Thursday, April 19, 2007

"Whole nations now philosophise,

And do their own undoing now.--
Who's gained by all the sacrifice
Of Europe's revolutions? who?
The Protestant? The Liberal?
I do not think it -- not at all:
Rome and the Atheist have gained:
These two shall fight it out--these two;
Protestantism being retained
For base of operations sly
By Atheism."

--Melville, from _Clarel_


Joe S. said...


Is this from Herman Melville? Any idea what his personal religious beliefs were?


Karl said...

Melville was an agnostic. The poem is a long dialogue between people with various opinions, written after he traveled the Holy Land. I haven't read the whole thing, but apparently it ends without conclusion.

It's a good quote, though, isn't it?

Afraates said...

Hey Karl,

This is Juan Hernandez (your little buddy/wannabe apprentice from St. George).

I need some information the Byzantine philosophical trends after Palamas (including Gennadios Scholarios, the first Patriarch of Constantinople after the fall to the Ottoman Empire). I've read that Patriarch Scholarios was a great fan of Aquinas, and I was wondering if you knew what secular philosophy was circulating the region at the time. I read a little bit of "Byzantine Philosophy," the Intro of which gave me the idea that natural philosophy had begun taking priority over revelation toward the fall of the Empire.

Any ideas on whether this trend toward secular natural philosophy influenced Gennadios' theology?