Monday, March 16, 2009

The Art of Living | Front Porch Republic

Stewart K Lundy of the blog Front Porch Republic does a very good job of what I was trying less successfully to say about the need for the Orthodox Church to articulate a vision of natural law. Here's a snippet of his post.

In Christ,

+Fr Gregory

p.s., More posts later--Lent's keeping me busy.


According to Okakura Kakuzo’s short work, The Book of Tea, this conservative impulse is the “art of being in the world.” Isn’t this “art of life” precisely the virtue Alasdair MacIntyre claims we have lost in his After Virtue? Humility, gratitude, and the pursuit of virtue affirm nature as normative not because it dictates morality but because it is a gift. Nature surely does not mean to us what it did to the Scholastics, but I wish we could rediscover the earth as our home. The loss of a normative sense of nature has set up the world against the earth in a destructive manner. We can thank the likes of William of Occam, Francis Bacon, and Descartes for the loss of nature and the birth of modern science. It used to be that nature was seen as the artwork of God, as an acheiropoieta (an icon “not made by human hands”). But no longer do we see nature as an icon, giving glimpses of God; instead, we see nature as blocking us from God. Instead of seeing truth through the physical world, fideism sees truth in spite of the physical world and its natural counterpart, atheism, limits truth to the physical world. Speaking of the spiritual realm as “supernatural” is only a step away from speaking of the “unnatural” realm. The natural-supernatural divide has cut off access to God. The death of God followed the death of nature. Before, creation was seen as the art of God; now, creation is dead and so is its Creator.

H/T: Rod Dreher: The Zen of conservatism

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