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Author Topic: What do you have to say of this  (Read 1759 times) Average Rating: 0
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Azul
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« on: October 09, 2012, 05:55:37 PM »

"A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire. Our forefathers and doctors have often said not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated to them."
quoted by C. F. Volney, The Ruins (Boston, 1872) p. 177)

It is attributed to St Gregory of Nazians
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« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2012, 06:09:20 PM »

this has nothing to do with orthodox doctrine the way i understand it.
we pray with the mind and also with the spirit.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2012, 06:11:42 PM »

Where does St. Gregory say this?
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LizaSymonenko
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« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2012, 06:21:06 PM »


To a degree, it makes perfect sense.

Just like when you speak to your children...you tell them about the birds and the bees - so they are aware of them...but, you don't go in to graphic detail...because that might lead to more trouble than had you said nothing to them, at all.

To be honest, the general public doesn't really care about all the nuances, the canons, the dogmas, etc.  They want to hear about Christ and His teachings, and to them it is enough.  Don't confuse them with something they don't understand, unless it becomes necessary.

This is why we always say "ask your priest"....because it is our clergy who know "more" than we do...and when we need that additional explanation, we go to them.  It's not "hidden" from us, it's just not "pushed" upon us.

...for it is to those who are childlike that the Kingdom of the Heavens belongs... Matthew 19:14

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« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 06:56:06 PM »

I cannot modify it :|

St. Gregory, fourth century bishop of Nazianzus, writing to St. Jerome (Hieron. ad. Nep.):
"A little jargon is all that is necessary to impose on the people. The less they comprehend, the more they admire. Our forefathers and doctors have often said not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated to them."
quoted by C. F. Volney, The Ruins (Boston, 1872) p. 177
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 01:11:40 AM »

He said that they use jargon on purpose and made things apparently look as hard to conceive on purpose.. More it continues saying that many of the fathers said/wrote not what they believed but what they were constraint to write by various circumstances.
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 02:59:27 AM »

I've searched for this before and the best I can ascertain is that it is a fraudulent quote by Volney himself.
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2012, 12:28:10 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

He said that they use jargon on purpose and made things apparently look as hard to conceive on purpose.. More it continues saying that many of the fathers said/wrote not what they believed but what they were constraint to write by various circumstances.

That isn't how I read it, considering the spiritual approach of Orthodox theology and worship, I read that as the jargon is meant to move folks towards experiential worship and not intellectual thinking.  The jargon is hard to comprehend intellectually, so it forces an internal spiritual reflection on the substance of the matter. Think of the Mystery of the Holy Trinity, or the Mystery of the Incarnation/Union, these aren't easily understood matters, in fact, they are quite literally impossible to intellectualize, rather, when we meditate and pray about these symbols of our Faith in action, we tend to receive the Theophany of the Holy Spirit to explain the deeper meanings, again, in the experiential sense of worship, rather than the intellectual sense of comprehension.

Quote
he less they comprehend, the more they admire. Our forefathers and doctors have often said not what they thought, but what circumstances and necessity dictated to them.

I think that is what the father could have implied by admiring, in a spiritual sense, which is more moving than simply comprehending something in the mental sense.  Further, I think the circumstances which he is mentioning are the spiritual/emotional/psychological circumstances of each individual, not necessarily their intelligence or comprehension skills.

In other words, this isn't a text supporting brainwashing, it is the opposite, pointing out that the "jargon" of the Church is not a matter of intellectual prowess, but inward spiritual discovery.

To be sure, we'd have to read this in its full context.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 12:30:01 PM by HabteSelassie » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 12:48:30 PM »

I've searched for this before and the best I can ascertain is that it is a fraudulent quote by Volney himself.

I have read everything by St. Gregory Nazianzus translated into English (a long, months long read) and this does not seem familiar at all - neither in content nor style.
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2012, 01:19:30 PM »

Found part of it, but it seems bogus.

First off, he says it is St. Gregory of Nazianzus but then puts the attribution (Hieron. ad. Nep.). So it's really in a letter from St. Jerome to Nepotian. Even there, the only thing resembling the quote he gave is this: (source: http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/3001052.htm)

Quote
8. When teaching in church seek to call forth not plaudits but groans. Let the tears of your hearers be your glory. A presbyter's words ought to be seasoned by his reading of scripture. Be not a declaimer or a ranter, one who gabbles without rhyme or reason; but show yourself skilled in the deep things and versed in the mysteries of God. To mouth your words and by your quickness of utterance astonish the unlettered crowd is a mark of ignorance. Assurance often explains that of which it knows nothing; and when it has convinced others imposes on itself. My teacher, Gregory of Nazianzus, when I once asked him to explain Luke's phrase σάββατον δευτερόπρωτον, that is "the second-first Sabbath," playfully evaded my request saying: "I will tell you about it in church, and there, when all the people applaud me, you will be forced against your will to know what you do not know at all. For, if you alone remain silent, every one will put you down for a fool." There is nothing so easy as by sheer volubility to deceive a common crowd or an uneducated congregation: such most admire what they fail to understand. Hear Marcus Tullius, the subject of that noble eulogy: "You would have been the first of orators but for Demosthenes: he would have been the only one but for you." Hear what in his speech for Quintus Gallius he has to say about unskilled speakers and popular applause and then you will not be the sport of such illusions. "What I am telling you," said he, "is a recent experience of my own. One who has the name of a poet and a man of culture has written a book entitled Conversations of Poets and Philosophers. In this he represents Euripides as conversing with Menander and Socrates with Epicurus— men whose lives we know to be separated not by years but by centuries. Nevertheless he calls forth limitless applause and endless acclamations. For the theatre contains many who belong to the same school as he: like him they have never learned letters."

So, it is St. Jerome admonishing the priest Nepotian to do the exact opposite, speak plainly in homilies and not to win applause. It is still a fradulent quote. The second half does not appear in the cited letter at all.
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2012, 10:26:57 PM »

The author would have to define what "a little jargon" is.
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