I have recently suggested differentiation of the term “secularism” from the term “laicism”, so they can be applied to different phenomena. According to this suggestion, the term “secularism” would continue to denote indifference or opposition to the presence of religion in the public domain, whereas the term “laicism” would be used to denote emphasis of the laic role in ecclesiastic affairs. While Radovan Bigović has shown openness to this proposal, Darko Tanasković has expressed a certain distance. The reasons for his distance are the subject of this text.
Deemed most creditable for the doctrinal and ideological foundation of Christianity, Constantine the Great was sanctified and considered an almost apostolic figure. It is believed that Constantine decided to take Christian faith after seeing the Christ monogram in a dream and a vision just before the Battle of the Milvian bridge. By God’s grace he was told that if he accepted the sign of Christianity and marked the shields of his soldiers with it, he would be victorious. If at that period of time pagan beliefs prevailed in him, then we can observe how he gradually accepted Christian faith in the years to come. Constantine became a pragmatic and a rational believer who was formally baptized at the end of his life.
The relationship between image and passion is a privileged subject of Christian ascetic literature and Byzantine philosophy. This paper explores the consequences of such a relationship between image and passion on the issues of the film and the film image, from the perspective of the film theory, philosophy and the Christian theology, with an emphasis on the concepts of personality and communication.
A key issue for every man/woman is creation of their own identity. In determining a human being, his/her attitudes to faith, moral and culture as constants of their spiritual and cultural individualization are of crucial importance. A crisis of Christianity over the last centuries was reflected in the crisis of culture in the regions where Christianity was dominant, but consequently, worldwide, wherever it cast its influence. The historical “failure” of Christianity was not only a consequence of outwardly factors – Church missions in a world deeply rooted in a religiously-magical understanding of God, but also a product of inner weaknesses of Christians, of their divisions and the absence of an authentic understanding of the Christ’s person, of the liturgical life of the Church and therefore in everyday life of the faithful, especially among the Christians in the West. The lack of “critical mass” of those truly faithful among Orthodox Christians, which was not only evident at the time of the Communist regime but also in the period that preceded it, brought about the “crash of traditional values” and proved to be the main cause of the marginalization of the Christian lifestyle and culture. A need for constant rethinking of one’s identity is the key to understanding a Christian attitude to any social phenomena or culture. Since spiritual and social relations are governed by the rule that no one pours new wine into old wineskins, it implies that Christianity, being wine of eternity, adds flavor to all times and to all human endeavors to change their lifestyle, find a pristine cause of being and true values. In these days of globalization, we witness that the Christians from the West keep losing their own identity as they get lost in “the world trends”, while the Orthodox Christians remain isolated in their tradition and unwilling to show any flexibility to change. Modern Christianity lacks the faith and experience of the Early Church that used to be capable of turning the world crisis into its own triumph – a triumph of the entire world over weaknesses gnawing at it. Just as people often turn God’s good intentions into evil ones, whereas God turns their evil into good ones, authentic Christians also perceive every crisis as a challenge to perform greater good. This is truly the deepest meaning of the idea of κρίσις – testing, reasoning, and making critical decisions. Therefore, each crisis, seen from a Christian perspective, is not only a hint of the doom that is to befall the world submerged in sin, but also a chance for a change of that regression and for salvation from a spiritual abyss, leading to a new era of Divine Grace.
In this work we tend to give a theological reflection on the key parts of the movie The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology. Through his views on Christianity by Passions of Christ, Žižek favours a radical break out with the Old Testament’s anxious perception of God, which is dismissed by post metaphysical religion – a Christianity that concentrates on agape. On the other side, Kolakovski elevates the principle of loyalty in suffering and tends to emphasize that faith is in fact irrational. According to Kolakovski, God accomplishes his triumph showing himself different that he is. Žižek points that religious fanaticism begins as religious suspension of the ethical. Rowen Williams, on the other side, thinks that without God we easily adopt pervert freedom, which presents the essence of the diabolical. According to Žižek, modern capitalism has a sort of religious structure, which is powered by absolute demand: capital must circulate, multiply and progress. Graham Ward concentrates on the vision of a postmodern city that represents a place in which all desires are concentrated and may be realized. In fact, such a cosmopolitan city is no more a place in which to find heavenly direction, but a city without the church.
Masking as a phenomenon is not only anthropological since identical mimicries in nature point to a universal life principle which also confirms itself in the social, cultural and spiritual reality of humans. In addition to its own meaning, a mask gains another meaning in this reality, as an archetypal expression of human desire to achieve greater eminence in the known world but also to push the existing limits. Masking has become a manner for exploring the possibility of being someone else or someone different in the process of asserting one’s identity, where both a man and his shadow can be expressed. Reality of the virtual world proves that hiding behind a number or a password provides the necessary safety from aggression but also enables the masked aggressor to express their dark side, causing damage or harm to others.
The issue of impermanence of this worldly existence, not only in humans but shared by all sentient beings, had been, both as a theme and a motive, ubiquitously present in the medieval literature of both Serbia and Japan. Although very different by almost all formal literary criteria, both of them have in common an inherent inclination to the care of the metaphysical status of this world and all its creatures. A seriousness in their relation to the transcendental is the main trait by which their heritage differs from the literature of their respective countries today. That is the very reason why they can be treated in the same dialogical context. Contemporary conscience with its belief that nothing is left to say about the evanescence of the world, gave up this issue to be further dealt with only according to individual needs and randomly. But, both Serbian Christian and Japanese Buddhist medieval mind tended to put this problem right in the middle of almost every literary text. Far from only deploring the transient human fate, people are encouraged to foster everlasting memories of death, just to be able to get saved – either by returning to God, or in Japan, by being reborn in the Buddhist paradise of the Pure Land. Yet, there are some significant differences in the way impermanence is treated in these two traditions. This paper tries to elucidate how these differences were rooted in their respective literary and religious praxis.
In this paper, I present some remarks about an example of Christian anti-Semitism. It is about well known anti-Semitic attitudes that Zoran Kindjic supports in his paper with some scholarly pretensions. I use this example to illustrate one kind of unacceptable paternalistic discourse. Namely, I argue that when it comes to basic eschatological teachings of Abrahamic religions, even the mildest form of what I have previously defined as linguistic-expressive paternalism – what could also be called conversational paternalism – cannot be reasonably justified.