On Women, Cosmogony and Sacred Doctrine, with Two Lectures

• This week our selections include a lecture by Metropolitan Anthony Bloom “On the Creation of Women”, with many insights into the symbolism of marriage and the depths of love.

We are like a damaged icon; we are an image of God which has been badly damaged, but potentially can be brought back to perfection

A lecture by Professor Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “In the Beginning Was Consciousness”, with both original Harvard video and a transcript.

The environmental crisis has a religious, theological, spiritual basis, and is not just a result of bad engineering, as some people still think. It has a deeper root (…) it has everything to do with what we think of the world around us. What is this tree that I am looking at through the window? If it is just wood for my fireplace, or if the fox is just skin to put around my wife’s neck, or if this mountain is just the place from which to extract iron ore and make cars, that is a very different attitude than if I look upon these things as sharing my own reality, including consciousness.

An article with some “Reflections on the Relation Between Philosophy and Theology”, by Fr Gerald van Ackeren, S.J., elucidating the meaning of the expression Sacra Doctrina in the works of St Thomas Aquinas, with implications for the traditional notion of “metaphysics”, and the limits of “theology”.

Because sacred teaching is a science of the ultimate end, it is the only science which is at one and the same time speculative and practical. For not only all things to be known participate in this order of finality, but also all things to be done.

• We would like to bring to your attention two forthcoming lectures: one hosted by the Temenos Academy in London, Thursday 19th September, on the “Symbolism of the Plains Indian Sun Dance,” given by Chief James Trosper, from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming. For more details, click here to see the lecture flyer.

• The second lecture, hosted by the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme, Monday 28th October, will combine the screening of a new documentary on the Common Word interfaith initiative with a commentary and a round of questions and answers with Rowan Williams and Tim Winter (Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad). For more details, and to register, click here, or visit Cambridge University’s Festival of Ideas website.