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HISTORY of Christian Theology

Greece

Judaism gave birth to Christianity in a Greco-Roman world where Christianity’s Jewish roots merged with the Roman imperial culture and Greek philosophical ideas to mold Christianity into the institution it became in the early Church and through the Middle-Ages. Some of this Greco-Roman influence can be seen in the following ways:
  • Plato’s philosophy greatly influenced the early Christian debate regarding the nature of God,
  • Aristotle’s philosophy was the basis for much of the scholastic movement in the Church during the late Middle-Ages,
  • Pilgrimages to Greek oracles paved the way to monasticism, and
  • The Roman magisterial structure influenced the Church organization.

You may recall the comical father of the bride in the movie “Big Fat Greek Wedding” who proudly proclaimed that everything of value in the world today came from Greece. Considering the substance and volume of advancements realized in ancient Greece, this assertion is not far from the truth. His attitude regarding the unmatched significance of Greece was shared by many of the ancient Greeks. Alexander the Great certainly believed that Hellenistic culture was the gods’ gift to humanity, which he had a duty to export throughout the world. Let’s take a glimpse at the Greco-Roman world and see if we can spot various ways it impacts Christian theology and influences society today.

greek origins of mathematicsThe emergence of individual rights and democracy in the Western World is traced back to Sixth Century B.C. Athens. The Greeks developed many of the basic rules of mathematics, particularly for geometry. The Pythagorean theorem is the bane of students to this day. These mathematical discoveries advanced the arts and architecture which continue to influence the modern world. The Greek physician, Hippocrates, is considered the “father of medicine.” Indeed, many of the advancements of science in the modern era that we view as original and monumental are simply reiterations and refinements of ancient Greek scientific ideas. Most people today will be surprised to learn that long before Copernicus declared that the earth rotated around the sun, Gregor Mendel experimented with the genetics of pea plants, and Charles Darwin wrote On the Origin of Species, ancient Greeks were teaching the essence of the ideas these modern scientists “discovered.”1

This unbroken chain of Hellenistic influence stretches from ancient Greece to the Roman Empire, the Muslim golden age, medieval Christendom, the Renaissance, and modern science. When Rome conquered Greece, Romans adopted much of the Greek culture. ancient greek vaseIndeed, Horace wrote, “Captive Greece took captive her uncivilized conqueror and instilled her arts in rustic Latium.” Greek culture is the foundation of Western culture, and its philosophy greatly influenced Christian thought and dogmas. Above all of these great accomplishments, the greatest Greek influence on the world was classical Greek philosophy with its emphasis on the role of reason.

Socrates

Socrates (470–399 B.C.) is the most famous philosopher for a reason. Philosophers before him were mainly concerned with explaining physical phenomena and less concerned with the inner man. Socrates is credited with being the father of philosophy because he taught that the individual must begin by first examining himself. One needs to “Know thyself” in order to examine the world. Even then, he exclaimed, “One thing I know, and that is that I know nothing.” The basis of his approach to reason was to doubt everything, be inquisitive, and to ask questions. He taught by asking questions, a practice utilized in law schools to this day. The Socratic method insists on defining terms before any debate, logical thinking and accurate analysis. He believed in one God, but endeavored to create a moral system independent of religion that was reasonable for all to follow, regardless of their religious understanding. He gave birth to philosophy that was concerned with the morality of humans and society and not simply based on our interaction with the material world.

However, many of his contemporaries were upset with his corrupting influence on the youth of his day. He wandered about with no visible means of support, entertaining the questions of wealthy youth who flocked to him. He undermined their faith in the gods of Olympus and the established order of their civilization. He distrusted democracy for its tendency to dumb down society and reward mediocrity. When an aristocratic minority’s revolution failed, Socrates’ fate was set. Even though he was personally quite pacific, he was still the intellectual source of the rebellion. Given a chance to recant or escape by bribery, he refused. He stated that he had to remain true to the inner voice that directed his thoughts and actions. So hemlock became his last meal while several faithful followers endeavored to save him. One of those followers was Plato (428–348 B.C.), the Greek philosopher who would have a huge influence on formative early Christian concepts. Upon reading Plato’s apology for Socrates, one of my astonished teenage sons remarked, “I didn’t know ancient philosophers believed in following the voice of the Spirit, like they teach in Church?” Socrates’ dedication to truth still influences youth today.

Greek Philosophy

Plato

After Socrates’ death, twenty-eight year-old Plato realized that Athens was no longer safe, so he left and traveled the world, continuing Socrates quest for truth. He visited Italy, Egypt, Judea, and India. He returned to Greece as a well traveled 40 year-old man. The first Christian philosopher, Justin Martyr (110–155 A.D.), insisted that Plato adopted many concepts from Judaism while developing his philosophy. Plato believed in one God, that humans come down to earth from a pre-mortal existence with God and will either go back up to heaven or down to hell when we die. The Christian concept of a person’s ultimate end being either in heaven above the earth or in hell below comes from Plato, which binary concept replaced Paul’s teachings of three heavens or degrees of glory.

Plato ascribes many of his teachings to Socrates, but eloquently elaborates on them. Plato believed in a duelist view of existence, a temporal world and a non-material world. This physical world was created by a transcendent eternal being, a master craftsman, who initiated time and fashioned this material universe in replica of a pre-existing eternal model. This eternal model is the essence of and more real than the physical substance we touch with our hands and see with our eyes. This eternal essence is the intellectual ideal of the material replica. The circle or triangle we see in our mind’s eye is more real than the one we draw on the chalkboard because the image we hold in our mind is flawless, not subject to distortion, and eternal while the image on the board is imperfect and will soon be erased. Plato called these eternal unvarying ideals forms. Think of forms as the intellectual property of a patented invention that is worth much more than the first physical prototype.

Universe
These non-material intelligible forms always existed in the mind of the eternal craftsman, and he used them to impose mathematical order on chaos to organize an orderly universe. The pre-cosmic universe consisted of eternal pre-existing substrata substance that moved in an erratic disorganized manner and produced only traces of the four fundamental elements, earth, air, water and fire that these substrata particles would eventually become. These quasi-particles acted as receptacles that the divine craftsman filled with these intelligible forms to create matter, and through a process, brought order to the universe. Plato refers to the universe as a living organism that possesses intelligence associated with these forms which he views as a sort of soul. Souls of individual humans consist of this same class of intelligence or soul as the universe, but at a lower level. Early Christians liked this concept and adapted it to a belief that God imbued matter with a portion of his grace and thereby was intimately involved in the affairs of this mortal world. This concept was referred to as realism due to the idea that these “spiritual” forms were more real than the physical realm, and this formed the basis for a strong belief in God’s providence that permeated Christendom throughout the Middle Ages, echoing even to this day.

Human intellect always existed and is the essence of being human.

Plato believed that intelligence is not a form or substance but a class of eternal essence all its own. Human intellect always existed and is the essence of being human. Plato endeavored to prove human pre-existence by pointing out that we all know things which we did not learn during this life, so we must be remembering things that we previously knew. He subscribed to Socrates’ description of himself as a midwife, helping others to give birth to ideas that were already inside them. Humans fall from heaven when they become imprisoned in their physical bodies and desire to return back where they belong. In this mortal state we are influenced by three primal forces: our intellect centered in our head, our emotions centered in our chest, and our appetites found in our gut and loins. These two mortal forces, appetites and passions, interfere with our intellect and throw our eternal essence out of balance, so it is imperative for man to learn how to use his intellect to control his appetites and passions.

Everything was created for a purpose, and fulfillment comes from realizing that objective. Happiness is the ultimate goal for humans. But this concept entails much more than what our modern conception of happiness implies. The Greeks did not believe it meant living a hedonistic lifestyle, but instead it meant true fulfillment, realizing our full potential, reaching our destiny. They used the term telos, from which the term theology is derived, to encapsulate this concept of the consummation of our ultimate purpose. Human happiness comes from realizing our divine destiny to return to our pre-mortal state of harmony and unity with intelligence. Evil is disharmony, so living an orderly life through reason is the goal for a truly successful life.

Plato introduced the idea of eternity–beyond time–to Greek philosophy.

Plato introduced the idea of eternity–beyond time–to Greek philosophy. This concept plays an important role in subsequent philosophy and Christian theology. Plato believed that various things are eternal while others are created. Created things change, deteriorate, and cease to exist. They are not eternal. However, God is eternal, and consequently is both perfect and unchangeable because one can’t change perfection. Plato held that this material world is good because it was created after a prefect model, but it has flaws that were created by other cooperating lesser gods in the creative process. Neo-Platonists took this concept even further to hold that this material world is not of divine origin but is evil. This concept greatly influenced early Christian Gnostics and even the Christian creeds. Renowned historian, Will Durant, wrote in his distinguished work, The Story of Philosophy: “Much of the politics of Catholicism was derived from Plato…the ideas of heaven, purgatory, and hell, in their medieval form, are traceable to the last book of the Republic; the cosmology of scholasticism comes largely from the Timaeus; the doctrine of realism (the objective reality of general ideas) was an interpretation of the doctrine of Ideas.” Plato’s influence on philosophy, Greco-Roman culture and Christian theology can hardly be overstated.

Aristotle

Aristotle (385–323 B.C.) was one of Plato’s star pupils and built his philosophy on much that Plato taught, but diverged from him in various ways. One of Aristotle’s greatest contributions was his creation of logic as a science. He developed formulas to test and correct ideas and propositions. He determined that correct thinking can be distilled down to universal rules like math and physics, and can then be taught to any normal person. His work became the foundation of medieval scholasticism, which we will discuss later. Based on his approach to logic, Aristotle finds Plato’s teaching that universal concepts are a reality to be nonsensical. He propounds a more tangible hands-on philosophy.

Ernest Renan states, “Socrates gave philosophy to mankind, and Aristotle gave it science.”i Aristotle was quite the naturalist. Beyond his own efforts, it is said that at any given time he would have 1000 students scouring the known world, collecting specimens of flora and fauna. He meticulously listed, analyzed and categorized each species in groups of ascending general attributes. Aristotle’s work remained the foundation of science until the Enlightenment, nearly two thousand years later.

Aristotle Zoology insectsAristotle Zoology birds

 
Everything is guided by an inner urge to become something greater than it is.

Many of Aristotle’s philosophical ideas spring from his biology. He concluded that development is not accidental or haphazard. Everything is guided by an inner urge to become something greater than it is. A bird’s egg internally is designed to produce the same type of bird and not a snake. It is not a divine craftsman that instills this purposeful existence in creation but nature itself, which each organism inherits from its parent. Unlike Plato, Aristotle believed that the form or essence of an item was contained in the object itself and was not some abstract idea. He concluded that the form or essence of an object is the characteristic of an object, and matter is what it is made of. So, the form of a chair consists of a seat with a base or legs and a back, but the matter it is made of is wood or some other type of matter. Thus, form and matter are unified to produce a material object without the direct aid of a hands-on transcendent causal agent. Aristotle’s concept of form and matter was integral in the development of the concept of transubstantiation of the bread and wine of the Eucharist, which we will discuss in depth later.

Aristotle found that even though nature internally contains its design, there still must be a god that initiated the process of movement to bring about creation. Matter may be eternal, but it still needed some force to set things in motion to create the universe. To Aristotle, this force is an eternal, perfect, immaterial, unchanging god. He is pure energy, more akin to a magnetic force than a person. Aristotle says that God is this “prime mover unmoved.” He is the first cause of all things, yet after setting everything in motion he does nothing because he is perfect and not affected by any outside stimuli. Will Durant describes it well: “Aristotle’s God never does anything; he has no desires, no will, no purpose; he is activity so pure that he never acts. He is absolutely perfect; therefore he cannot desire anything; therefore he does nothing. His only occupation is to contemplate the essence of things; and since he himself is the essence of all things, the form of all forms, his sole employment is the contemplation of himself.”ii   This concept was instrumental in the formation of the creeds declaring that God is without body, parts or passion.

“Aristotle’s God never does anything; he has no desires, no will, no purpose; he is activity so pure that he never acts. He is absolutely perfect; therefore he cannot desire anything; therefore he does nothing. His only occupation is to contemplate the essence of things; and since he himself is the essence of all things, the form of all forms, his sole employment is the contemplation of himself.”

In spite of all his contributions to the development of logic and science, he realized that the greatest question of all was what is the purpose of life? Like Plato, he concluded it was to find happiness through fulfillment of our eternal destiny. Aristotle taught that humans realize fulfillment by developing the unique human characteristic of a rational mind.

Aristotle taught that humans realize fulfillment by developing the unique human characteristic of a rational mind.

Our rational mind is eternal, while our physical body is temporal. Rational thinking leads to a life of moderation. He called this the golden mean or middle way between two extremes. We develop virtue by obtaining knowledge and experience to enable us to better live a life of moderation. Virtues are formed through our actions. They are habits, not simply single isolated acts. Humans realize their divine potential and find happiness through a concerted effort to learn wisdom by living a rational life of moderation. Aristotle’s teaching that we can acquire and develop virtues through practice greatly influenced medieval scholastic theology and Catholic practices that Protestants rejected.

Aristotle’s teaching that we can acquire and develop virtues through practice greatly influenced medieval scholastic theology and Catholic practices that Protestants rejected.

Alexander the Great

Alexander The GreatAlexander the Great’s father, Philip, united all of the various Greek states under his rule. He invited the most renowned thinker in Greece, Aristotle, to instruct Alexander when he was thirteen years old. Aristotle likely instilled in Alexander a vision of extending the blessings of classic Greek culture to the whole world. At a very young age Alexander conquered the Mediterranean world as far east as India and set about a concerted effort to assimilate each nation into Greek culture. His dream was to create a Pan-Hellenic world where there would no longer be Greeks and Barbarians. He encouraged his soldiers to intermarry and he established institutions like the gymnasium to infuse Greek culture into the conquered societies. He assimilated the religions of the conquered people by asserting that all of the gods were the same but they were simply called by different names in different cultures. Alexander established a great city bearing his name in Egypt on the mouth of the Nile that became a great center of learning. Here Platonist philosophers, especially the Stoics, promoted an allegorical interpretation of Classic Greek literature, which approach was then applied to Jewish and Christian scriptures. The dispute between the Alexandrian allegorical approach and the Antioch literal approach to interpreting scripture became a central issue in Christian doctrinal disputes that prompted and shaped the creeds. Greek became the universal language throughout the conquered world. With all this, Greece left its imprint on the Mediterranean world for nearly two thousand years. Library in Alexandria Egypt

The impact of Alexander the Great on Christianity is greater than most persons realize. Some scholars argue that he is the source of the myth of Jesus’ divinity, while some religious persons see in Alexander a type or precursor for Christ. Regardless, at a minimum, he provided a bridge between the monotheistic culture of the Jews and the quasi-polytheistic doctrine of Christianity (trinity) facilitating the conversion of Jews and Gentiles to Christianity. What am I referring to?

There are a number of parallels between Jesus and Alexander. They both died when they were 33 years old. They both claimed divine sonship and dual paternity (Heracles for Alexander) and as human beings with flesh and blood they broke the barrier between humanity and the divine. Virgin births are attributed to both and world rule were their destiny, yet they both died before they fully realized their missions to bless all humanity. The popular ancient myths surrounding Alexander certainly contributed to the acceptance of the Christian message, even if its influence was subliminal.

Reason, Oracles and Mystery Cults

Aristotle’s teaching that virtue is realized through an active life of moderation complemented Socrates’ teaching that virtue is obtained with knowledge and Plato’s quest for harmony, and formed the foundation of the Greco-Roman culture that valued reason practically more than anything else. Numerous philosophical schools developed over time, with varying degrees of acceptance. Three that had the greatest impact on Christian ideas and practices were the Stoics, Pythagoreans and the Epicureans. The Stoics were the most influential moral philosophers in the ancient world. They taught that a virtuous life was obtained through living a life of reason without passions. They viewed passions as a corrupting outside influence that moves people. Hence, the term motion is contained in the word emotion. The most wise and virtuous person has no passions. Many early Christians adopted this idea which contributed to the claim in the Christian creeds that God does not have any emotions, including love, compassion or anger. The Stoics were materialists and believed that God and our soul were literally made out of hot air and divine eternal light. Some early Christians concurred with the Stoics and believed that God did have a material existence, while subsequent theologians rejected this idea.

The Pythagorean and Epicurean philosophy schools formed organized communal centers where moral standards were taught and followers lived an acetic lifestyle. Ironically, these tight communities provided a rough model followed by Jewish separatist groups such as the Essenes (the group that wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls) and subsequently by monks and nuns in Christian monastic orders, which both sprang into existence in a large measure as a reaction to increased Hellenization of Judaism and subsequently of Christianity. The emphasize of these Greek schools on an ascetic lifestyle has had a major impact on Christian beliefs, doctrine and practices throughout the ages.

Female oraclesFemale oracles played a major role in Hellenist society and in the creation of monasticism in Christianity. An oracle was a person who acted as a medium who spoke on behalf of a god and was the source of wisdom and prophetic utterances. The word actually means “one who speaks.” The Oracle of Delphi was the most popular and influential oracle in ancient Greece, with hordes of people including wealthy citizens and rulers flocking to seek guidance from her and her assistants. Pilgrimages to various oracles were a regular aspect of the Hellenistic world. This tradition continued in Christendom with hermits, renowned monks and relics replacing the oracles as the source of wisdom and healing.

The ancient Greek mystery cults also influenced early Christianity, particularly the heresies associated with Gnosticism. A central element of these mystery schools was the secrecy associated with their initiation rites and ritual practice, and with the hidden knowledge associated with these rituals. In the 2nd century, Justin Martyr asserted that these cults were “demonic imitations” of the true faith and the covenant, rituals and doctrine that God gave to Moses, apparently referring to temple worship. Scholars assert that this elevation of mystery played a role in the development of the sacraments in Christianity, and its reliance on and ease of acceptance of mystery to explain the inconsistencies involving the trinity and the incarnation of Christ.

Greco-Roman Culture

religion was a public and political activity geared towards maintaining order in a civil society.

Greek and Roman society was not particularly religious in and of itself. Instead, they were primarily concerned with order and stability. Consequently, religious practice played a vital role in maintaining this order in what is referred to as the combined “city of gods and men.” As such, religion was a public and political activity geared towards maintaining order in a civil society. The Roman Empire was particularly friendly to the new religions of its conquered people and tried to assimilate these conquered societies into the orderly Roman culture by claiming that all of their gods were basically the same as the Roman gods but simply were called different names. However, no tolerance was given to any belief that appeared to promote subversive ideas. This is where Christianity got into trouble.

Athens Greece

This Hellenistic society was deeply stratified. A very small noble class owned great estates as absentee landlords. Depending on time and location slaves made up 25-50% of the population and provided much of the labor provided by technology today. Cities were large and crowded. Order was maintained in society through the practice of patronage. The wealthy noble class would distribute material benefits to their clients whom they felt were worthy in return for the honor these clients would bestow upon their patrons. Honor and shame were a major motivating factor of daily life. Greek theology mirrored this social structure. The gods grant blessings to humans who in turn owe honor to their patron gods. Consequently, Christian egalitarian teachings were initially considered a threat to stable Roman society. Later, the influence of this stratified world carried over into Christianity both in the social order of Church organization and also through the veneration of saints.

As Hellenism expanded, it lost some of its spark. Instead of the exceptionalism and citizen participation that initially inspired classic Greek culture, over time mediocrity reigned throughout the empire, eventually leading to it being conquered by Rome. The middle class and the conquered people began to lose their sense of purpose and standing. Chance and fate emerged as inescapable forces more powerful than the gods. Philosophy shifted to providing therapy instead of expounding theory. Philosophy became the source of instruction for virtuous living, and religious life receded to a realm of superstition and rituals.

Philosophy became the source of instruction for virtuous living, and religious life receded to a realm of superstition and rituals.

Greek arts and architectureThe Roman Empire consciously adopted this Greek culture. The Roman noble class utilized Greek tutors for their children in a concerted effort to more fully ingrain this Hellenistic influence in their lives. However, Romans valued the practical benefits of establishing and maintaining order more than the theoretical ideas of philosophy. This led to the pax romana, or the Roman Peace, one of the major contributions that Rome brought to the world. The heavy hand of Roman military rule eliminated bandits and pirates, thus facilitating peaceful travel and commerce. Rome created an extensive system of roads for military and commercial use and other infrastructure improvements which also facilitated travel and an increased standard of living among its subjects. This carrot and stick approach of providing temporal improvements along with the rule of law throughout the Empire created a level of stability and travel between vast areas on a scale unheard of throughout history.

At the time of Christ’s birth, many persons in the Mediterranean world had lost faith in the traditional pagan religion but still participated in its practice as part of their cultural duty. The influence of philosophy, which taught that there was one source of all creation, one deity, usurped the role of polytheistic religion, particularly among the more educated class, much like our society today places greater reliance on science as it becomes more secular. This void in the religious world would soon be filled by Christianity.

Jesus mosaic

loyalty to Rome was paramount and any hint of disloyalty was aggressively repressed,

All these factors set the stage for the rapid spread of Christianity. However, Rome was constantly engaged in struggles to protect its borders from invasion from without and to suppress rebellion from within. This constant effort to maintain order over this vast empire created an environment where loyalty to Rome was paramount and any hint of disloyalty was aggressively repressed, which would lead to the persecution of Christians whose first loyalty was to their God instead of the Emperor.

Judaism gave birth to Christianity in this Greco-Roman world where the influence of its Jewish religious roots mixed with the atmosphere of the temporal Roman world and Greek philosophical ideas to mold the Christian religion for centuries.

1 The historian Will Durant summarizes in his renowned book, The Story of Philosophy, some of concepts understood by Greek scientist several hundred years before Christ:
Thales (640–550 B.C.), the “Father of Philosophy,” was primarily an astronomer, who astonished the natives of Miletus by informing then that the sun and stars (which they were wont to worship as gods) were merely balls of fire. His pupil Anaximander (610–540 B.C.), the first Greek to make astronomical and geographical charts, believed that the universe had begun as an undifferentiated mass, from which all things had arisen by the separation of opposites; that astronomic history periodically repeated itself in the evolution and dissolution of an infinite number of worlds; that the earth was at rest in space by a balance of internal impulsions (like Buridan’s ass); that all our planet had once been fluid, but had been evaporated by the sun; that life had first been formed by the sea, but had been driven upon the land by the subsidence of the water; that of these stranded animals some had developed the capacity to breathe air, and had so become the progenitors of all later land life; that man could not from the beginning have been what he now was, for if man, on his first appearance, had been so helpless at birth, and had required so long an adolescence, as in these later days, he could not possibly have survived. Anaximenes, another Milesian (fl. 450 B.C.), described the primeval condition of things as a very rarefied mass, gradually condensing into wind, cloud, water, earth, and stone; the three forms of matter- gas, liquid, and solid-were progressive stages of condensation; heat and cold were merely rarefaction and condensation; earthquakes were due to the solidification of an originally fluid earth; life and soul were one, an animating and expansive force present in everything everywhere. Anaxagoras (500–428 B.C.), teacher of Pericles, seems to have given a correct explanation of solar and lunar eclipses; he discovered the process of respiration in plants and fishes; and he explained man’s intelligence by the power of manipulation that came when the fore-limbs were freed from the tasks of locomotion. Slowly, in these men, knowledge grew into science.

       Heraclitus (530–470 B.C.), who left wealth and its cares to live a life of poverty and study in the shade of the temple porticoes at Ephesus, turned science from astronomy to earthlier concerns. All things forever flow and change, he said; even in the stillest matter there is unseen flux and movement. Cosmic history runs in repetitious cycles, each beginning and ending in fire (here is one source of the Stoic and Christian doctrine of last judgment and hell). “Through strife,” says Heraclitus, “all things arise and pass away…War is the father and king of all: some he has made gods, and some men; some slaves, and some free.” Where there is no strife there is decay: “the mixture which is not shaken decomposes.” In this flux of change and struggle and selection, only one thing is constant and that is law. “This order, the same for all things, no one of gods or men has made; but it always was, and is, and shall be.” Empedocles (fl. 445 B.C., in Sicily) developed to a further stage the idea of evolution. Organs arise not by design but by selection. Nature makes many trials and experiments with organisms, combining organs variously; where the combination meets environmental needs the organism survives and perpetuates its like; where the combination fails, the organism is weeded out; as time goes on organisms are more and more intricately and successfully adapted to their surroundings. Finally, in Leucippus (fl. 445 B.C.) and Democritus (460–360 B.C.), master and pupil in Thracian Abdera, we get the last stage of pre-Aristotelian science- materialistic, deterministic atomism. Everything,” said Leucippus, “is driven by necessity.” “In reality,” said Democritus, “there are only atoms and the void.” Perception is due to the expulsion of atoms from the object upon the sense organ. There is or have been or will be an infinite number of worlds; at every moment planets are colliding and dying, and new worlds are rising out of chaos by the selective aggregation of atoms of similar size and shape. There is no design; the universe is a machine.

i Ernest Renan, Life of Jesus, London, Watts & Co., 1861, Ch. 28.
ii Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1961, pg 57.

IMAGES:

Panorama of Mykonos, Greece

Ancient Greek vase

Engraving of Greek Playwright Aeschylus by Gijsbert Van Veen, 1683.

Depiction of Alexander the Greatembossed in bronze.

Library of Alexandria by the German artist O. Von Corven. National Library, Alexandria, Egypt.

Acropolis in Athens, Greece, 448 B.C.

Caryatid Porch of the Erechtheion ancient temple in Athens, Greece, 421–407 B.C.

Mosaic of Christ Pantocrator for Humanity on Judgment Day Hagia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey, A.D. 1261.

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