Sunday, September 20, 2015

appropriation of Logos by Christianity

The classical Greek notion of Logos expresses a concept of cosmic order (with governing power) evident in persons that was broadly appealing in the pre-Common Era world (i.e., for the West: pre-Roman Empire). Way back, with Heraclitus, an element of the cosmic order in persons allowed persons to perceive the cosmic order. For the Stoics, this order was found immanent in all of reality, thus discernible by persons.

Thus, the conceptual innovation by the Gospel of John—that Jesus embodied Logos, and that is “God”—certified that the Greek notion was immanent as human reason, not merely pervasive to non-human reality: discernible by persons. This is pre-Christian in conception.

The theologization of that happens decades after the lives of Jesus and John. Defining Logos as the principle of “God” active in creation, ordering the cosmos, and revealing a divine plan of salvation was part of instituting a Christology of original sin that required yielding to the approving hierarchy of Church order for the sake of social validity.

Of course, this is a brief sense of much more that can be noted. (For non-subscribers to Britannica, here’s a PDF version, though it’s not as graphically clear; it enlarges well.)

The lineage from classical Greece to the Renaissance and scientific modernity essentially bypasses Christianity, though Europe was pervasively infused with Catholic institutions, and Catholicism was decisive for the creation of the university as form of life—and also, by the way, the creation of the corporate form of organization.

A hallmark of progressive modernity is the avoidance of—and emancipation from—hegemony of “Reason” (Logos bureaucratized, etc.), i.e., aptly called by Derrida “logocentrism.”

Authentic individuation of talent (child-centered parenting, student-centered educational excellence), openness about conceptuality (university ethos), and devotion to manifoldly advancing community altogether allows avoidance of need for emancipation, relative to progressive interests in Our evolving that are, so to speak, logogenic.