Musical Metaphysics, Japanese Synthesis, and the Identity of the Church

Our first contribution this month is an article by Sebastian Moro on the metaphysics of music and harmony, as detailed in Plato’s Timaeus and studied by later philosophers, in the intersection between cosmology, mathematics and art theory.

The paradigmatic relation between the world, the World-Soul and numbers is such that what is seen in numbers and their musical properties is also seen in the structure of the world.

• We have next an article by Susan Tyler on the Japanese traditional synthesis of Shinto and Buddhist celestial beings and saints, considering also the relation between a given concrete landscape and paradise, with special attention to the famous Kasuga Temple in Nara.

It seems possible that Shinto was confirmed in a sort of archaic simplicity precisely in contrast to Buddhism. It was contrast and tension that interested people, not some mixing which deprived distinct matters of their identity.

Kasuga Mandala, 14th c. (detail)
 Kasuga Mandala, showing the Shinto deities below and their Buddhist counterparts above.

• Finally, we have a study by Hieromonk Elisha on the “Identity and Theological Ethos of the Eastern Churches”, exploring the foundations and contemporary implications of the basic unity and the historical coherence of the Eastern Churches.

Ecology is also an extension of the Eucharist and is directly connected to the very heart of our faith: the incarnation. Creation, too… has been impregnated with divinity through the life-giving incarnation of the Word.