Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Human Stupidity

Please, read this. I was falling out of my chair laughing. The best quote in the article: "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein - once again showing that the true genius is not simply a master of a very narrow field, but truly understands the world.

Monday, April 30, 2007

A Really, Really Bad Movie

Last night I saw a really, really bad movie. In fact one of the worst movies ever made. It was Rollerball. Seriously, it raised terrible to new heights and let me laugh, which I desparately needed this weekend. I can't possibly recommend it, but it is funny as all get out.

Back to blogging after a very long hiatus

I am back to blogging after a very long hiatus. I hope the thought that flit in and out of my brain mlike dragonflies will either provoke thought or amuse. Please let me know.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Finally, I'm back.

Wow, I haven't posted in 2 months. It was a crazy end to the semester which had me working on other sorts of writing.

My grades came in: 3.75 for the semester - not bad but not outstanding either. I'll have to do better. And I freely admit to having too much fun and not enough study.

Thoughts from the semester:

1. I need more discipline.
2. I need to write more precisely - not my thought, actually Fr. John Behr's instructions.
3. I need to spend more time both with original source material and with current scholarship.
4. I need more dicipline.

Also, I have an amazingly idylic life: I life and study with Orthodox Christians, I am able to attend church at least 12 times per week, I have wonderful friends with whom I do things like knit while they read Flannery O'Connor out loud. My life is amazing. I know I don't deserve this and am thankful that God has blessed me as he has.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Male and female created he them

Several weeks ago I read this on the Touchstone blog. I will excert the last paragraph since it is the one I am interested in dealing with.

Christianity is a patriarchal faith which teaches that the Image of God is
perfectly and completely expressed in a male human being--indeed, that maleness
is the very sign of sexual inclusiveness. If one believes that in, by, through,
and for Christ, none of whose characteristics, including his sex, are
superfluous to his being, everything was made, everything subsists, and
everything will be consummated, and understands the implications of this belief,
he will reject egalitarianism and its grammar.

I find this disturbing on several levels. The first is that I object to being told that as a woman I do not have the complete expression of humanity. However, from a larger theological perspective, this can lead to heresy in my opinion. According to Mr. Hutchens, "the male is the iconic principal, the "defining" member of the human race, in a way the woman, who is in this regard secondary and subordinate, cannot be." This makes me question the incarnation. How can Christ possess the fulness of humanity if the Theotokos did not possess this fulness? If this is the case, we arrive quite quickly at the heresy of Docetism.

Let me now express a caveat: apparently there are rumors spreading through the Orthodox world that St. Vlads is in favor of women's ordination. This is blatantly false. I have yet to meet any one of the faculty or staff who have expressed such ideas. I myself am not in favor of women’s ordination. On the other hand, I do think I am worthwhile, fully human, and could choose to do something with my seminary education other than marry someone entering the priesthood and spend the rest of my life baking prosphora. I am unclear why people insist that I must be a feminist for pursuing a theological education. I even had a professor from St. Tikhon's imply as much.

So...there's my rant for the week. Sorry for being so strident.

Imago Dei

Sorry for the lack of posting lately: midterms, papers, and attending the celebration of His Beatitude Metropolitan Herman's 40 anniversary of his ordination was keeping me quite busy. There are photos here. I assume it was a lovely service, but I couldn't see anything from the choir loft. However the choir sounded very nice. We did the Kalinikov Cherubic Hymn. It's amazing!

Tuesday, Fr. John Behr, my professor for Theological Anthropology, assigned us a 5-7 page paper on what it means to be in the image and likeness of God. I should of course mention that he has spent much of the last 5 weeks showing that whatever we previously thought on the topic is quite probably wrong. So, I'm unclear what this means; and further, if I knew I am unsure I could write it in 5-7 pages.

That said, I think what Fr. John has been emphasizing is that Christ is the image of God and we are in His image when we are in Christ. I'm thinking of relating this to baptism as a return to Eden. But my thought are unclear as yet. Anyone with valuable insight should feel free to comment.

Sunday, October 03, 2004


Please check out Fr. John Breck's article on the OCA website regarding medically assisted procreation. It is excellent and informative. Amazingly enough, the Europeans have gotten this one right.

Why I study theology

This weekend was Orthodox Education Day here at St. Vladimir's. This is, a huge, exhausting event for the students but I highly recommend for everyone else. Over the course of the day I got to meet a number of new people. Several of them were very interested by the fact that I am a woman and a seminarian. One person asked me if I was studying theology to revolutionize the church. I responded that I study theology so that I will be revolutionized by the church. The question surprised me, but I suppose that I should not be surprised - many feel that they have much to offer the church. All I know is that the church has within her all that I shall need. And yet I must offer to the church my self crucified.

Monday, September 27, 2004

Faith and politics

There have been interesting discussions going on in the orthodox blogosphere re. and article on the OCA website by Dr. Peter Bouteneff. The touchstone blog has had a comment and Fr. Jacobse had had a post regarding this. This morning I noticed that Grace did as well. I've commented on several of these, finding myself accused of "defending Dr. Bouteneff." I've decided to write a post of my own.
Dr. Bouteneff is my dogmatic theology professor. His teaching style tends to be very low key - he presents evidence from the fathers, the councils, scripture, etc but lets us synthesize it. He is very careful (and can be quite emphatic) about not letting us stray into heresy. He carefully guards the dogma of the church - the Trinity, the 2 natures of Christ, certain things re. the Theotokos, dogmas regarding the church as the hermeneutic community within which we can read and interpret the Scriptures, etc. Consequently, I am not surprised when his article has no clear directions at the end telling us how to vote. It is not his way. Further, I'm not sure he ought to be telling us how to vote.
My own take on the whole situation is as follows: Various posts in the Orthodox blogosphere seem to find this unacceptable. People are certain that Orthodox Christians ought to vote only one way - their way. And frankly, I don't think we can find a consistent witness in the fathers, scripture, or the liturgy that clarifies this issue.
For example, a never of Orthodox Christians who live in America approve of Mr. Bush's doctrine of pre-emption. A number of Orthodox Christians who live elsewhere do not. And since last I checked there were no essays by St. Basil the Great regarding pre-emptive military strategy - I think both sets of people are free to think as they choose without deviating from the principles of the church.
Our church does have things to say about several issues that do come into play during this election. It has things to say about our attitudes re. the poor, the sick, the imprisoned. (cf. Matt 25) And frankly I don't think the Republican party embodies the attitude our Savior instructed us to have. On the other hand, elements of the far left, and even the not so far left, have views on things like abortion and stem-cell research that I think are in direct contradiction to our church's teachings. I think Kerry is wrong on abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage. And I think Bush is wrong on economic policy, the environment, health care, and our energy policies.
Other general observations: Kerry is a terrible candidate, and I'm not sure I can vote for him. Neither am I pleased with Mr. Bush, and specifically with certain factions of his administration. And consequently I remain a confused and conflicted Orthodox Christian.
Thanks be to God that while we may passionately disagree with one another, we all receive the Holy Mysteries. None of us are cut off from Christ's Holy Church for our political beliefs. So I think what I am trying to say is that not only can people of goodwill disagree on these issues but Orthodox Christians can disagree on these issues while still remaining in the fullness of the faith.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


Yesterday, as I was preparing to go to confession, I was thinking about my greatest struggles. I t seems to me that many of them go back to one source: I want people to think well of me without actually doing the work to become that sort of person. I wish to appear righteous, smart, clever, amusing, thoughtful, etc. Unfortunately, actually being that person is hard. I am often in all actuality greedy, gluttonous, small minded, petty, judgmental, and shallow. I am blessed that God has seen fit to give me the sacrament of confession that I may begin the work of becoming more of His and less of mine. "For if God numbered our transgressions who could stand."