By Oswald Sobrino, J.D.; M.A. (Econ.); M.A. (Theo.); M.L. (Master of Latin), doctoral student, University of Florida.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Upturned Faces

In reading Ovid's Metamorphoses in a new translation by Stanley Lombardo, I came across these lines:


Still missing was a creature finer than these [animals],
With a greater mind, one who could rule the rest:
Man was born,  . . . .
And while other animals look
on all fours at the ground
He gave to humans an upturned face,
and told them to lift their eyes to the stars.


Ovid, Metamorphoses, Book 1, from "Origin of the World" (ll. 5-89), translated by Stanley Lombardo (bold added).




Contrary to some mistaken stereotypes, the Christian and Catholic view embraces the common spiritual instincts and intuitions found in other traditions, whether past or present. That is why European culture was able to bring together the best of the classical, pre-Christian Greco-Roman civilization with the Judeo-Christian tradition. The idea of the virtuous pagan was and still is relevant. 


Ovid speaks of some unknown "god" who fashioned the earth. Paul would not have hesitated to identify that unknown "god" with Adonai (see Acts 17:22-34).


New Domain Name

You can now reach this blog simply by typing in "oswaldsobrino.com." The old web address is also still valid.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

An Atheist Makes the Case for Weekly Church Attendance

Lonely
Lonely (Photo credit: GraphicReality)
Here is the Wall Street Journal link. The writer's sociological argument notes that Americans are too socially isolated today and have replaced stress-free fellowship with an obsession to display career success as a mark of self-worth. Talk about "justification by works."
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Friday, February 3, 2012

Why Study Classics?

Category:Ancient Greek buildings and structure...
Image via Wikipedia
By "classics" I am referring to the great works of Greek and Roman civilization and their original languages.  Here is my personal list:


1. Pleasure. Or Delight. We humans were made to learn and understand. Doing so is pleasurable and delightful. That delight is a sign that we were meant to do this and that there must be something here that will benefit us and others.


2. That delight comes from a wide range of areas of learning in classics: study of philosophy, of history, of literary style, of the rhetorical arts, of architecture and archaeology, of politics, of military affairs, of cultural attitudes toward family and morality. The list goes on and on.


3. From these studies, we gain maturity, insight, perspective, breadth of vision, all of which add up to prudence, judgment, and wisdom when that is what the person is seeking.


4. That greater judgment enables us to evaluate our present lives, our present circumstances, our present social and political arrangements. Thus, classical study can lead--when it finds the right soil in the mind and heart of the student--to personal and social reform and progress today.


The study of classics enables us to take a jaundiced view of all of those trying to exploit us with various schemes and demagoguery, with their possessions, or with their power. The whole pageantry of such schemes has already been observed and dissected in the classics, which thus give us a great antidote for gullibility.
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