Friday, May 21, 2010

Reading Group, 1f

6. Dogma of the Trinity and Current Morals
a. It is insistently affirmed that the Orthodox dogma of the Holy Trinity and the concomitant understanding of the high-priestly prayer is the sole solution of this contradiction (antilogy) from which contemporary independent morality cannot be extricated, wavering between the rhetorical nomism of Kant and the fatalistic pantheism of the position of the German idealists, and French and English evolutionists.

b. Morality is impossible without free will, without an independent significance of personality.

c. Love toward neighbor is completely diminished and almost lost in the moral theology of Latins and older Protestants.

d. Moralists cannot affirm a true virtue, cannot place Gospel love as the highest crown of morality. Therefore their opponents strive to present revelation as a pantheistic and fatalistic teaching.

e. Contemporary European thought, negating all metaphysics, turn to pantheistic and deterministic concepts, denying freedom of will.

f. The morality of all schools which negate freedom and personality (hypostasis) come to a formula of utilitarianism.

g. In transitioning from ancient nomism into pantheism, ethics, in order to preserve its content, has lost that spirit which gives a certain action a moral or anti-moral character. Virtue is rendered impotent. Pantheism and individualism do not have a place for virtue in their systems. The dogma of the Trinity is the only way out, in which freedom and eternity of Persons do not shatter unity and nature, and where there is place for freedom of personality, but not an absolute personal self-containment. The Lord comes with His co-suffering love, offering adoption or assimilation, allowing one to become one with Him without losing personhood and freedom. Thus freed from self-centeredness, one’s “I” makes way for “we,” thereby forming a new creature, the Church.

  1. What in the moral theology of the Latins and Old Protestants does Metropolitan Anthony find lacking?
  2. What essential danger does Metropolitan Anthony see in Strauss, Renan, Hartman, Tolstoy, etc. Where is it that they have gone wrong, and how does it effect a moral understanding of the dogma of the Holy Trinity?
  3. How convincing is Metropolitan Anthony’s exposition of the moral idea of the Holy Trinity? Are you convinced by his arguments?

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