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The Orthodox Nationalist: The Symphony of Powers – TON 042617


Dr Matthew Raphael Johnson brings us a new Orthodox Nationalist explaining the political relevance of an age-old doctrine of the faith.

The notion of the “Symphony of Powers” between the church and crown derives from Chalcedon and is perhaps the most important event in western history. There, the doctrine was decreed that Christ's human and divine natures were distinct, existing in voluntary cooperation. All medieval politics proceeds from this idea. Christ has two natures, the human and the divine. The divine side includes the Orthodox church and its clergy and the political side is the human one, civil government, freedom and cooperation.

The two natures are equal in the sense that both serve one another voluntarily. This is why the ancient heresies were so immensely important: if the human side was stressed, then the risk of severing man and God was severe. If the divinity were stressed, man's autonomy would be compromised. The heresies of the ancient church stressed one of the two sides at the expense of the other. The result was perversion, the destruction of autonomy and the destruction of man's connection with the divine.

In other words, Chalcedon was an intensely political idea, as the notion of “symphony” shows the union of two very different concepts. Freedom is to the individual what autonomy is to the person.

The isolated ego is worthless. It is born helpless and is raised in a world created by others. In a healthy society, learning the folkways of daily life should not be in any contradiction to human nature.

The Trinity is the ontological ground of being. It’s imprint can be found in all creation and thought. The creation of man was a desire of God to manifest this beauty in many creatures with the reason to understand it. However, reason implies autonomy, and man sought short term power at the expense of more ethereal, but less vivid, pleasures. Nominalism was the epitome of this rebellion but Descartes gave it its finishing touches. The ego becomes the self and it is imprisoned in Being – this it takes to be rational, ordered and amenable to manipulation. This is quite a bit to be “deduced” from the cogito.

This ego, that which is essential to liberal thought, is the source and foundation of sin. In the nation, two people united by language and a fundamental agreement on basic moral norms do not create an “I” over and against an “other.” Rather, they create a “we.” The word, that icon of meaning and national tradition over centuries, is the vehicle for this. The word is infinitely more than a vocabulary list or set of definitions, but it contains the entire legal and political history of the people.

Presented by Matt Johnson

The Orthodox Nationalist: The Symphony of Powers – TON 042617


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