On the providential significance of individuality

(A Romanian version of this article is anticipated to appear soon in a separate publication.)

God created the human person in such a way that her existence is characterized by a universal-particular dynamic. All humans, insofar as they are human, share certain traits specific to humanity, in addition to animality and life in which other creatures on earth also have a share. We might also note those common loves on which lasting friendships are built. Noticing these points in common inspires solidarity and love among persons. On the other hand, throughout the course of a lifetime a person comes to discover her own individuality and particularity, especially when interacting with others, and the differences which appear among persons may sometimes give birth to antagonism and conflict, even hatred and war. Therefore we might pose the question: why did God create us as individuals? Without pretending to treat the matter exhaustively, I propose to relate a bit of the opinions of three Christian thinkers on this subject.  Continue reading

Posted in theology

Dreptatea nu se moștenește

king josiah icon 1Iosia merită să fie pomenit în numărul marilor reformatori religioși din istoria poporului lui Dumnezeu. În 2 Reg 23 găsim o relatare lungă și detaliată a reformelor impuse de către acest împărat, asemenea căruia „n-a mai fost rege înainte de el, care să se fi întors la Domnul cu toată inima sa, cu toate puterile sale şi cu tot sufletul său, după toată legea lui Moise, dar nici după el nu s-a mai ridicat altul asemenea lui” (v. 25).

Însă observăm cu tristețe că, în ciuda exemplului lăsat de tatăl lor Iosia, fiii acestuia pesemne n-au învățat să se închine Domnului și să întoarcă la El cu toată inima. Atât Ioahaz, cât și Ioiachim au făcut „rele înaintea Domnului, cum făcuseră și părinții lui” (v. 32, 36). Ce învățătură putem trage din această istorisire dezamăgitoare?  Continue reading

Posted in biblical commentary

On the relevance of the Bible

ancient bible 1I remember once going to a hang-out of sorts for persons interested in matters of religion and philosophy. It was one of those meetings where persons with similar interests get together and ask questions, talk about important matters, and share their opinions on whatever subjects are raised in the course of the discussion. This particular meeting had the Christian Bible as its topic and one of the persons present, himself not a Christian from what I could gather, asked the question of the relevance of the Bible: Why should anyone care about the Bible, given the fact that it was written so long ago? Continue reading

Posted in theology

The fetus is not a part of the mother’s body

fetus at 20 weeks

A child in utero at 20 weeks.

One of the moral issues brought up in the debate about abortion is that of bodily autonomy. Some persons suppose that the mother has the right to terminate her pregnancy on the basis that it is “her body, her choice.”

Of course, there are two ways that one could understand this reference to the body of the mother. On one reading, the fetus might be taken to be a part of the woman’s body that she can dispose of at will, just like we are free to cut our hair or trim our fingernails. On another reading, the fetus is not considered part of the woman’s body, but since it depends on the resources of her body for its development, the woman is at liberty to reject this dependency if she should find it burdensome or unpleasant. Continue reading

Posted in ethics, metaphysics | Tagged