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Orthodoxy > Orthodoxy Chapter 8

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Doreen Petersen | 441 comments Chapter 8 Summary:The Romance of Orthodoxy.


message 2: by Galicius (last edited May 12, 2015 05:58AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Galicius | 460 comments GK calls for slower pace in his time in daily life and in thinking and language. He writes he’s all for clarity in expression and avoiding terms that cause confusion with double meaning such words like “progressive, liberal, materialist”. This leads him to discussion of “freethinkers”. GK thinks that freethinker is not a man who thinks for himself but who came to the conclusion of “material origin of phenomena” (p. 187). All liberalizes of theology, he will show, are allies of oppression in the world. (p.188) Orthodoxy can never go “past a certain point: in its alliance with oppression”. Denial of miracles goes with materialist thinking. “Liberalizing” of religion does not help in liberation of the world. (p. 192)

Denial of miracles goes with belief in a “fixed and godless fate”. (p. 190) Strict materialism does not allow belief in miracles. Progress “means simply the gradual control of matter by mind.” (p.191) Catholic Church believed in a sort of spiritual freedom. There is nothing free in the universe for a materialist. This leads to the conclusion that doubt in miracles is not particularly liberal but believing in them means “freedom of the soul”. (p. 191)

GK disagrees with the common and often held notion that all religions are the same in what they teach but that they differ only in rituals. The opposite is true. They differ in what they teach. Christianity and Buddhism are not alike. Washing of feed and rending of robes does not make them similar. These elements had different intentions. Buddhism and Christianity in fact flatly contradict each other. GK points to religious art of the two. A Christian saint has his eyes wide open while a Buddhist saint has them shut. Buddhist’s body is “sleek and harmonious”, his eyes heavy as if in sleep, the Christian’s body is waster and bony, and his eyes are alive. (p. 196)

GK likens Buddhists to Theosophists, Unitarians, pantheists. Christian religion is Trinitarian and incorporates man. It is Christian God alone that shows courage to the “breaking point”. The tale of the Passions shows that God went through agony and doubt. It seems to GK that in the Gethseneme “God did tempt God”. And on the cross “God was forsaken of God”. This should satisfy the revolutionist. “There is not another god “who has himself been in revolt”. (p. 206)

This is the essence of his “old orthodoxy . . . the most adventurous and many of all theologies”. (p. 207 GK showed in the chapter how Christianity safeguards liberty, morality, and order.


Doreen Petersen | 441 comments Very interesting observation Galicius. Think I need to read more Chesterton to understand his line of thought better. Are there any books you could recommend to me?


Galicius | 460 comments Doreen wrote: "Very interesting observation Galicius. Think I need to read more Chesterton to understand his line of thought better. Are there any books you could recommend to me?"

Thank you for your comment. I still find it hard to unravel and follow his train of thinking, which requires second and third reading sometimes. He’s not a “user friendly” philosopher but perhaps this area is serious thinking stuff and it doesn’t come easy.

I have been working on a reading list that a college professor whom I decided to call my “reading mentor” gave in one of his classes about forty years ago at Hunter that had a title “Brief Reading List for People Desiring Higher Education”. I am using the list as one of my goodreads shelves. I know I will never complete it because some I just won’t read like Kant or Voltaire. I hope I am making progress though after all these years. I see you have a long reading list as well. Good luck to you.


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