Allegorical interpretation of the Bible
Allegorical interpretation of the Bible is an interpretive method that assumes that the Bible has various levels of meaning and tends to focus on the spiritual sense, which includes the allegorical sense, the moral sense, the anagogical sense, as opposed to the literal sense. It is sometimes referred to as the quadriga, a reference to the Roman chariot, drawn by four horses. Allegorical interpretation has its origins in both Greek thought and the rabbinical schools of Judaism. In the Middle Ages, it was used by Bible commentators of Christianity. Scriptural interpretation is sometimes referred to as the Quadriga, a reference to the Roman chariot, pulled by four horses abreast; the four horses are symbolic of the four submethods of Scriptural interpretation: Literal interpretation: explanation of the meaning of events for historical purposes from a neutral perspective by trying to understand the text in the culture and time it was written, location and language it was composed in. That is, since the 19th century ascertained using the higher critical methods like source criticism and form criticism.
In many modern seminaries and universities, the literal meaning is focused on to a nearly complete abandonment of the spiritual methods, as is obvious when comparing commentary from a Douay Rheims or Confraternity or Knox Bible with a New Jerusalem, New RSV or NABRE. Anagogic interpretation: dealing with the future events of Christian history as well as heaven, hell, the last judgement, the General Resurrection and second Advent of Christ, etc.. Typological interpretation: connecting the events of the Old Testament with the New Testament drawing allegorical connections between the events of Christ’s life with the stories of the Old Testament. A passage speaks directly to someone such as when Francis of Assisi heard the passage to sell all he had, it can typologically point to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the ark which held the Word of God. Tropological interpretation: "the moral of the story," or how one should act now. Many of Jesus' parables and the Book of Proverbs and other wisdom books are packed with tropological meaningA Latin rhyme designed to help scholars remember the four interpretations survives from the Middle Ages: Litera gesta docet, Quid credas allegoria, Moralis quid agas, Quo tendas anagogia.
The rhyme is translated: The literal teaches what God and our ancestors did, The allegory is where our faith and belief is hid, The moral meaning gives us the rule of daily life, The anagogy shows us where we end our strife. Origen, in his Treatise on First Principles, recommends for the Old and New Testaments to be interpreted allegorically at three levels, the "flesh," the "soul," and the "spirit." He states that many of the events recounted in the Scriptures, if they are interpreted in the literal, or fleshly, are impossible or nonsensical. They must be interpreted allegorically to be understood; some passages have parts that are true and parts that are impossible. "the reader must endeavor to grasp the entire meaning, connecting by an intellectual process the account of what is impossible with the parts that are not impossible but true, these being interpreted allegorically in common with the part which, so far as the letter goes, did not happen at all." People of the Middle Ages shaped their ideas and institutions from drawing on the cultural legacies of the ancient world.
They did not see the break between their predecessors that today's observers see. The use of allegorical interpretation in the Middle Ages began as a Christian method for studying the differences between the two Testaments. Christian scholars believed both Testaments were inspired divinely by God and sought to understand the differences between Old Testament and New Testament laws. Medieval scholars believed the Old Testament to serve as an allegory of New Testament events, such as the story of Jonah and the whale, which represents Jesus' death and resurrection. According to the Old Testament Book of Jonah, a prophet spent three days in the belly of a fish. Medieval scholars believed this was an allegory of Jesus' death and his being in the tomb for three days before he rose from the dead. Another popular allegorical work studied in the Middle Ages comes from Plato's The Republic. In the story known as the Allegory of the Cave, Plato describes a group of people who have lived chained to the wall of a cave all their lives facing a blank wall.
The people watch shadows projected on the wall by things passing in front of a fire and begin to ascribe forms to the shadows. Aesthetic interpretation Allegorical interpretations of Plato Demythologization Hermeneutics Parallelomania Pardes
John Dewey was an American philosopher and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey is one of the primary figures associated with the philosophy of pragmatism and is considered one of the fathers of functional psychology. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Dewey as the 93rd most cited psychologist of the 20th century. A well-known public intellectual, he was a major voice of progressive education and liberalism. Although Dewey is known best for his publications about education, he wrote about many other topics, including epistemology, aesthetics, logic, social theory, ethics, he was a major educational reformer for the 20th century. The overriding theme of Dewey's works was his profound belief in democracy, be it in politics, education, or communication and journalism; as Dewey himself stated in 1888, while still at the University of Michigan, "Democracy and the one, ethical ideal of humanity are to my mind synonymous."Known for his advocacy of democracy, Dewey considered two fundamental elements—schools and civil society—to be major topics needing attention and reconstruction to encourage experimental intelligence and plurality.
Dewey asserted that complete democracy was to be obtained not just by extending voting rights but by ensuring that there exists a formed public opinion, accomplished by communication among citizens and politicians, with the latter being accountable for the policies they adopt. John Dewey was born in Vermont to a family of modest means, he was one of four boys born to Lucina Artemisia Rich Dewey. Their second son was named John, but he died in an accident on January 17, 1859; the second John Dewey was born October 20, 1859, forty weeks after the death of his older brother. Like his older, surviving brother, Davis Rich Dewey, he attended the University of Vermont, where he was initiated into Delta Psi, graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1879. A significant professor of Dewey's at the University of Vermont was Henry Augustus Pearson Torrey, the son-in-law and nephew of former University of Vermont president Joseph Torrey. Dewey studied with Torrey between his graduation from Vermont and his enrollment at Johns Hopkins University.
After two years as a high-school teacher in Oil City and one teaching elementary school in the small town of Charlotte, Dewey decided that he was unsuited as a primary or secondary school teacher. After studying with George Sylvester Morris, Charles Sanders Peirce, Herbert Baxter Adams, G. Stanley Hall, Dewey received his Ph. D. from the School of Arts & Sciences at Johns Hopkins University. In 1884, he accepted a faculty position at the University of Michigan with the help of George Sylvester Morris, his unpublished and now lost dissertation was titled "The Psychology of Kant." In 1894 Dewey joined the newly founded University of Chicago where he developed his belief in Rational Empiricism, becoming associated with the newly emerging Pragmatic philosophy. His time at the University of Chicago resulted in four essays collectively entitled Thought and its Subject-Matter, published with collected works from his colleagues at Chicago under the collective title Studies in Logical Theory. During that time Dewey initiated the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where he was able to actualize the pedagogical beliefs that provided material for his first major work on education, The School and Society.
Disagreements with the administration caused his resignation from the university, soon thereafter he relocated near the East Coast. In 1899, Dewey was elected president of the American Psychological Association. From 1904 until his retirement in 1930 he was professor of philosophy at Columbia University. In 1905 he became president of the American Philosophical Association, he was a longtime member of the American Federation of Teachers. Along with the historians Charles A. Beard and James Harvey Robinson, the economist Thorstein Veblen, Dewey is one of the founders of The New School. Dewey's most significant writings were "The Reflex Arc Concept in Psychology", a critique of a standard psychological concept and the basis of all his further work. While each of these works focuses on one particular philosophical theme, Dewey included his major themes in most of what he published, he published more than 700 articles in 140 journals, 40 books. Reflecting his immense influence on 20th-century thought, Hilda Neatby wrote "Dewey has been to our age what Aristotle was to the Middle Ages, not a philosopher, but the philosopher."Dewey married Alice Chipma
Jesus in comparative mythology
The study of Jesus in comparative mythology is the examination of the narratives of the life of Jesus in the Christian gospels and theology, as they relate to Christianity and other religions. Although all New Testament scholars and historians of the ancient Near East agree that Jesus existed as a historical figure, most secular historians agree that the gospels contain large quantities of ahistorical legendary details mixed in with historical information about Jesus's life; the Synoptic Gospels of Mark and Luke are shaped by Jewish tradition, with the Gospel of Matthew deliberately portraying Jesus as a "new Moses". Although it is unlikely that the authors of the Synoptic Gospels directly based any of their stories on pagan mythology, it is possible that they may have subtly shaped their accounts of Jesus's healing miracles to resemble familiar Greek stories about miracles associated with Asclepius, the god of healing and medicine; the birth narratives of Matthew and Luke are seen by secular historians as legends designed to fulfill Jewish expectations about the Messiah.
The Gospel of John bears indirect influences from Platonism, via earlier Jewish deuterocanonical texts, may have been influenced in less obvious ways by the cult of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, though this possibility is still disputed. Christian traditions about Jesus were influenced by Greco-Roman religion and mythology. Much of Jesus's traditional iconography is derived from Mediterranean deities such as Hermes, Asclepius and Zeus and his traditional birthdate on 25 December, not declared as such until the fifth century, was at one point named a holiday in honor of the Roman sun god Sol Invictus. At around the same time Christianity was expanding in the second and third centuries, the Mithraic Cult was flourishing. Though the relationship between the two religions is still under dispute, Christian apologists at the time noted similarities between them, which some scholars have taken as evidence of borrowing, but which are more a result of shared cultural environment. More general comparisons have been made between the stories about Jesus's birth and resurrection and stories of other divine or heroic figures from across the Mediterranean world, including supposed "dying-and-rising gods" such as Tammuz, Adonis and Osiris, while the concept of "dying-and-rising gods" has received criticism.
All New Testament scholars and historians of the ancient Near East, applying the standard criteria of historical investigation, agree that Jesus existed as a historical figure. While some scholars have criticized Jesus scholarship for religious bias and lack of methodological soundness, with few exceptions such critics do support the historicity of Jesus and reject the Christ myth theory that Jesus never existed. There is widespread disagreement among scholars about the accuracy of details of Jesus's life as it is described in the gospel narratives, on the meaning of his teachings, the only two events subject to "almost universal assent" are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and that he was crucified under the orders of the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate, it is generally, although not universally, accepted that Jesus was a Galilean Jew who called disciples and whose activities were confined to Galilee and Judea, that he had a controversy in the Temple, that, after his crucifixion, his ministry was continued by a group of his disciples, several of whom were persecuted.
Nonetheless, most secular scholars agree that the gospels contain large amounts of material, not accurate and is better categorized as legend. In a discussion of genuinely legendary episodes from the gospels, theologian Bart Ehrman mentions the birth narratives in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke and the release of Barabbas, he points out, that, just because these stories are not true does not mean that Jesus himself did not exist. According to theologians Paul R. Eddy and Gregory A. Boyd, there is no evidence that the portrayal of Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels was directly influenced by pagan mythology in any significant way; the earliest followers of Jesus were devout Palestinian Jews who abhorred paganism and would have therefore been unlikely to model stories about their founder on pagan myths. Despite this, several scholars have noticed that some of the healing miracles of Jesus recorded in the Synoptic Gospels bear similarities to Greek stories of miracles associated with Asclepius, the god of healing and medicine.
Brennan R. Hill states that Jesus's miracles are, for the most part told in the context of the Jewish belief in the healing power of Yahweh, but notes that the authors of the Synoptic Gospels may have subtly borrowed from Greek literary models, he states that Jesus's healing miracles chiefly differ from those of Asclepius by the fact that Jesus's are attributed to a human being on earth. According to classical historians Emma J. Edelstein and Ludwig Edelstein, the most obvious difference between Jesus and Asclepius is that Jesus extended his healing to "sinners and publicans". Scholars disagree whether the parable of the rich man and Lazarus recorded in Luke 16:19-31 originates with Jesus or if it is a Christian invention, but the story bears strong resemblances to various folktales told throughout the Near East, it is, however agreed that the portrayal of Jesus in the gospels is influenced by Jewish tradition. According to E. P. San
Christian existentialism is a theo-philosophical movement which takes an existentialist approach to Christian theology. The school of thought is traced back to the work of the Danish philosopher and theologian Søren Kierkegaard; the existential approach to Christian theology has a long and diverse history including Augustine, Aquinas and Maritain. Christian existentialism relies on Kierkegaard's understanding of Christianity. Kierkegaard argued that the universe is fundamentally paradoxical, that its greatest paradox is the transcendent union of God and humans in the person of Jesus Christ, he posited having a personal relationship with God that supersedes all prescribed moralities, social structures and communal norms, since he asserted that following social conventions is a personal aesthetic choice made by individuals. Kierkegaard proposed that each person must make independent choices, which constitute his existence; each person suffers from the anguish of indecision until he commits to a particular choice about the way to live.
Kierkegaard proposed three rubrics with which to understand the conditions that issue from distinct life choices: the aesthetic, the ethical, the religious. One of the major premises of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism entails calling the masses back to a more genuine form of Christianity; this form is identified with some notion of Early Christianity, which existed during the first three centuries after Christ's crucifixion. Beginning with the Edict of Milan, issued by Roman Emperor Constantine I in AD 313, Christianity enjoyed a level of popularity among Romans and among other Europeans, and yet Kierkegaard asserted that by the 19th century, the ultimate meaning of New Testament Christianity had become perverted, Christianity had deviated from its original threefold message of grace and love. Another major premise of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism involves Kierkegaard's conception of God and Love. For the most part, Kierkegaard equates God with Love. Thus, when a person engages in the act of loving, he is in effect achieving an aspect of the divine.
Kierkegaard viewed the individual as a necessary synthesis of both finite and infinite elements. Therefore, when an individual does not come to a full realization of his infinite side, he is said to be in despair. For many contemporary Christian theologians, the notion of despair can be viewed as sin. However, to Kierkegaard, a man sinned when he was exposed to this idea of despair and chose a path other than one in accordance with God's will. A final major premise of Kierkegaardian Christian existentialism entails the systematic undoing of evil acts. Kierkegaard asserted that once an action had been completed, it should be evaluated in the face of God, for holding oneself up to divine scrutiny was the only way to judge one's actions; because actions constitute the manner in which something is deemed good or bad, one must be conscious of the potential consequences of his actions. Kierkegaard believed that the choice for goodness came down to each individual, yet Kierkegaard foresaw the potential limiting of choices for individuals who fell into despair.
Christian Existentialism refers to what it calls the indirect style of Christ's teachings, which it considers to be a distinctive and important aspect of his ministry. Christ's point, it says, is left unsaid in any particular parable or saying, to permit each individual to confront the truth on his own; this is evident in his parables. A good example of indirect communication in the Old Testament is the story of David and Nathan in 2 Samuel 12:1-14. An existential reading of the Bible demands that the reader recognize that he is an existing subject, studying the words that God communicates to him personally; this is in contrast to looking at a collection of "truths" which are outside and unrelated to the reader. Such a reader is not obligated to follow the commandments as if an external agent is forcing them upon him, but as though they are inside him and guiding him internally; this is the task Kierkegaard takes up when he asks: "Who has the more difficult task: the teacher who lectures on earnest things a meteor's distance from everyday life, or the learner who should put it to use?"
Existentially speaking, the Bible doesn't become an authority in a person's life until he permits the Bible to be his personal authority. Christian existentialists include German Protestant theologians Paul Tillich and Rudolf Bultmann, American existential psychologist Rollo May, British Anglican theologian John Macquarrie, American theologian Lincoln Swain, American philosopher Clifford Williams, French Catholic philosophers Gabriel Marcel, Emmanuel Mounier, Pierre Boutang, German philosopher Karl Jaspers, Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, Russian philosophers Nikolai Berdyaev and Lev Shestov. Karl Barth added to Kierkegaard's ideas the notion that existential despair leads an individual to an awareness of God's infinite nature. Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky could be placed within the tradition of Christian existentialism; the roots of existentialism have been traced back as far as St Augustine. Some of the most striking passages in Pascal's Pensées, including the famous section on the Wager, deal with existentialist themes.
Jacques Maritain, in Existence and the Existent: An Essay on Christian Existentialism, finds the core of true existentialism in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. It has been claimed that Radical Existential Christi
Agnostic theism, agnostotheism or agnostitheism is the philosophical view that encompasses both theism and agnosticism. An agnostic theist believes in the existence of a god or gods, but regards the basis of this proposition as unknown or inherently unknowable; the agnostic theist may or alternatively be agnostic regarding the properties of the god or gods that they believe in. There are numerous beliefs that can be included in agnostic theism, such as fideism, the doctrine that knowledge depends on faith or revelation. Since agnosticism is in the philosophical rather than religious sense a position on knowledge and does not forbid belief in a deity, it is compatible with most theistic positions; the classical philosophical understanding of knowledge is. The founder of logotherapy, Viktor Frankl, may have well exemplified this definition. Seidner stresses Frankl's characterization of unconscious. Agnostic theism could be interpreted as an admission that it is not possible to justify one's belief in a god sufficiently for it to be considered known.
This may be because they consider faith a requirement of their religion, or because of the influence of plausible-seeming scientific or philosophical criticism. Christian Agnostics practice a distinct form of agnosticism that applies only to the properties of God, they hold that it is difficult or impossible to be sure of anything beyond the basic tenets of the Christian faith. They believe that God exists, that Jesus has a special relationship with him and is in some way divine, that God should be worshipped; this belief system has the early days of the Church. Epistemology - from Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy AGNOSTICISM - from Dictionary of the History of Ideas
Advaita Vedanta known as Puruṣavāda, is a school of Hindu philosophy, one of the classic Indian paths to spiritual realization. The term Advaita refers to its idea that the true self, Atman, is the same as the highest metaphysical Reality; the followers of this school are known as Advaita Vedantins, or just Advaitins, they seek spiritual liberation through acquiring vidyā, meaning knowledge, of one's true identity as Atman, the identity of Atman and Brahman. Advaita Vedanta traces its roots in the oldest Upanishads, it relies on three textual sources called the Prasthanatrayi. It gives "a unifying interpretation of the whole body of Upanishads", the Brahma Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita. Advaita Vedanta is the oldest extant sub-school of Vedanta, one of the six orthodox Hindu philosophies. Although its roots trace back to the 1st millennium BCE, the most prominent exponent of the Advaita Vedanta is considered by the tradition to be 8th century scholar Adi Shankara. Advaita Vedanta emphasizes Jivanmukti, the idea that moksha is achievable in this life in contrast to Indian philosophies that emphasize videhamukti, or moksha after death.
The school uses concepts such as Brahman, Maya, Avidya and others that are found in major Indian religious traditions, but interprets them in its own way for its theories of moksha. Advaita Vedanta is one of the most influential schools of classical Indian thought. Many scholars describe it as a form of monism, others describe the Advaita philosophy as non-dualistic. Advaita influenced and was influenced by various traditions and texts of Hindu philosophies such as Samkhya, Nyaya, other sub-schools of Vedanta, Shaivism, the Puranas, the Agamas, as well as social movements such as the Bhakti movement. Beyond Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta interacted and developed with the other traditions of India such as Jainism and Buddhism. Advaita Vedanta texts espouse a spectrum of views from idealism, including illusionism, to realist or nearly realist positions expressed in the early works of Shankara. In modern times, its views appear in various Neo-Vedanta movements, it has been termed as the paradigmatic example of Hindu spirituality.
The Advaita Vedanta school has been referred to by various names, such as Advaita-vada, Abheda-darshana, Dvaita-vada-pratisedha, Kevala-dvaita. According to Richard King, a professor of Buddhist and Asian studies, the term Advaita first occurs in a recognizably Vedantic context in the prose of Mandukya Upanishad. In contrast, according to Frits Staal, a professor of Philosophy specializing in Sanskrit and Vedic studies, the word Advaita is from the Vedic era, the Vedic sage Yajnavalkya is credited to be the one who coined it. Stephen Phillips, a professor of philosophy and Asian studies, translates the Advaita containing verse excerpt in Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, as follows: Advaita is a subschool of Vedanta, the latter being one of the six classical Hindu darśanas. It, like nearly all these philosophies, has an integrated body of textual interpretations and religious practices for what Hinduism considers four proper aims of life: virtue, material prosperity and the fourth and final aim being moksha, the spiritual liberation or release from cycles of rebirth.
Traditional Advaita Vedanta centers on the study of the sruti the Principal Upanishads, along with the Brahma Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita. Within the Vedanta tradition of Hinduism are many sub-schools, of which Advaita is one. Unlike Buddhism, but like Jainism, all Vedanta schools consider the existence of Atman as self-evident; the Vedanta tradition posits the concept of Brahman as the eternal, unchanging metaphysical reality. The sub-schools of Vedanta disagree on the relation between Brahman; the Advaita darsana considers them to be identical. Advaita Vedanta believes that the knowledge of Atman is liberating. Along with self-knowledge, it teaches that moksha can be achieved by the correct understanding of one's true identity as Ātman, the dispassionate and unmoveable observer, the identity of Ātman and Brahman; the process of acquiring this knowledge entails realising that one’s True Self, the Atman, is the same as Brahman. This is achieved through. Sankara contends that this direct awareness is construction-free, not construction-filled.
Self-knowledge is, not seen as an awareness of Brahman, but instead an awareness, Brahman, since one will transcend any form of duality in this state of consciousness. Correct knowledge, which destroys avidya and perceptual errors related to Atman and Brahman, is obtained through three stages of practice, sravana and nididhyasana; the Vedanta tradition of Hinduism rejects the dualism of Samkhya. The Samkhya school of Hindu thought proposes two metaphysical realities, namely Purusha and Prakriti states that Purusha is the efficient cause of all existence while Prakriti is its material cause. Advaita, like all Vedanta schools, states that Brahman is both the efficient and the material cause, "that from which the origination and dissolution of this universe proceed." What created all existence is present in and reflected in all beings and inert matter, the creative principle was and is everywhere, always. This Brahman it postulates is sat-cit-ananda. By accepting thi