at Immanuel Kant. A Theological Framing to One (Re)Source of Modernity

The study aims at sketching the project of the new metaphysics that Immanuel Kant endeavoured to make in his Critique of Pure Reason. The structure follows closely the kantian argumentation: firstly, the presentation of the metaphysics as science and secondly, the criticism of the ontological argument. This objective is framed by a short introduction to the 18th Century defined as preocupation for the status of Reason in knowledge and a conclusion that pushes forward the discussion whether das Ding an Sich (“The Thing-in-Itself”) could be seen as kantian translation of God. The main reason for framing the discussion on the kantian metaphysics (with the question whether noumenon for Kant is God for theology) within the Enlightenment relates to the exigency of the ongoing dialogue between (Christian) theology and (European) philosophy, such as the following question: what is relevant in one domain for the other? However, there is one more reason which makes even more useful such approach: Immanuel Kant, especially by his new metaphysics becomes part of the genealogy of the theological personalism in the 20th Century. In order that such hypothesis is validated, there are two conditions to fulfill simultaneously: das Ding an Sich is something that by pure reason we are not able to know and das Ding an Sich is the Kantian understanding of God. Of course, the study does not aim at proving something that is just an indirect conclusion. Nevertheless, as long as the study argues both ideas, then we are able to presume that Immanuel Kant tacitly appropriated one of the main teachings in the Christian theology of the East: man is not able to know God’s essence through his reason. Had Kant become a Christian theologian if claimed that God is person? We may reply affirmatively but the fact is that Immanuel Kant remained within the traditional preoccupation for the God’s essence (irrespective of his person) even if he denounced any attempt to know by reason what is God. From a strict theological perspective, torn between continuation of metaphysics (understanding of God solely as essence) and break with it (the claim that we can not know by reason God as essence), what is more important to Kant is, obviously, the latter. Hence, it is legitimate to speak of traditional metaphysics (or pre-Kantian metaphysics), Kantian metaphyisics (which is the metaphysics as science) and post-Kantian metaphysics that aimed at explaining that mysterious concept of das Ding an Sich. It is exactly this post-kantian metaphysics (notably G. W. F. Hegel and one of his pupils – L. Feuerbach) that moved the discussion even closed to theology by stressing the fact that we are able to know God as long as God is transposed from Heaven (the religious variant of Enlightenment was Deism) to the Earth (the religious variant of Romanticism was Pantheism and, precisely, Panenteism to G. W. F. Hegel). From this point of philosophy to the theology of Karl Barth and personalist theology of the East (e.g. Rev. Dumitru Stăniloae) was just a short border, easy to step out.

The ambition of this study is to contribute to the dialogue between theology and philosophy by pointing out the main questions of one field that the other may and can properly address. And, to be precise, I consider that what is of utmost interest is the status of das Ding an Sich. With the intention to shed light on this matter, the Critique of Pure Reason is not sufficient. Moreover, only on its base one can argue that there is no indication to support the assimilation of das Ding as Sich to God. Hence, while the main bibliographical source, the Critique of Pure Reason has to be supplemented with Opus postumum a largely forgotten kantian book at least as regards the Romanian readership. The bibliography suggests not only the absence of any systematic discussion of this matter in Romanian academic life, but also the scarcity of foreign language books from the shelves of public libraries.

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