Topic of the issue: PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES
Issue editor: Stefan Penov and Lyudmil Petrov
CONTENTS & Abstracts &Keywords
Abstract: Philosophy and religion can synthesize a comprehensive worldview and penetrate into otherwise inaccessible areas of transcendent science. The task of science is to deal with natural revelations; that of religion, to deal with the supernatural and the religious cult. Philosophy explores both. Only in conjunction with philosophy, can religion answer the question: Why is there anything at all? What's the point of life? Only philosophy can indicate the place of man in the hierarchy of being. Religion needs the achievements of science and philosophy in order to create a holistic, mentally integrated, view of the world. Science is an endless path without final results. It deals only with external experience. It is divided into sectors and can not cover the world globally, and the scientist excludes him/herself as a subject from the cognitive process. A worldview is a personal position that can be shared by others, but another's worldview is never identical to mine. Worldview deals with questions like, “man, God and the world”; spirit, matter, soul and body; value assessments; a picture of the world; business and ethical positions – what to DO and what NOT to do; existentially significant personal values and ontological truths: What is the point of existence? What is the fate of the person and the world, is there a path for man after death? Ideology is a social, class, caste or group position based on the interests of group members. The philosophy of religion is reflected in religion as an object. Religious philosophy is an independent direction of study and develops complete systems in synchronicity or diachronicity with theology. The basic principle of the relationship between philosophy and theology, between religion and science is that the two represent correlative but different sets of non-conducible, inalienable nonformal elements, which include respective worldviews, logic, methods, languages, value systems. Thus, philosophy based on the principle of dialectical logic (the third as an ontologically preset truth and the epistemological peak in knowledge and thinking) is the substance-subject that is the truth of both, taking them to the level of its own elements, or is a common subject of two contradictory predicates.
Keywords: philosophy; logic; metaphysics; religion; theology; science; worldview; substance; subject; epistemology; dialectical logic.
Lyudmil Petrov – The Conception of „Logos” in the Philosophy of Martin Heidegger and Gregory Palamas
Abstract:: For Heidegger, the Logos is а „gathering together” of being from its disclosure in the existent, and as such, the concept always implies and enters into a connection with the existent. Within the framework of Palamite theology, the same can be said, with astonishing consistency, about man within the space of the ontotes, the living space revealed by God to the existent, inasmuch as in man, as in the existent, being flashes forth. Man receives it as a “grace” within himself, entering with his own being into a connection with God by grace (kata harin); man “gathers together” within himself, most really, God's being ad extra, and thus, by communicating with God, exercises "logic" in the Heideggerian sense. The trinitarian and oikonomian dimension by the Son (Logos) finds in man the same correspondence – through human being in the sense of Heidegger's Logos. The two (dia) indicate that the being gathered through the Son, and also through man, is included in the communication between the Creator and creation.
Keywords: Heidegger; Palamas; being; human being; Logos; logic; language; communication; communion; Divine essence and energies; grace; synergism.
Veselin Bosakov – Contextualizing the Attitude towards Islam in Bulgaria: A Look Back in Time
Abstract: History and customs in the Balkans and in our country have shown that the conflictive potential of imposed similarities is much greater than that of the mutually recognized and observed differences. In the cultural space of the Balkans, a peripheral region of at least three world empires over the centuries, the coexistence of different ethnic, religious and linguistic communities has gradually acquired the characteristics of a natural state of things. Here, the Muslim is not a stranger, yet the relationships between the majority and the minority are defined by the ideas of domination and power, respectively, resistance against power; these in turn create and perpetuate the conflictive potential of coexistence today. In Bulgaria, these notions refer to a specific amalgamation of ethnic, religious, cultural, and linguistic differences, upon which the image of modern Islam is projected. The perception of Islam here is essentially different from the respective European one, and even more so from the perception of this religion at world level. The attitude to Islam in Bulgaria can be defined as an integral indicator of the changed attitude to religion in general, as an important element of the post-totalitarian crisis, and as a field in which solutions to the crisis may be sought.
Keywords: transformation; tolerance; conflict; identity; otherness; toleration; prejudices; stereotypes.
Sevdelina Nikolova – Jung and Gnosticism: From a Red Thread to The Red Book
Abstract: Jung's attitude towards the Gnostics is complicated and useful more than that of any other author in the field of psychology and philosophy. His weakly critical approach to Gnosticism seems to have given to the depth psychologist's a wide space for creative communion with their work, communion without preliminary positions. And the precision of Jung's thought seems to correctly select that which helps a philosopher, as much as a psychiatrist, to reach new knowledge in his field without violating the basic laws of his science. The extent to which Gnosticism is immanent in Jung's theory of archetypes is a matter that will probably remain controversial, but his communion with the Gnostic texts and principles is in itself a very interesting and fruitful intellectual journey.
Keywords: Analytical Psychology; Gnosticism; archetypes; Christianity; God; transcendence; dogma.
Sergey Metodiev – The Question of Free Will and Free Conscience
Abstract: The text deals with freedom of will and conscience. A distinction is drawn between formal-actual will and, respectively, formal-actual conscience. It is shown that freedom without necessity in its content is arbitrary, and although the arbitrary seems at first glance to be free, it is in fact the opposite. Will is free when it is moral and based on law, not when it is full of the arbitrariness of the subject.
Keywords: morals; law; morality; formal; actual; understanding; reason. Tsvetelin Angelov – Philosophical Interpretations of Christianity
Abstract: The article includes several conceptual focuses: the personality of Jesus Christ as true God and Man; the differences between birth and creation in relation to Jesus Christ as the Son of God; the question of the possibility of Divine Kennosis in the person of Jesus Christ; the question of the HolyTrinity. These issues are interpreted in a philosophical context. The text discusses God as Absolute Transcendence, Infinity, Totality and Love. At the same time, the author strives to establish a correspondence with the concepts of conventional theology on these four points.
Keywords: God; man; God-man; ontology; Trinity; personality; Kenosis; Love; Absolute; Freedom; Transcendence; Subsistentia; Unity; Totality.
Abstract: The paper analyzes the view that religion is ambivalent in nature, that it has a double cultural existence, that the feelings connected with religious experience are correspondingly ambivalent, as maintained by classic, modern, and post-modern thinkers like F. Schleiermacher, I. Kant, the early Hegel, H. Bergson, S. Kierkegaard, P. Tillich, E. Fromm, etc. These authors have referred to two kinds of religion, each of which has a separate definition: traditional, authoritarian, communal on the one hand, and personal, exalted, mystical on the other.
Keywords: religion; ambivalent nature; religious experience; traditional religions; mystical religion.
Abstract: Quine's thesis regarding indeterminacy (linked to relativity) of translation passes into the thesis regarding the inscrutability of reference, developed within the framework of a philosophical project in which natural science is seen as the only form of empirical knowledge (naturalism). Following the tradition of analytic philosophy, Quine uses speculative (thought) experiments, such as that of the radical translator (a linguist interpreter in a foreign culture and lacking a mediator). If we accept Quine's approach and naturalism project, and his theses about reference and translation, we can check the extent to which his experiments and analyses have meaning and validity in linguistic anthropology and to what extent linguists themselves use and criticize them. Developed as a speculative experiment and debate regarding natural language, Quine's thesis makes sense in the framework of analytic philosophy, but, like other purely philosophical theses, is fictional and poorly referred to the empirical situations of translation in linguistic anthropology. I apply here some relevant conclusions regarding indeterminacy, which are drawn from my Philosophy of Relativity (Gerdjikov 2008).
Keywords: translation; Quine; indeterminacy; language; science; conceptual scheme; linguistics; anthropology; analytical philosophy.
Abstract: The article examines Radical Orthodoxy as a theological trend that goes back to the roots of Christianity in order to rethink them and use them to critique modern secularism, while presenting a clear program for radical Christianization in all spheres of human activity and in close connection with postmodernism.
Keywords: Radical Orthodoxy; participation; mediation; being as communion; being as a gift; ontology of the gift; ontology of peace; Modernity; secularism; nihilism; Postmodernity.
– Inequalities According to the Type of Work Contract among Young People of Bulgarian, Roma and Turkish Ethnic Origin
Abstract: The article analyses inequalities in the sphere of labour related to the types of work contract young people of different ethnic origins have at the start of their work career. The author uses data from a quantitative and qualitative survey. The article leans on the theoretical foundation set by John Goldthorpe and Richard Breen regarding the definition of inequalities in work contracts. The author analyses these according to the types of work contract of young people of different ethnic origin with basic, secondary and higher education and working in the sphere of healthcare and construction. The conclusion is that, given the same level of completed education, ethnic origin has a negative impact on the chances of finding a job. The author also concludes that young people with a completed basic education have smaller chances of finding a job under a permanent work contract. Young people of Roma ethnic origin are more likely to work without work contract in the grey economy. A better education level increases the chances of young people of Roma ethnic origin to find work, but the negative impact of ethnic origin remains. The assumption that there is a discriminatory attitude towards the Roma even in the cases when they have a higher education is confirmed in reference to Roma nurses who are offered contracts for volunteer work even though hospitals are short of nursing staff. High levels of education and the motivation to be fully engaged in labour help move ethnic barriers and contribute to the smooth crossing of those barriers by individual youths. In order to achieve a higher level of education, however, long years of effort and great motivation is required on the part of youths and their families.
Keywords: work contract; educational and ethnic inequalities.
Abstract: The article is drawn from the author's meeting with Andalusia and Cordoba, the city of scholars and philosophers. It is the birthplace of three great philosophers representing three different philosophical and worldview traditions: Seneca, Averroes, and Moses Maimonides. Thus, the city is presented as an important meeting point between different religious and cultures. The article seeks the points of intersection between the traditions embodied by the three philosophers, and raises the problem of philosophical topoi. The author's familiarity with a variety of sources makes the text a captivating and lively introduction to the cultural heritage of Cordoba and the lives and works of the three great philosophers born there.
Keywords: cultural writing; La Mesquita; Seneca; Averroes; Moses Maimonides; topos; social function of philosophy.