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2014-06-13

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RELIGION STUDY
UDC 101
V.A. Ter-Arakelyants
Rostov Eparchy ROC.
Rostov-on-Don, Russia
redaction-el@mail.ru
“OCTAVIUS” MINICIUS FELIX AGAINST EPICURIST FRONTO
["ОКТАВИЙ" МИНУЦИЯ ФЕЛИКСА ПРОТИВ ЭПИКУРЕЙЦА ФРОНТОНА]
Christian and epicurean good cannot be comparable. Fronto criticizes namely Christianity and Christian themselves.
Fronto is not embarrassed by the choice of words. The most negative thing you can hear about faith and its media are pronounced by him. Apparently, Fronto’s opinion about Christianity is entirely composed of the most ridiculous rumors and
speculation. But even in this form there is a positive outlook on some religious views among Christians. Apology of Christianity by Minucius Felix, with all its creations depending on Cicero and Seneca, is original and strikes by originality of
views on Christianity.
Key words: Epicureanism, Christianity, pleasure, joy, apology, religion, mind, soul, freedom, freedom.
Minucius Felix the time of his dialogue can be attributed to 180-200 AD [1, p. 110]. The study
of this treatise has shown that it was created under the strong influence of the two most important literary sources of the first century - "On the Nature of the Gods" Cicero, predetermined not only its external form, but also a significant part of the content and a variety of works of Seneca.
Just as in Cicero argue among themselves about the nature of the gods three: Academician Cotta, Epicurean and Stoic Balbus Vella, on the stage of dialogue Minucius Felix has three faces: Pediment Caecilius with Epicurean position protects paganism and attacks against Christians; Octavius Christian lawyer, Mark - silently listened to the debate disputants, and finally as an arbitrator expresses
the sentence. In the dispute described by Minucius Felix, the first steps on the stage Pediment
(Caecilius) [2, p. 24]. He opens his speech purely epicurean doctrine of the unavailability of the human
mind with all knowledge about God, the complete inability to prevent any of God the Creator and Divine Providence to explain the world process. He argues that "all are of the original elements that existed in the depths of nature: what is there a creator God? All parts of the universe formed, arranged
one beside the other and settled on their accidental collision (all the same atoms - VT): what is the organizer of God here? Fire lit the stars; formed the sky from his agent, established the earth by gravity,
fluid drawn into the sea: what is religion, this fear of the Divine, it is superstition? Man and every animal is composed of an arbitrary connection elements and again destroyed without any Artist, without
stewards, without the Creator [7, p. 10].
Lightning fall in every place, indiscriminately striking temples and houses, kill evil men, not
sparing the pious and often in the same fire killed innocent and criminal; during World defect is often
next to virtue, and in all human affairs is doubtful, it is unknown wrong, but more likely than true [7,
p. 11]. Where is the divine providence [7, p. 10]? If the world is governed by the will of a deity, I never would Falaris and Dionysius would not have received the kingdom, Rutilius and Camilla would not
be punished links and Socrates forced to die of poison [2, p. 29]. Or the truth hidden in the darkness of
the unknown, or, what is most likely all controls without any laws fickle wayward case. Especially
worthy of indignation or sympathy to what some uneducated and ignorant, alien to the concept of the
most basic skills (meaning Christians - VT), dare to talk about the essence of things, of the Deity, as in
the course of several centuries, philosophers have debated [2 p. 30].
Further, out of the mouth should Gable criticism directly Christianity and Christians themselves. Pediment does not mince words. The most negative thing you can say about faith and its media
to pronounce them. Apparently, Gable opinion about Christianity entirely composed of the most ridic-
ulous rumors and speculation. But even in this form there is a positive outlook on some religious views
among Christians. Thus, referring to the Christian superstition, Pediment, in particular, says: "And
what kind of God they invent? They said that the God whom they can neither see nor other show, carefully monitors all manners of people, things, words, and even the secret imagination of every person,
everywhere and penetrates everywhere present: thus, they are constantly His restless, shameless curious; present at any business, he is in every place, and therefore, occupied the whole world, can not
embrace all its parts; fun part, he can not embrace the whole "[2, p. 36 (Sar.H)].
From the above passage clearly felt previously mentioned epicurean track and above all in the
idea of Providence, and the relation of God and the world. Continuing to develop their Epicurean
views on the nature of the gods, Pediment states: "Let it be so! But now most of them are experiencing
poverty, suffering from cold and hunger, burdened with heavy work. Where is this omnipresent and
omniscient God? Or he does not want, or can not help Christians; it means that he is weak and unfair ...
That Christians before the threat of executions and arrests: where is the God who has no means of living? "[2, p. 36 (Sar.H11)].
Pediment, likely was familiar with the Christians, or at least had the opportunity to watch them
even from afar. Indeed, a number of his message of Christianity evince it very acute observer and have
their historical value. Unwittingly, he is not silent about Christianity and good sides, although from his
pen, and these ideal traits of Christianity go extremely attractive and acquire a peculiar kind. "They is
kind to the poor ... you half-naked [2, p. 36 (Sar.VIII)]; and are not afraid of death ... but are afraid of
the future [2, p. 36 (Sar.VIII)]. "He is also known for universal love and brotherhood which all Christians scattered throughout the Empire, linked into a single family. "These people, - he writes - nourish
each other love, even without being familiar with each other, and they call each other brothers and sisters ... but in order to do the usual adultery incest" [2, p. 39 (Sar.IH)]. So, all perfect in humanity, according to the Epicurean Gable, Christians have distorted beyond recognition, acquiring new features
superstition, madness and debauchery. The end result for Gable is only one conclusion about Christianity, "must eradicate, destroy it" [2, p. 39 (Sar.IH)].
Of course, this kind of image of the new religion could not bring it to the attention of the negative and does not cause mass persecution themselves, accompanied by the shedding of the blood of the
set of her followers. To protect the innocent acts Christian apologist Octavius (Minucius Felix). Consider the arguments by which Octavius seeks to protect Christianity, opposing diatribe Gable. Logical
plan his apology is distributed according to the same points in what is rebuking Gable. At the beginning of Octavius as Pediment concerns the cosmological argument. And here we see the fundamental
difference that arises on the reason in Epicurean and Christian sense. So, if in the mouths of the heathen orator consideration of Creation and the fate of people entails not only the denial of any possibility of knowing the divine being, but the denial of all being Him as Creator, Artist and Providence,
then, in terms of the cosmological proof of God's existence, at Octavia everything is different. Pointing
out that a person has, by its very physical device is intended for knowledge of the Godhead, because he
is gifted with eyes fixed on the sky, the ability to speak and intelligence with which he knows God, his
feelings, to imitate him and contemplates the heavenly beauty, amazes his eyes [7, c.64]. "People who
think that the whole world is well-established not divine mind, and the composition of the known parts
are interconnected without any purpose, has no mind, no thought or even the eye" [7, c.81]. "Did not
see whether this is proportional to the Organization of the world that God is the artist?" [2, p. 42].
This conclusion is consistent and the Christian doctrine of God. Further, on the beginning of
things, Octavius, in the face of the best exponents of the ancient religious consciousness leads views of
philosophers. What indicates their full agreement with Christian teaching. After that, it goes directly to
the conviction of paganism, pointing to the natural, that is of human origin of the gods, characterizes
them and points to their importance in the Roman state. Along the way, Octavius expresses the Christian point of view in relation to the pagan divination and oracles [2, p. 42].
In further his apology, when asked about the disorganization of the world, Octavius considers it
necessary to uncover the cause. To do this, he intends to show the Christian doctrine of demons. Here,
"he develops a whole theory of demonology, having great importance in the religious outlook of Christians at that time" [2, p. 59]. To achieve this goal Octavius used several sources. The first of these was
the apocryphal book "Secrets of Enoch" [2, p. 59], where it is transferred to the history of the highest
angels, fallen from heaven, out of love for the human wives, combines with them and gave rise to giants, to teach people all vices. In the statement of Josephus, [2, p. 59] it passed to Christian writers,
and, in particular, Justin the Philosopher [2, c. 60] Athenagoras [2, p. 59], Tertullian, and others. The
most distinct expression it finds in Tertullian. "We Christians - he writes - asserts the existence of a
certain kind of spirits. Their name is not new; as Socrates and conferred with his demon; existence of
angels does not deny Plato himself. But the scripture can really learn the origin of them - both from the
angels, depraved own fault, there was even more perverse kind of demons, condemned by God with
the originator of them, called the prince "[2, p. 60].
According to the Christian apologist, all the religious and moral life of the Greco-Roman mankind has developed and evolved under the influence of demons. Quoting St. Justin the Philosopher, he
argues that: "Even in ancient times evil demons being open to people defiled women and young men,
suggesting people startling horror, so that those that are reasonably talked about them, being seized
with fear, called them gods and gave them something the very name of which each chose his demons
"[2, p. 61]. "Subjugate the whole of humanity and convincing him to plead for the gods, demons hold
him in fear and slavery through dreams and magic charm" [2, p. 62]. "They are the cause of all of
strife, misery, deception and vices in the history and life" [2, p. 62]. "Their main business for which
they actually sent into the world, is in anything else, as in doing evil" [2, p. 62]. "They show people the
order and arrangement of the stars. Most distribution of the zodiac is the work of demons ... They
awarded honors celestial animals ... - placed in the sky, and to convince people that life on earth, alien
mind, agrees with reason ... "[2, p. 63]. "They - the demons - planted between people of murder, war,
immorality, debauchery" [2, p. 63]; "Bad laws also owe them their origin" [2, p. 63]. "At the instigation of Socrates was sentenced to death [2, p.63]. Christ crucified "[2, p. 63]. Under the influence of
demons all, I try to live in harmony with the Logos, and depart from evil, were hated.
A surprising fact noted apologist for Christianity, is that the most direct way to his well-being
and success of the philosophy of Epicurus obliged demons. "What good, like Socrates and others like
him, are persecuted and in bonds, and Sardanapalus, Epicurus and similar thrive in abundance and glory, all this takes place by the action of demons" [2, p. 63]. "Through the demons come illness, and they
can also return a person's health by destroying disease that they themselves have made" [2, p. 64]. For
all that, the most hated people for them are Christians.
It follows that such a world there was only one theory, but one of the most significant religious
circumstances of the life of Christians at the time. In his polemic Minucius Felix gets in the way of
general Christian demonological worldview. "There is a false unclean spirits with heavenly purity in
the mire of earthly passions. Having lost the purity of his nature, was defiled vices themselves already
dead, they are to comfort himself in misery do not cease to destroy others, and being alienated from
God, amplified remove all of God among people entering false religion "[2, p. 64]. In short, "they hid
people from heaven to earth, from God - to the substance ..." [2, p. 64]. "They are the same in these
demons, and the latter is the source of the persecution raised pagan society and the power of the Christians, and all those rumors and fables, loose in the Greco-Roman society about the religion of Christians and their liturgical assembly" [2, p. 65].
This is followed by an amazing strength apology for Christianity in one degree or another returns to criticism Epicurean views Gable. So, on his claim that God does not know human actions and
occupied the whole world, can not embrace its parts and pay attention to the whole [2, p. 69], Octavius
retorts: "How can God is far from a man when he, being everywhere, not only close to the person, but
also infused into it [2, p. 69]? Sun, approved in the sky pours its rays on all sides, everywhere present,
around makes itself felt, and never changes his lordship [2, p. 69]. How much more God, the Creator
of all and Vsevidets, from whom nothing can be secret is in our thoughts toward that are like darkness?
"[2, p. 69].
Arguing about Epicurean opinions about eternity and indestructibility of the world, as well as
the mortality of the soul, Octavius writes: "The Christian doctrine of the destruction of the world by
fire and the continuation of life after death is not any news, an unknown ancient philosophy. The Stoics have always argued that this whole world, deprived of water, destroyed by fire [2, p. 70]. It is clear
that the Greek philosophers reasoned as Christians. For example, Pythagoras, and in particular, Plato they gave educated people Greco-Roman world the doctrine of the continuation of life after death, but
not in full, and the damaged state. Their confusion was the fact that, in their opinion, some souls to destroy the body continue to exist forever, and go into other new body - the body of livestock and poultry, animals. But with all these disadvantages, it is important that the Greek philosophers and on this
point were taught according to the Christians. "And really, who is so stupid and pointless, to dare to
say that God originally created man, he could not then re-create it? Not difficult at first being whether
to give than to return it? Yes, and not the whole nature inspires thoughts of the future resurrection?
The sun goes down and reappears; Stars are hidden and returned again, the seeds do not revive before
not rot "[2, p. 70].
Here, directly touching the Epicurean doctrine of death, Octavius says: "But death? It conceals
something mysterious ... (People) is not so much convinced that annihilated after death, how many
wish to do so, as they like to be destroyed than to rise to torment "[2, p. 70]. Reproach Gable on the
poverty of Christians Octavius writes: "It is not a disgrace to them, and the glory. - How could it be the
poor who do not have a lack, not eager to another [2, p. 70]? Nobody can be as poor as he was born.
Birds live without any inheritance from parents, and every day brings them food "[2, p. 64]. Epicurean
Christians on charges that they are "depressed by worries and anxiety, even shun the pleasures of decent, do not participate in public feasts, the sacred sacrificial evident disdain and wine" [2, p. 70],
Octavius said: "If people feel the shortcomings of the body and their suffering, it is not a punishment,
but the affiliation of human warfare" [2, p.71]. "Courage is strengthened infirmities, and misfortune is
often a school of virtue" [2, p. 71]. You can not think, therefore, that God was not strong to help Christians or leave them: "He puts each test looks at his moral position and watching until the last breath.
Thus, people are experiencing misfortune, like gold fire "[2, p. 71].
Ends his apologia Octavius, Minucius anthem of Christian wisdom, showing the futility of pagan philosophy, he claims that only Christians opened it "which sought to strengthen all philosophers
and could not find" [2, p.73]. Only among Christians, and in the face of the ancient world was made
possible knowledge of the true God. What else they no longer want? "We will use our blessings - he
exclaims at the end of his speech - we follow the rule of truth; so stop superstition, but ashamed wickedness, but triumphant true religion! "[2, p. 71.
Apology of Christianity, made Minucius Felix, with all its creations depending on Cicero and
Seneca, still original and striking originality views on Christianity. I must admit that dogmatic element
in it is completely absent, no quotations from the Gospel does not occur, and about Christ, he speaks
only in passing. According to AA Spassky, "it is a moral and philosophical religion based on the Stoic
system at its best representatives" [2, p. 74]. Theoretical contrast between Christianity and Hellenism
almost disappears. All outstanding philosophers of antiquity, who taught the beginning of things, God
and the universe, expressed the same views, which preaches Christianity. This view was expressed in
the famous Minucius his formula: "Either the current Christians - philosophers or philosophers were
Christians" [2, p. 74]. And even more so, Minucius Felix wrote that the Greek philosophers have long
come to monotheism, the worship of one God, the Creator. Oddly enough, in the "monotheists and
Christians before Christ" is turned on and Epicurus "placed above all" common nature, in the company
of Democritus and Aristotle was among those who "were already Christians," since, according to the
apologists, they under different names and pointed to the one God [2, p. 73].
References
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