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> Neagu Djuvara and his oppinions
Radub
Posted: January 30, 2011 10:01 am
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ January 30, 2011 09:31 am)
You're talking about the side-effects of development (lavish art, lavish architectural projects), but the heart of the issue is the cause of development. You look at what the Catholic Church did with the funds it had instead of looking at where the funds came from. Then you contrast the ample funds and consequently lavish projects of the C.C. with their absence in the case of the Orthodox Church and claim that the difference in religion is at the root of the difference in wealth.

No I am not. I never mentioned the size of the funds available or the source of the funds. In fact, I would like to take the Macchiavellian stance of "the end justifies the means". Trust me, it was worth it. I (and billions of others throughout history) appreciate art and in my book, money invested in art is never wasted. I am strictly talking about the "effect" of the Church on arts and science, human development in general. You call it a "side effect". Fine! OK! Whether, "side" or "man", it is an "effect" nevertheless. There is no comparable "effect" on arts and sciences, whether "side" or "main" "effect", that can be associated with Orthodoxy. As I already said (and I repeat again), the causes why there is a discrepancy between Catholicism's and Orthodoxy's influence on arts and development are many, but I am strictly talking about the "effect". I am not looking for blame, I am not looking for an explanation. I am merely stating a fact. The horse has bolted, there is no point in looking for who left the barn door open. ;)

The "effect" ("side" or "main", it matters little) is what Neagu Djuvara is talking about. He said that the "Orthodox Church" had no "effect" on the arts and science. I agree!

THAT is true, irrespective of the "cause" why that happened.

Radu
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udar
Posted: January 30, 2011 01:57 pm
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QUOTE (Radub @ January 30, 2011 08:33 am)
QUOTE (udar @ January 29, 2011 08:04 pm)
I didnt say they didnt had wars at all, just that not at a magnitude and as much as in eastern Europe,

one word: Napoleon ;)

Hmm, correct, but that was an exception, and not a prolonged one.

Let me add some more words and situations, WW II, a war of an unprecedend scale with half of the victims of the entire war in USSR. We had around as much as UK for ex, but as population we was maybe 3 times smaller.

Then it comes the comunism, and the purge of the 50's, another huge blow who didnt happen in the western Europe.

Material base (industrial, technological) was again more affected in east, and in west they had the "Marshall plan" too

This post has been edited by udar on January 30, 2011 02:13 pm
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udar
Posted: January 30, 2011 02:09 pm
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QUOTE (Radub @ January 30, 2011 09:10 am)
The Renaissance is directly and intrinsically connected with the Catholicism. Don't take my word for it, look it up.

Have you ever been to Florence? If so, you must know what I am talking about. If not, go there. I also recommend a visit to Museo Vaticani if you take a detour to Rome.

Take any painting (Madonna of the Rocks, The last Supper, Sistine Chapel), sculpture (David, Pieta, Moses), song (Te Deum, O Night Divine, Requiem, Carmina Burana), architecture (St. Peter's Basilica, Sagrada Familia), anything artistic and beautiful, and you will see a common thread... Church... Western Church. I would not be so quick to separate "church" from "human development" (as Chairman Mao thought).

However, all of these amazing artistic creations linked to the Church seem to happen preponderantly with the involvement of Western Rite churches. Michelangelo sculpted Pieta because of his involvement with the Catholic church. Show me one single comparable sculpture inspired by the Orthodox Church. The Versailles was built based on an architectural style used in the Catholic Church. Show me a single comparable palace inspired by the architectural style used by the Orthodox Church. Mozart wrote the Requiem in D minor for the Catholic mass. Show one single concert of similar beauty and richness of emotion written for the Orthodox mass.

There is an immense and overwhelming body of evidence to show that Western Rite churches, be they Catholic or Protestant, had a massive influence in the development of arts and science. There is little or no such involvement from the Orthodox Church. There may be many reasons why that happened (wars, economic situation, mentality of the flock, etc), but there is no denial that this is the truth. I don't usually agree with Neagu Djuvara, but on this one I am of the same mind. The Orthodox Church did little to enrich the Romanian culture. However, I do not seek to apportion blame. The church has no obligation to be involved in arts. The job of the church is to secure the immortality of the soul not to open art galleries. It just so happens that "the other churches" cared more for art. And THAT is the nub of his argument. It has nothing to do with reverence for any faith. It has everything to do with reality.

But as I said, do not take my word for any of the above. Look them up yourself.

Radu

Actualy you forget the Inquisition, the witch hunt, on both catholic and protestant countries. You forget the "dark ages" there, or the fact the many ancient romans stuff was forgot or forbiden in western catholic/protestant Europe, who in some features was more backwarded compared with ancient romans, and this for centuries, if not milenium.

The catholic church was more like an entrepenorial company, a multinational company having the pope as head and involved in all kind of material transactions, aquiring wealth, involving in politics at the highest levels etc. It can't be denied that at some point it supported the art, but you can't make abstraction of diferences betwen geopolitical situation in east and west, which have little to do with what church is more open to art or so.

Because of that, and not specificaly because of religion was a kind of rift betwen us, but after all orthodox medieval monasteries from north of Moldova are in UNESCO patrimony as well, even if resemble a diferent way of art, and even if was way much hard to do such as long as at every few years you have to burn your crops, hide your family and animals on forests in the mountains and go to war

This post has been edited by udar on January 30, 2011 02:15 pm
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Radub
Posted: January 30, 2011 03:06 pm
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QUOTE (udar @ January 30, 2011 02:09 pm)
Actualy you forget the

Udar, I am not looking for justification, I am not looking for blame. I am not talking about the "circumstances" in which the Church and Faith influenced art and human development. I am talking about the "outcome" of this influence. There is an obvious imbalance between East and West in this respect.
Radu
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Imperialist
Posted: January 30, 2011 05:56 pm
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QUOTE
I never mentioned the size of the funds available or the source of the funds.

I (and billions of others throughout history) appreciate art and in my book, money invested in art is never wasted. I am strictly talking about the "effect" of the Church on arts and science, human development in general. You call it a "side effect".


The effect of the Church on arts and architecture is one thing, development is another thing and the religion-development connection is yet another.

The Catholic Church's art and architecture projects were a product of development, not a source of development.
Those funds whose source and amount you choose to leave aside allowed the CC to finance its lavish art and architecture projects. The Church at that point was nothing but an institution who taxed/received and spent the proceeds.
The difference between what the CC, the Orthodox Church or the Islamic world built in arts and architecture represents a difference in cultural/religious background and a difference in the funds they had at their disposal. So looking at the impact of the Catholic Church on art and architecture says nothing about a religion-development connection.

I've left science apart because from what I know the Church did not encourage science as a policy. Scientific discoveries were the product of individual genius that often had to tread carefully in order to survive the Church's deterring onslaught.

QUOTE
The "effect" ("side" or "main", it matters little) is what Neagu Djuvara is talking about. He said that the "Orthodox Church" had no "effect" on the arts and science. I agree!


In the article posted/linked on this thread he says Orthodoxy (not Orthodox Church) prevented development.
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udar
Posted: January 30, 2011 05:59 pm
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QUOTE (Radub @ January 30, 2011 03:06 pm)
QUOTE (udar @ January 30, 2011 02:09 pm)
Actualy you forget the

Udar, I am not looking for justification, I am not looking for blame. I am not talking about the "circumstances" in which the Church and Faith influenced art and human development. I am talking about the "outcome" of this influence. There is an obvious imbalance between East and West in this respect.
Radu

The "outcome" have more things to do with other aspects then church influences, and geo-historical reasons, in my opinion, are the ones who produced most of that imbalance.

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Victor
Posted: January 30, 2011 06:11 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ January 27, 2011 08:37 pm)
Yes, Victor, I have!
It's rather a counter-argument: the Protestant doctrine encouraged the free initiative; also, the Catholic doctrine encouraged discipline and obedience; the Orthodox doctrine - at least what was "adopted (or applied) in our area didn't encourage progress...
Of course, things are definitely not simple and cannot be explained in a forum post... :D:D:D

Common, put forward some real arguments.

You say Protestantism was good because it encouraged free initiative, but Catholicism was good because it encouraged the exact opposite (discipline and obedience) ? It makes no sense. Your ultimate argument is that the Orthodox doctrine did not encourage progress, which is what you are saying the first place, when I asked you for arguments. You do understand that you cannot prove one statement using the same statement?

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MMM
Posted: January 30, 2011 06:50 pm
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QUOTE (Victor @ January 30, 2011 09:11 pm)
You do understand that you cannot prove one statement using the same statement?

:P
Circular
:P
Something like this?!
Anyway, the very nature of the Orthodox doctrine (tolerant, rather "mellow") did not (and does not) encourage competition, conflict, thus "succesuri"!
The first time I've heard this theory I was in college, at an informal discussion with a young (then) assistant. I wish I remembered more of his arguments, but among them was this one:
"the Orthodox Church / Doctrine was always about avoiding conflicts, and - as Marx said once - contradiction is the engine of progress" (I might not be very accurate, but this was the jist of the idea).
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Radub
Posted: January 30, 2011 07:00 pm
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QUOTE (Imperialist @ January 30, 2011 05:56 pm)
I've left science apart because from what I know the Church did not encourage science as a policy. Scientific discoveries were the product of individual genius that often had to tread carefully in order to survive the Church's deterring onslaught.


Not entirely true.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Roman...80%93scientists
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chris...kers_in_science
This "battle" between "Church" and "Science" is a modern concept invented by Creationists (mainly in the USA) who see science as something that disputes the teachings of the Bible.
It was the Inquisition that caused problems for scientits, rather than the Church itself. (Inquisition also caused problems for the Church itself)

Church and art were co-dependent, no denial of that. But, sadly, that does not apply to the Orthodoxy.

There are no comparable examples of art, architecture, music inspired by Orthodoxy that are on par with the art, architecture and music inspired by Catholicism/Protestantism. THAT is the nub of the issue and that is what Djuvara is talking about. Listing the reasons that justify the absence of such art inspired by Orthodoxy does nothing more than reveal/evidence such absence.

Radu



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Radub
Posted: January 30, 2011 07:17 pm
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QUOTE (udar @ January 30, 2011 05:59 pm)
The "outcome" have more things to do with other aspects then church influences, and geo-historical reasons, in my opinion, are the ones who produced most of that imbalance.

Oh yes, the good old "we fought the Turks while they built their cathedrals".
That is a fallacy! How many times did "we" actually fight the Turks? And for how long? A quick look in a school history book will reveal that apart for short sporadic outbursts, there were no prolonged battles and Wallachia and Moldova eventually setteled for a long period of time in which they paid their tribute and accepted whatever ruler the Sultan ordered. In comparison with the rest of Europe, "we" actually had a lot of peace.
"We" never had "Hussite wars", "Saxon wars", "Reconquistas", "one hundred year war", "thirty year wars", "crusades", "wars of the Roses".
The "West" had its fair share of invasions by Turks, Tatars, Mongols, Moors, Huns, Vikings. YEt they still found the time to build thousandsof cathedrals that still stand, paint and sculpt, write music, invent, discover, etc.
This theory of "peaceful West" taking advantage of the buffer offered by the "suffering East" is false and, frankly, born of igorance. The truth is that the Middle Ages were a crummy time for everyone, irrespective of who/where they were.
However, the West still managed to create an amazing legacy that is lacking in the East. You can actually trace it along faith lines (even in Romania). But that is a truth that few are willing to accept on the "poor side" of that line.
Radu
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Amicus_Plato
Posted: January 30, 2011 07:24 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ January 30, 2011 06:50 pm)
Anyway, the very nature of the Orthodox doctrine (tolerant, rather "mellow") did not (and does not) encourage competition, conflict, thus "succesuri"!
The first time I've heard this theory I was in college, at an informal discussion with a young (then) assistant. I wish I remembered more of his arguments, but among them was this one:
"the Orthodox Church / Doctrine was always about avoiding conflicts, and - as Marx said once - contradiction is the engine of progress" (I might not be very accurate, but this was the jist of the idea).

This is obviously not true, the doctrine of the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church is not at all tolerant, on the contrary. Obviously, in various historical situations the lack of effective power made the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church to act in a seemingly conciliatory way and to avoid struggles and even admonitions, but this is just tactics, any different manner of acting would have brought the worse for the Church. Look just how tolerant is now the Roman-Catholic Church, when she has lost any effective power, and has sunk in a deplorable state from her former glory.

This post has been edited by Amicus_Plato on January 30, 2011 07:26 pm
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MMM
Posted: January 30, 2011 07:30 pm
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QUOTE (Radub @ January 30, 2011 10:17 pm)
A quick look in a school history book

Nah! That would be the greatest mistake! The schoolbooks say part of the truth part of the time; one has to "read between the lines" to actually find out what happened!
I remember a well-respected professor in my college days (back in 1997, it's a "long time ago" by now... but his theories still stand, well after he retired) that had a theory about the "common political actions of the Romanian countries during the Middle Age". I mean, WTF?! Moldavia and Wallachia fought in so many wars and skirmishes against each other, rather than alongside. And Transylvania was many things but Romanian!
re: Turks / Cathedrals stuff, one who actually saw a cathedral and learned when it was built, could find out that our Romanian ancestors were hiding in the bushes / trees / mountains / pubs / whatever, long before even the Othomans begun their "trek" towards west!
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Victor
Posted: January 30, 2011 07:59 pm
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QUOTE (Radub @ January 29, 2011 11:30 am)
There may be the obvious connection that the Renaissance was possible because of the Catholic Church. Many Catholic monasteries were places of learning where all classic books were copied and studied, which eventually became schools and universities. All universities of Europe were sponsored by the Catholic Church (most of them have a religious name such as "Christ's College", "Saint Something", "Trinity College" etc). Many important scientists were members of the Church or trained by the Church. Newton narrowly missed ordination, Darwin was sent to college to become a parson, Buckland was a reverend and had a parish, and so on and so forth.
The first printed books were religious books. King James's Bible is widely hailed as (more or less) the origin of Modern English by making the same English text available to all persons speaking English, leading to uniformity - until then, the Bible was in Latin and not available to the common man.
There are a multitude of architectural styles (Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic) that were initiated by church architecture.
There is an immense amount of information to link "Church" (Western rites)with "Development".

The Orthodox Church does not have any such history.

Radu

Radu, you are not looking at the whole picture.

The Renaissance as we know it today is owed in a great part to Greeks that fled in front of the Ottomans. They brought with them knowledge, culture and works of the ancient world that would otherwise would not have been accessible to many Italians and would not have influenced the Renaissance as much as it did. The Empire, even it is dying years, was still superior cultural-wise to the Western world. I need not remind you that the Empire was Orthodox. Had it been Catholic in the Dark Ages, it would probably had banned secular schools and ancient Greek writings (it may come as a surprise to some, but when Charlemagne was signing with his finger, the average imperial clerk could read Plato). Luckily for us today, it wasn't.

You mentioned painting. Early Western paintings imitated Byzantine paintings before they developed their own style starting in the 14th century. The first mosaics in the Catholic West were created by Byzantine artists. You also said architecture. The "Romanesque" style is the result of Byzantine influence. There were plenty of buildings in Italy to serve as models, which were built by the Byzantines (Ravenna is an interesting city to visit for this). And the list could go on.

In conclusion, the favorite punching bag which is the Orthodox Church, allowed for a great civilization to evolve with it, while the Western world was sunk in the Dark Ages, ancient knowledge was locked up and education was the privilege of the clergy. If people were having this conversation in the year 1055, they would arrive at different conclusions regarding which religion favors development and which not.

There are so many clear factors that have influenced the development of nations that I don't think I can name them all at a glance:
1. geographical position
2. level of urbanization
3. population numbers
4. military culture
5. neighbors of a totally different culture (although related to 1.)
6. resources (also related to 1.)

If look at our case, Romania's case, the answer is clearly not related to religion in my opinion. The migratory invasions ended later in these parts of the world, then in the West and North. There has never been a strong tradition of urban life among Vlachs or their Thracian forefathers. Nor were Romanians a militaristic society. The great misfortune was to be bordered/occupied for most of our history by very different cultures from our own, all of which obviously favored the development of theirs over ours. There were sufficient numbers to survive as a people, but not sufficient to exert independence in face of much larger neighbors. Once independence was lost, the possibility to make full profit from the available resources was also lost, as the sovereign power usually exerted monopoly on the external trade.

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Amicus_Plato
Posted: January 30, 2011 08:13 pm
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QUOTE (Radub @ January 30, 2011 07:17 pm)
This theory of "peaceful West" taking advantage of the buffer offered by the "suffering East" is false and, frankly, born of igorance. The truth is that the Middle Ages were a crummy time for everyone, irrespective of who/where they were.


This is certainly true.

QUOTE
However, the West still managed to create an amazing legacy that is lacking in the East. You can actually trace it along faith lines (even in Romania). But that is a truth that few are willing to accept on the "poor side" of that line.


After the loss of the Byzantine power, the East lacked the Universities, the famous Schools and learning centers, which West had in those times, well-known for their academic freedom and fervent debates. The flight from Constantinople and other Byzantine areas of many Byzantine scholars, who brought with them Greek manuscripts and their knowledge, had a definite role in the emergence of Renaissance.

EDIT: My apologies for the repetition, I wrote the answer before knowing about Victor's post. Also the contact with the Muslim Arab Civilization, which had knowledge taken from the whole Middle East, played a very important role in the development of Western Civilization during the XII-XIIIth centuries.

This post has been edited by Amicus_Plato on January 30, 2011 08:39 pm
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Victor
Posted: January 30, 2011 08:18 pm
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QUOTE (MMM @ January 30, 2011 08:50 pm)
QUOTE (Victor @ January 30, 2011 09:11 pm)
You do understand that you cannot prove one statement using the same statement?

:P
Circular
:P
Something like this?!
Anyway, the very nature of the Orthodox doctrine (tolerant, rather "mellow") did not (and does not) encourage competition, conflict, thus "succesuri"!
The first time I've heard this theory I was in college, at an informal discussion with a young (then) assistant. I wish I remembered more of his arguments, but among them was this one:
"the Orthodox Church / Doctrine was always about avoiding conflicts, and - as Marx said once - contradiction is the engine of progress" (I might not be very accurate, but this was the jist of the idea).

So again, no actual argument. Btw, South America & Central America are Catholic (and mildly protestant lately), right? What good did that do to them? Doesn't make you think that just maybe there are more important factors to be taken into account than just religion?
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