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Author Topic: Question About Saint Justin  (Read 1053 times) Average Rating: 0
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Justin Kissel
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« on: October 30, 2010, 07:04:07 AM »

According to the person(s) who wrote the Wikipedia article for St. Justin (Popovich), when he attended Oxford his doctoral thesis was rejected "due to its radical criticism of Western humanism, rationalism, Roman Catholicism, and anthropocentrism." Does anyone know the whole story? I very much doubt that St. Justin was "persecuted at Oxford" as the article says, but I'd like to know what did happen. Was his thesis really rejected because of the criticisms the article mentions, or was it because St. Justin didn't provide enough evidence for his claims, or for some other reason?
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2010, 11:31:44 AM »

Another biography that attests to this:

http://www.spc.rs/eng/abba_justin_dyptich_saints_orthodox_church

Because of forthcoming riots theologians were withdrawn to England.In England Justin studied theology at the Oxford and he supported himself and not by the scholarships of the English government.His critique of the Western world he presented in his doctoral thesis "Religion and Philosophy of Dostoevsky", which was not accepted.Without diploma he returned to Serbia in 1919.
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2010, 03:58:53 PM »

i suppose there is some irony here.  St. Justin attends a Western University and using all the tools that such a university offers--e.g. free inquiry, rationalism, lack of authoritarian, etc.--he produces a thesis which just shows how the western culture has become enslaved by such things (which are not necessarily bad) as to drive them away from God.  Probably better he didn't get that doctorate.  Fortunate, his glorified status didn't depend on it.
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2010, 04:44:02 PM »

But why was his thesis not accepted.

It seems that all the statements here are just being critical of the university without presenting any evidence.
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« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2010, 11:21:56 AM »

Consider the date of the rejection. This was well before criticism of Western civilization and philosophy became mainstream. Given that he was working in the humanities, I'm not at all surprised his thesis was rejected. Acceptance of a thesis relies not just on how well an argument is made, but whether people agree with the actual premise.
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« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2010, 11:33:34 AM »

But that is again just a criticism without evidence.

I could just as easily say that St Justin had ginger hair, and that his thesis was presented long before ginger hair was acceptable in academic circles.

Either we can find out accurately and authoritatively why his thesis was rejected, or we are only criticising the University because we admire St Justin? How many other theses were rejected in those years by other students? Did he ever write down why it was rejected?
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« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2010, 01:30:15 PM »

But that is again just a criticism without evidence.

I could just as easily say that St Justin had ginger hair, and that his thesis was presented long before ginger hair was acceptable in academic circles.

Either we can find out accurately and authoritatively why his thesis was rejected, or we are only criticising the University because we admire St Justin? How many other theses were rejected in those years by other students? Did he ever write down why it was rejected?

I think that you are being far too thin skinned here.  Nobody is criticising the University.  As I read it, they are simply stating the fact that his thesis was rejected.  From what I read, he faced far worse persecution in his own country than he ever did in England.
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« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2010, 01:33:03 PM »

I don't think I am being think skinned.

Posters here are saying that the university rejected his thesis because of its content. I merely asked that there be some evidence provided to show that this was the case and that he was persecuted in any sense by the university.

You are yourself using the language of persecution. I am only asking if it is appropriate.

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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2010, 02:33:10 AM »

Consider the date of the rejection. This was well before criticism of Western civilization and philosophy became mainstream. Given that he was working in the humanities, I'm not at all surprised his thesis was rejected. Acceptance of a thesis relies not just on how well an argument is made, but whether people agree with the actual premise.

Wouldn't that have been something that was ironed out before the actual thesis was written?
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« Reply #9 on: November 02, 2010, 07:39:57 AM »

Consider the date of the rejection. This was well before criticism of Western civilization and philosophy became mainstream. Given that he was working in the humanities, I'm not at all surprised his thesis was rejected. Acceptance of a thesis relies not just on how well an argument is made, but whether people agree with the actual premise.

Wouldn't that have been something that was ironed out before the actual thesis was written?

In the UK system, your adviser does not examine your dissertation. Your adviser helps you through the process, recommending bibliography, reading drafts, and offering suggestions for changes. Because of this help, the adviser is seen as lacking impartiality. Thus, two other academics read the finished manuscript, offer criticism, examine/ask the author to defend himself, and ultimately accept or reject the work as a substantial piece of scholarship (or not).

St. Justin's mentor, also an Oxford man, encouraged St. Justin to study in Oxford. Once Justin got there, however, he did not like what he saw. He refused bursaries or scholarships from the University, since he felt accepting money from a corrupt system would corrupt him. So it took him something like 10 or 12 years to write his dissertation, because he held down various jobs to support himself. He also refused to change the conclusions of his dissertation, despite his adviser's recommendations. Once it was rejected, he went to Athens, I believe, and received his doctorate there.

All that's according to various friends at Oxford, who heard it from Met. Kallistos, I believe.
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2012, 01:08:23 PM »

According to the person(s) who wrote the Wikipedia article for St. Justin (Popovich), when he attended Oxford his doctoral thesis was rejected "due to its radical criticism of Western humanism, rationalism, Roman Catholicism, and anthropocentrism." Does anyone know the whole story? I very much doubt that St. Justin was "persecuted at Oxford" as the article says, but I'd like to know what did happen. Was his thesis really rejected because of the criticisms the article mentions, or was it because St. Justin didn't provide enough evidence for his claims, or for some other reason?

I am assuming that the thesis was written in English and I wonder what happened to it?  Was it ever published?  Maybe as individual chapers in a church journal or was it translated into Serbian and then published?
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