What is Lectio Divina? Lectio Divina is Latin for "divine reading," "spiritual reading," or "holy reading" and represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and provide special spiritual insights. The principles of lectio divina were expressed around the year and later practiced by Catholic monks, especially the monastic rules of Sts. Pachomius, Augustine, Basil, and Benedict.
There is some value in providing such an outline, given the current rise in popularity in Orthodoxy, as witnessed by the many defections from more liberal denominations for example, churches that ordain women and, on a scholarly level, the interest and deference given to the medieval Greek patristic tradition especially such figures as Gregory of Nyssa and Maximus the Confessor and to various themes and ideas in Orthodox theology and spirituality such as theosis or deification, apophaticism and social trinitarianism.
It is important, in other words, to counter some of this almost uncritical and romantic perception of Orthodoxy with a more rounded and realistic account. But I want to go much further than this. Like Russell, it is Christianity itself, and not merely the Orthodox part of it, that I no longer find acceptable.
Although my position here is not particularly innovative, I do hope to briefly raise some crucial philosophical questions that are often neglected in historical scholarship on the central texts and claims of Christianity.
I will then turn in the final part of this article to the even more radical view at which I have arrived recently, where commitment to any institutionalised form Tradition in freeing theology religion, Christian or otherwise, is regarded as incompatible with the pursuit of truth and wisdom.
Again, many others - from Russell to the New Atheists - have said likewise. But unlike these secular thinkers, I am not advocating the wholesale rejection of religion. My main target, rather, is only religious traditions and communities with highly developed systems of belief and power, exemplified best but not solely in the "big five" religions of the world Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism - these, I contend, threaten to undermine the philosophical life.
Against Orthodoxy Raised in a Greek migrant family in Melbourne, I had a fairly conventional Orthodox upbringing, including the mandatory infant baptism, observance of the major feasts and customs of the Christian calendar, such as the forty day fast leading up to Easter, the occasional communion and confession, and so on.
Most members of the Greek community in Australia would be content to leave matters there, regarding the Orthodox Church primarily as a custodian of ethnicity, tradition and morality.
But no thinking person could be satisfied with that, and I soon began to delve deeper, in the hope of discovering if there was any truth to the grand claims made by the church.
So I embarked upon a course of study in philosophy and theology, including a four year stint at St. There I was introduced to some wonderful scholars, including the eloquent, softly-spoken and Oxford-trained John Chryssavgis who connects spirituality with ecology, and currently serves as advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues and the comparatively tempestuous American-educated Themistocles Adamopoulo a specialist on the apostle Paul, now in Pauline fashion undertaking missionary work in Sierra Leone.
But my attention was initially caught by the fiery and much maligned leader of the Greek Orthodox Church in Australia, Archbishop Stylianos Harkianakiswith whom I shared a love of poetry and of our fellow Cretan, Nikos Kazantzakis.
I well remember how he shocked us in our very first class when he warned that the study of theology will either turn us to God or turn us into atheists. He was not entirely mistaken. Strangely, however, the archbishop's words proved to be a self-fulfilling prophecy, as it was the very attitudes and teachings imbibed by us that led me and some of my fellow students and even teachers to suspect that something was deeply amiss in Orthodoxy.
There was, for example, little freedom to genuinely question or to express doubts, at least without being deemed a "heretic. In what follows, I will outline some of these challenges faced by the Orthodox Church in the modern era I am very much indebted to Vrasidas Karalis's withering critique of contemporary Greek Orthodoxy in The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity.
Exclusivism To begin with, there are challenges arising from the prevalence of exclusivism among Orthodox leaders, where this involves an attitude of triumphalism and a sense of superiority towards other religious faiths, and even other Christians.
The Orthodox Church, to be sure, has been a significant member of the Ecumenical Movement. Representatives from the Ecumenical Patriarchate have attended meetings of the World Council of Churches since its establishment inand at present almost all Orthodox Churches are full members of the World Council of Churches.
Nevertheless, Orthodoxy tends to be highly exclusivist, adopting a stance towards people of other faiths that ranges from missionary to polemical and apologetic.
Even if it has not always thought that only if one is Orthodox can one be saved though there are many Orthodox who accept thisit is standard to think that the fullness of divine revelation is to be found only in the Orthodox Church. And then a conflict between dogmatism and dialogue ensues.
Is genuine dialogue possible if I as one partner in the dialogue am already convinced that I possess the fullness of truth, and so the other does not have something to tell me which I could not in principle discover from my own tradition?Matthew With thanks to page sponsor Laura Csellak St.
Andrew's Lutheran Church, Easton PA. Reading the Text: NRSV (with link to Anglicized NRSV) at. Christianity | Practical Theology Recommended Citation Reid, J. David, "Combating Church Tradition: Freeing the Church to Reach Their Community for Christ" ().
Postliberal theology (often called narrative theology) is a Christian theological movement which became popular in the late twentieth century.
The movement's proponents argue that the church's use of the Bible should focus on a narrative presentation of the Christian faith as regulative for the development of a coherent systematic initiativeblog.com Christianity is to be viewed as an overarching. Black theology seeks to liberate non-white people from multiple forms of political, The Old Testament God of Moses freeing the ancient Hebrews from Egyptian rulers was the central theme of African American popular religion, as .
Question: "What is Lectio Divina?" Answer: Lectio Divina is Latin for "divine reading," "spiritual reading," or "holy reading" and represents a method of prayer and scriptural reading intended to promote communion with God and provide special spiritual insights.
The principles of lectio divina were. Christian perfection is the name given to various teachings within Christianity that describe the process of achieving spiritual maturity or perfection.
The ultimate goal of this process is union with God characterized by pure love of God and other people as well as personal holiness or initiativeblog.coms terms have been used to describe the concept, such as "Christian holiness", "entire.