The broad outline of this is taken from several Joseph Farrell talks and found in some of his books, namely Giza Death Star Destroyed, The Philosopher’s Stone, and Babylon’s Banksters. Ironically, it is also hinted at in David Bradshaw’s Aristotle East and West (Cambridge), though I doubt Bradshaw is aware of the implications. Consider: The last neo-Platonic magician, Iamblichus, died in the 4th century. 500+ years later various occultic movements arise in Europe fully formed and with ideological ties to earlier neo-Platonism. As sociologists of religion are aware, this is simply not how religious movements start. There is an early phase as the group is figuring out its rituals and doctrines, and then a maturer phase. Except these occult groups (think Templars) skipped the earlier phase. The best explanation is that there were underground movements.
Another interesting fact: the ancient Roman senatorial families were suspected of having access to ancient knowledge (from Babylon and Egypt; the latter is easier to prove, since Plato said he took his thoughts from Egypt, and Roman philosophy is a cheap knock-off of Greek philosophy). These senatorial families would later become the Roman curia in the middle ages.
Maybe Colin Gunton is right to hate Gnosticism so much.
Plato is clear that the Demiourgos does not create ex nihilo, but out of pre-existent matter. Magic, for the post-Renaissance philosophers, was the manipulation of dead matter. Upon closer inspection, this turns out to be exactly the god of Freemasonry. Let’s not leave the argument, yet. Plato places the Demiourgos within an ancient Egyptian narrative. Thus, Egyptian magic = Demiourgos = Freemasonry . Reminds me of a funny scene in one of Robert Howard’s Conan stories. Conan had infiltrated what was clearly a reference to an Egyptian temple whose acolytes would wait patiently while the snake god Set ate them whenever he willed, and Howards add “this was the will of Set. Ah, but such was not the will of Conan,” and then Conan killed the snake or something.
Andrew Radde-Galwitz demonstrated his brilliance with his book on divine simplicity.. Thus our initial pleasure at seeing a new volume by him, and one at an accessible price. That said, I am not sure it is worth getting. It is not quite 200 pages and the pages are relatively small. This makes for easy reading and Galwitz’ style is fairly fluid, but I don’t know if it is $22 good. Further, if you have actually read Basil or Galwitz’ first book, I am not sure you would gain much from this one.
Radde-Galwitz will give a biographical chapter followed by two doctrinal chapters. He does a nice (and fair) job showing what both Basil AND Eunomius believed. While Basil had the correct conclusions, Eunomius probably won the exegetical debate (for example, the common Patristic claim that Proverbs 8 referred to the human nature of the Son, thus the createdness. Eunomius made short work of that claim). The problem, as Sergius Bulgakov would point out much later, is that the divine subject is the Logos asarkos, and as such the human nature of Christ didn’t yet exist.
One area that Radde-Galwitz does not develop is the common presupposition shared by both Eunomius and Basil: we can’t know the essence of God. This was the heart of Eunomius’ contention: if we can’t know the essence of God, but we can know the essence of Christ, then… Or we can say it another way: if we can’t know the essence of God but we can know Christ, then we have a contradiction in doctrine.
Granted, I disagree with Eunomius, but it’s not entirely clear that Basil won the debate satisfactorily.
This is a short, decent biography that covers most of the relevant details.
Many of my posts have been critical to claims made by Orthodox apologists, and one apologist told me “I do protest too much” (though no one bothers to tell the guys at OrthodoxBridge the same thing. Most of their posts are about how wrong Protestants are. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander). I don’t want to sound like one always harping on the same thing, so I decided to say something nice. (Unfortunately, I realize some of the people I mention are associated with groups that will embarrass mainline Orthodoxy. Too bad for mainline then. It’s hard to see Tsar Lazar or anyone predating the Nikonian Revolution–and it, along with the later “reforms” by Masonic Satanist Peter the Great was a Revolution as thorough as the Bolsheviks’–would be appreciated by World Orthodoxy. See if you can dig up Fr Raphael Johnson’s essay on the Serbian leadership’s de facto, but not de jure, recognition of Kosovo)
- Joseph P Farrell: I know Farrell is no longer Orthodox, but still. One can only stand in awe of his research. He is a remarkably clear thinker and he teaches you to reason your way through a topic.
- Orthodox Nationalist: I listened to Fr Matt Johnson every week for three years. He does a good job summarizing different aims of the New World Order and he is remarkably good on exposing the occult and freemasonry. I bring up on Orthodox boards how different mainline Orthodox (former SCOBA and the non-American equivalents) groups are openly affiliated with Freemasony and Ecumenism and no one will touch that issue.
- Sergius Bulgakov: Bulgakov’s Sophiology is dangerously close to Gnosticism and I understand why Maximovitch’s group condemned him. The problem is that few people in today’s Orthodoxy can say why Bulgakov is wrong (which is probably why yet another Russian Church council exonerated him–so who’s right? Don’t answer that). He is valuable in giving us an honest reading of the Fathers. A lot of times you will meet the claim that the Fathers are united in saying x. Bulgakov takes the Fathers on the development of Christology and Pneumatology and completely blows that claim out of the water. And that’s what I love about Bulgakov–he thinks through the tradition. I had a discussion with some Orthodox apologists I brought up tensions within Cyril’s Christology, and they responded, “Well, Cyril is part of the inspired tradition.” Maybe he is, but simply asserting that doesn’t make the problems go away.
- Fr Seraphim Rose: His biography is awe-inspiring, yet he is an embarrassment to World Orthodoxy. At a time when Orthodox thinkers wanted to show how relevant Orthodoxy was to the modern world, Fr Seraphim moved to the wilderness, resurrected Holy Russia on American soil, and loudly proclaimed a few key distinctives: six-day creationism and toll-houses! It was great. He then added insult to injury, albeit in a generous manner: he documented how the fathers believed in these topics. This unspoken inference is silent but deafening: any Orthodox thinker who disagreed with him on this points was specifically out of line from what the Fathers taught. Inference number two: if you find Fathers who disagree with Rose then you must also posit a division in the patrum consensus. I don’t agree with him on toll-houses (though CS Lewis taught something similar in The Screwtape Letters) and I am not as pro-Russia as I used to be, but it is interesting to watch the bourgeoisie hem and haw.
I rarely reblog stuff, but this was too good too pass up.