Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Political Parties and the Church

By His Eminence Metropolitan Hierotheos
of Nafpaktos and Agiou Vlasiou

I think that the work and purpose of the Church is different from the work and purpose of the State and Parties. Parties are necessary in a democratic society, otherwise an oligarchy and dictatorship will prevail. Political and ideological divergence among Parties serves society, because in this way citizens can choose which Party expresses and represents their views before Parliament. The doctrine "words dispute with other words" is the characteristic feature of democracy, human society and all ideological systems. This is why there are various slogans at times, such as change, deliverance, cleansing, modernization, reform, etc., which circulate the objectives for the Parties purposes.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Christ the Artist

By St. Nikolai Velimirovich

An artist is one who, from crude and shapeless stone, carves and shapes forms similar to living creatures. An artist is one who weaves a multi-colored blanket from the wool of sheep. An artist is one who builds a magnificent palace out of earthly bricks. But what kind of artist on earth can be compared to Christ the Artist, who from illiterate men creates wise men, who from fishermen creates apostles, who from cowards creates heroes, who from the immoral creates saints?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Black People in Byzantine Society

By Apostolos Karpozilos

In Byzantine sources we do not find specific references to black people as a separate group that lived on the margins of Byzantine society due to their distinct color, their characteristics, their language or their culture. The sources, insofar as we know, do not seem to indicate the existence of a black people who were on the margins of society in urban centers or elsewhere, even during the period when the empire included areas of South Arabia and North Africa, with their mixed populations of nations and races.

Archbishop Iakovos and Martin Luther King Jr.

On March 26, 1965 Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America was featured with Martin Luther King Jr. on the cover of LIFE magazine. The New York Times reported, "The striking cover of Time magazine that showed Dr. King side by side with the black-garbed Archbishop Iakovos marked a new presence of Greek Americans and the Greek Orthodox church in American life."

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Historical Inaccuracies of the Movie "AGORA"

[On May 17, 2009 I wrote a short piece on the soon to be released movie Agora, which I had not seen and still have not seen. Back then I anticipated the film would not treat this sensitive historical period fairly, and from the review below it seems I was correct. You can read what I wrote and see a trailer for the movie here.]

[On July 23, 2010 I finally saw this movie at a local theater. Historical inaccuracies aside, of which there are more than historical truths, I thought the movie was nothing more or less than an atheistic propaganda piece that uses a dim historical event to promote an atheistic agenda. I was hoping to like it, but can't say I did. Rachel Weisz was pretty good though as Hypatia. The review below still stands as my favorite, though unfortunately it does not get into the atheistic arguments presented in the movie. For this, see the review here and here.] 

The Historical Inaccuracies of the Movie AGORA by Alejandro Amenabar

By Irene A. Artemi
(Athens University Graduate of Theology-Literature, Master in Philosophy-Theology of Athens University, Dr. of Theology of the Athens University)

The movie Agora is a study on the life of the Alexandrine philosopher Hypatia, during the turbulent era from the end of the 4th to the beginning of the 5th century A.D., in Alexandria of Egypt. To begin with, it should be noted that the director of the film, Alejandro Amenabar, is an atheist. By his own admission, he was born and raised in a Christian family, then became an agnostic and later on an atheist. This information is being highlighted, so that it will be comprehended why the movie - albeit seemingly not turning against the Christian religion - is in fact portraying the Christians as fundamentalist, obscurantist, ignorant and fanatic, and ending up with an innuendo that a very important Christian saint, the Patriarch of Alexandria Cyril, was nothing more than a fanatic clergyman and the moral instigator of the assassination of Hypatia.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Theophany in the Movies (two scenes)

1. Theophany in the Movie Beneath the Twelve Mile Reef

This clip is from the 1953 film Beneath the Twelve Mile Reef which features the diving for the Cross ceremony in Tarpon Springs, Florida.

Friday, January 2, 2015

My Top Ten Movies of 2014

Though in the past few years I listed my top 20 or 25 films of the year, this year I decided to return to listing only my top 10, even though it was another great year in film that makes narrowing down the list much more difficult. To do this I decided not to include any documentaries or animation movies in my top ten. I also included a link to the wikipedia article about them, where more information can be read about the film and there is a link to the trailer. This year I also decided to list my favorite movies by genre, though I excluded including any of my top ten films in these lists, since it would only be redundant. I listed only between 3-5 movies for these categories, and have tried not to repeat movies in more than one category (except Best Religion Themed). The last is a list of movies that you would be better off just skipping altogether. (Updated on January 21st)

1. Whiplash

2. Boyhood

3. Gone Girl

4. Snowpiercer

5. Birdman

6. Chef

7. Guardians of the Galaxy

8. Locke

9. Edge of Tomorrow

10. Nightcrawler