Talk:Christian contemplation

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Merged article[edit]

The article was merged via discussion on Talk:Contemplative_prayer#Merge_with_Christian_contemplation. History2007 (talk) 13:14, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

Examples of religiously neutral articles on similar topics[edit]

Where can I find examples of religiously neutral articles on similar topics to help in revising this article?

Most specifically I'd like to include other perspectives on the same experiences, like rational / skeptic / neurologist / psychologist interpretations of these exact same phenomena.

Or at the very least a link to "further reading" on such perspectives. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2600:1010:B127:6A5D:C45C:B5F4:E434:4BFF (talk) 17:08, 5 November 2013 (UTC)

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Move & move & move & merge[edit]

Moved to Contemplative prayer[edit]

I've moved the content from Christian contemplation to Contemplative prayer, since that is the proper topic of that content. "Christian contemplation" can be used as a disambiguation page. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:04, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Move from Theoria (Eastern Orthodox Christianity)[edit]

I've moved the content from Theoria (Eastern Orthodox Christianity) to here; it's the same topic. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:29, 5 April 2017 (UTC)

Moved to Mystical theology[edit]

I've moved a substantial amount of information from Christian contemplation to Mystical theology. See Talk:Theoria (Eastern Orthodox Christianity) for the history of this information. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:05, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Merged from Contemplative prayer[edit]

To make things even more complicated, I've merged "Contemplative prayer" back into Christian contemplation, to which I've also moved the content from Theoria (Eastern Orthodox Christianity). And that content was first at Theoria, which I had moved to Theoria (Eastern Orthodox Christianity). 'That's all, folks'... (sorry for the complicated merge & move history). Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:50, 7 April 2017 (UTC)

Objections[edit]

I must state for the record that I think you did a very poor job on this article. I disagree with how this article was taken over for someone who appears to have maybe a surface and very Western Eurocentric POV and an atheist one. LoveMonkey (talk) 17:42, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Can you provide a set of valid sources that state the very obvious thing you did in this article which is to say that all Christian contemplation is one big giant same thing? This article appears to be original research and appears to be your (Joshua Jonathan) opinion. LoveMonkey (talk) 17:59, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
@LoveMonkey: your comment "someone who appears to have maybe a surface and very Western Eurocentric POV and an atheist one" comes close to a personal attack; my personal beliefs are not relevant for this article, nor are yours. As for your statement "the very obvious thing you did in this article which is to say that all Christian contemplation is one big giant same thing", please explain this and provide concrete examples. Otherwise, it's not clear to me what you're referring to. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 18:46, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Sources are. I ask again please provide sources for the edits that you have made. Starting with the merging of the Theoria Orthodox Theological concept article with this article which is making the theoria of Greek theology the same as all of the other content in the article. LoveMonkey (talk) 18:56, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Please be more clear. You seem to imply that theoria is not the same as Christian contemplation. Is that your point? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 18:57, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── So again provide your sources here on the talkpage. Here I will start here is an academic book published by an academic source which is peer reviewed. It does not treat this subject in the way that your edits have made this article treat the same subject. Stanley S. Haraka (1983), Toward Transfigured Life: The Theoria of Eastern Orthodox Ethics, Light and Life Publishing Co. LoveMonkey (talk) 18:59, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

Please stop demanding sources for a point which you haven't made clear yet. If you think that this source "does not treat this subject in the way that your edits have made this article treat the same subject," you'll have to make clear, with examples, how my "edits have made this article treat the same subject," how this source treats this topic, and where the differences are. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:04, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Be bold says I can ask for sources. Please provide sources to your edits. I think we should take this to the Original Research edit board on here. LoveMonkey (talk) 19:09, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
You're not very willing to explain your point, are you? Again: You seem to imply that theoria is not the same as Christian contemplation. Is that your point? If you want sources, then make clkear for what edits you want sources. Otherwise, it souns like WP:OWN. By the way: Light and Life Publishing Co. looks like a religious organisation; is that WP:RS? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:13, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Again provide me with academic sources that say that Eastern Orthodox Theoria is the same thing as Roman Catholic contemplation. Since your edits have removed any such distinction. I have just now provided you with a source that does not say that Eastern Orthodox theoria is the same thing as other and generic Christian contemplation. LoveMonkey (talk) 19:15, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
And now you are attacking Elizabeth R. Moberly of the Journal of Religion at University of Chicago and Stanley S. Harakas as not valid sources and that therefore means you don't have to provide sources? LoveMonkey (talk) 19:22, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
So, that is your point indeed. So, where does the article say that it is the same? And where specifically does your (non-WP:RS) say that it is not the same? NB: Theoria (Eastern Orthodox Christianity) also had a section on "Roman Catholic Church." Which, by the way, stated that "The soul has three states, or stages, of perfection: the purgative way (that of cleansing or purification, katharsis in Greek), the illuminative way (receiving divine light) and the unitive way (indwelling in God)." Is that different from the eastern Orthodox Churches? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:29, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
I am indeed saying that the way theoria and hesychasm are treated in the Eastern Orthodox Church is not at all the same as these subjects are treated and or seen as being the same in at least the Eastern Orthodox Community and say the Roman Catholic community: David Henderson (2013), Apophatic Elements in the Theory and Practice of Psychoanalysis: Pseudo-Dionysius and C.G. Jung, Routledge. Since you did these edits what do you know and or what sources are you using to inform your edits? LoveMonkey (talk) 19:35, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Thanks! That's a good quote, and a very interesting distinction. Allow me the time to let that sink in. Was that distinction also clearly made in Theoria (Eastern Orthodox Christianity)? It also said:

In the Roman Rite (sometimes called the Latin or Western) Catholic Church, terms derived from Latin contemplatio, such as the English word "contemplation", are generally used in languages that are largely derived from Latin, rather than the Greek term theoria. The equivalence of the Latin and Greek terms[88] was noted by John Cassian, whose writings influenced the whole of Western monasticism,[89] in his Conferences.[90] However, Catholic writers do sometimes use the Greek term.[91]

So, that section does say that the two terms are equivalent, doesn't it? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:20, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

NB: it also said, in "Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Eastern Catholic Churches":

According to the standard ascetic formulation of this process, there are three stages [of theosis]: katharsis or purification, theoria or illumination, and theosis or deification (also referred to as union with God).[43]

That is exactly the same as what was written in the section on Roman Catholicism, isn't it? So, that article said that theoria and contemplatio are equivalent terms; and it said that Eastern-Orthodox theosis, and western perfection of the soul, have the same three stages. So, if there are distinctions, they were already blurred, don't you think? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:27, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
NB2: which means that the quote from Frederic Nef, as quoted by David Henderson, is a relevant addition to the present section on "Christian contemplation." Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:33, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
NB3: I can't access page 16 of henderson; can you read it? What does it say? Why this note? Does it refer to theoria as used on Easter-Orthodox Churches and theosis, or does it refer to Greek philosophy? What's the context? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:37, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Wikipedia can not be used to source Wikipedia. I just posted above a source that says that contemplato is not theoria [1]. I can say from your comments you are very unfamiliar with the subject of Christian Contemplation but you are destroying and using broad generalizations while editing an article on it. Here is another source that states that theoria is to see the uncreated light and that is not and does not mean the same thing that Augustine meant [2] when he spoke of contemplato which is to conclude an abstract idea or concept. Again what are your sources what content have you read outside of Wiki itself that you are using to say things like theoria in the Eastern Orthodox church is the same as what the Roman Catholic church teaches is contemplative prayer. "Cant you see the obvious conclusion I am drawing" but actual sources that state that theoria in the Eastern Orthodox is the same thing as in all other Christianities. Cause my sourcesarent saying that [3] Also are you saying you have read the sources in this article including say V Lossky or John Romanides and you are saying that they are saying that all Christian contemplation is the same? I need to see what sources you are using as the ones I have provided are not saying that theoria to the Greek Orthodox church is the same thing as contemplative pray to the any other group. Let alone that is the same as the pagan philosophers of the past. LoveMonkey (talk) 21:28, 15 June 2017 (UTC)
Response by JJ:
  • When discussing the content of an article, we definitely refer to the content of the article. What else are we to discuss here at the talkpage? I'm referring to information that you probably added, that's still in the article, and that contradicts your pov. So, what are you objecting to, then?
  • I asked you if David Henderson is referring to Orthodox theoria, or to Greek philosophy theoria; you didn't answer that question.
  • Nicolas Laos is referring to the distinction between Aristotelian theoria and Orthodox theoria, not to a distinction between Augustine and Orthodox churches.
  • And again, where does the Wiki-article say something like "theoria to the Greek Orthodox church is the same thing as contemplative pray to the any other group"? You've still not provided concrete examples or quotes. It does state, though, loud and clear, that theosis and hesychasm, are estern practices.
I'm quite willing to discuss this article to improve this content, but as long you can't give concrte examples and quotes of what you're objecting against, we're only "discussing" what you state the article says, not what's actually there.
I'm off to bed now; have a nice evening. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 22:22, 15 June 2017 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I've copied info from Mystical theology to emphasize the difference between eastern and western practices/ideas. NB: the lead clearly states:

Christianity took up the use of both the Greek (theoria) and Latin (contemplatio, contemplation) terminology to describe various forms of prayer and the process of coming to know God. Eastern and Western traditions of Christianity grew apart as they incorporated the general notion of theoria into their respective teachings.

Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:40, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

I've also added some specifications diff diff as for which practice/terminology belongs to which church. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:56, 16 June 2017 (UTC)

Theoria is not a practice in Eastern Orthodoxy, theoria means to "see God" and not in your mind and or coming to some rationalization (via contemplating i.e. looking at stuff like the other "interpretations of it by other Christian churches or other religions"). Heyschasm is the ascetic "practice" and prayer that first completes in a person self control and then allows that person to free their mind of distraction and then allows that person to focus their entire existence (soul or nous (consciousness) is mind and heart) on God. Once they engage this lifestyle some are blessed (theosis) to have the mystical experience to see the uncreated light which is to see and experience the supernatural, to see or experience God. Theoria is that witness to term in Eastern Orthodoxy that means to see God. [4]
If you were read up on the subject you'd know that Augustine refused the mystical as Augustine clearly stated that he had never "seen God" and as the Eastern Orthodox keep saying that Augustine was teaching people how to swim and he himself had never swam.
"In contrast to this Augustinian approach to language and concepts concerning God, we have the Patristic position expressed by Saint Gregory the Theologian against the Eunomians. Plato had claimed that it is difficult to conceive of God but, to define Him in words is an impossibility. Saint Gregory disagrees with this and emphasizes that "it is impossible to express Him, and yet, more impossible to conceive Him. For that which may be conceived may perhaps be made clear by language, if not fairly well, at any rate imperfectly..."
The most important element in Patristic epistemology is that the partial knowability of the divine actions or energies, and the absolute and radical unknowability and incommunicability of the divine essence is not a result of the philosophical or theological speculation, as it is in Paul of Samosata, Arianism, and Nestorianism, but of the personal experience of revelation or participation in the uncreated glory of God by means of vision or theoria. Saint Gregory defines a theologian as one who has reached this theoria by means of purification and illumination, and not by means of dialectical speculation. Thus, the authority for Christian truth is not the written words of the Bible, which cannot in themselves either express God, but rather the individual apostle, prophet, or saint who is glorified in God." [5]
And thank you for the changes you have made. LoveMonkey (talk) 12:30, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Response by JJ:
  • Funny, this summary of theosis/theoria/practice/experience was also on my mind this afternoon.
  • The distinction between intellect/contemplatio/theoria and ratio/scientia makes perfect sense to me. It seems to me that an incredibily valuable practice c.q. way of life was lost in the west with the end of the medieaval times, and the turn from 'contemplatio' to 'scientia'. For me, it was astonishing to find this treasure in Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Have you ever studied Buddhism? I see some strong resemblances, and find it hearthening that Europe has not been a complete desert in this regard, but also has a living mystical tradition, though less known in western Europe. Some missionary work to do for the Orthodox Churches! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:12, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
PS: wasn't Augustine also the one who first created the predestination-doctrine? Quite a difference with this Eastern Orthodox way of religiosity! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:15, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
PS2: read Neo-Advaita for some western-European c.q. American discussions on "... if Symeon can have such a vision then why can't anyone (including non-Orthodox)? They also argue against the need for purification and illumination to take place before such a vision can be granted." It's also a recurrent theme in (Zen-)Buddhism: sudden illumination & liberation versus gradual parctice. As Maezumi Roshi wrote in The Hazy Moon of Enlightenment: "enlightenment" is the start of real practice, not the end. Besy regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:21, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Yes I have studied Buddhism and various forms of Hinduism and also Chinese folk religions and some Japanese folk religions. I have not mastered them nor see them as things to attack and I have a deep love of all whom seek after the good as Plato might say. I created the wiki bio of Eugene Webb due to having ecumenism and comparative religion conversations. As for Augustine he was first a follower of what today is called gnosticism (Manichaeism) so yes he introduced some of that into his theology. LoveMonkey (talk) 13:30, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
"if Symeon can have such a vision then why can't anyone (including non-Orthodox)? They also argue against the need for purification and illumination to take place before such a vision can be granted." Yes this is exactly why I have complained by putting this theology in a comparative religion article (and context) you are misrepresenting it and this is very hard for people who I have spoken with in the past and if they are fans of writers like Joseph John Campbell, Alan Watts, Colin Wilson and or people like Robert Graves and or Gerald Gardner it very hard to get them to understand this. But I can clarify.[6] LoveMonkey (talk) 13:55, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Please forgive me for this because I understand it might cause great confusion but you would only ask these questions if you see religions as rational pursuits and as such then Eastern Orthodoxy is not really a religion at all. [7] It is a simple way of praying it is not a system or Hesiod like system of prognostication for which to reduce the world to knowledge or information. I apologize if that is abit to abrupt. LoveMonkey (talk) 14:08, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
I fully understand your point here (at least, I think so). I'm not a fan of Perennialism and like-minded systems, though I do think there are 'universals' to mystical "experience." And no, I do not think that religion is about rational pursuits or "reduc[ing] the world to knowledge or information"; on the contrary. I think that mystical experience in and of itself. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:27, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Ah, John Romanides: "His theological works emphasize the empirical basis of theology called theoria or vision of God, (as opposed to intellectual-contemplative) as the essence of Orthodox theology. He identified hesychasm as the core of Christian practice and studied extensively the works of 14th-century Byzantine theologian St. Gregory Palamas." You're influenced by him, aren't you? I recognize the theme. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 19:49, 16 June 2017 (UTC)
Well that actually applies to and is documented in the Philokalia. Its not Romanides at all. That is a very Western and very wrong and uninformed thing for people to say. If people read the source material and theological works of that community (church) that above would even apply to other ethnic groups like Romanian Theologians like Dumitru Stăniloae and all the way to Christ as Christ fasted and prayed as Christ was an ascetic. LoveMonkey (talk) 15:31, 19 June 2017 (UTC)
Also it seems that people here don't follow ACTUAL Greek Philosophy as if they did they would know that even Christos Yannaras is saying the same things. LoveMonkey (talk) 15:34, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

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