, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 4–17 | Cite as

Kazantzakis' dipolar theism

  • Daniel A. Dombrowski


Classical Theism Pure Actuality Dipolar Theism Spiritual Exercise Creaturely Decision 
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  1. 1.
    Kimon Friar, “Introduction”, toThe Saviors of God: Spiritual Exercises (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), p. 20, also pp. 37–38. The title to Kazantzakis' original edition of 1927 wasSalvatores Dei, and the subtitleAsketike. The revised edition of 1945 reversed this order. Although Friar's translation relies on the 1945 edition, he prefers the original ordering of title and subtitle. Numbers in parentheses in this article refer to paragraph numbers in Friar's transation. The Greek edition I have used is the one published by Sympan, with an introduction by Octave Merlier.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Morton Levitt,The Cretan Glance (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1980), pp. 12, 13. Also see Katerina Anghelaki Rooke, “Introduction”, to a collection of Kazantzakis' letters,The Suffering God (New Rochelle, N.Y.: Caratzas Brothers, 1979), p. 17. However, Rooke notices that Kazantzakis' treatment of God's essence has “all sorts of opposite and contrary elements”. These are the elements I will try to reconcile in this article.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    I will concentrate on two of Hartshorne's many works:Philosophers Speak of God (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1953), hereafter: PSG; andInsights and Oversights of Great Thinkers (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1983). Whitehead's dipolar theism can be found at the end of his classic work,Process and Reality. Also, I apologize for describing God in male terms throughout this article, especially because classical theism's mistakes are somewhat due to an overemphasis of supposedly male, military virtues, as Hartshorne often notices. Kazantzakis says (“The Relationship Between God and Man,” 28) that God is both man and woman (antras kai gynaika).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    “The Relationship Between God and Man”, (28): “Ho theosmou den einai pantodynamos.” Also see Hartshorne'sOmnipotence and Other Theological Mistakes. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ibid. “The Relationship Between God and Man”, (31). “Ho theos mas den einai panagathos”.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ibid. “The Relationship Between God and Man”, (33). “Ho theos mou den einai pansophos”.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    “The Preparation”, (10–14).Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    The Greekousia.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    The Greekaorate.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    “The Ego”, (17). “He megalytere hamartia einai he eucharosteseGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    “Mankind”, (19)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Ibid., “Mankind”, (35)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    “The Earth”, (19). The Greekkapoion allon.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ibid., “The Earth”, (21). The Greekpnoe. Also see Friar, p. 142.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ibid., “The Earth”, (23). The Greekainioteta Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    “The Vision”, (13). God's whole being:holos sta phyta. His power to escape:te dyname na xephyge.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Ibid., “The Vision”. “Oxo apo to kathe prama!”Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ibid., “The Vision”, (33, 39).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Ibid., “The Vision”, (34). “He ousia tou theou mou einai ho agonasGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ibid., “The Vision”, (38–39). The GreekMegale Pnoe Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ibid., “The Vision”, (38). The Greekchrono, topo ki aitioteta Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Ibid., “The Vision”, (53, 55). The Greekho megas Ekstatikos Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    “The Relationship Between God and Man”, (4, 7, 14). The GreekAthanato Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    “The Relationship Between Man and Man”, (4). The Greekpanta ho idios.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Ibid., “The Relationship Between Man and Man”, (34).Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Ibid., “The Relationship Between Man and Man”, (54). “He ousia tou theou mas einai skoteine”.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Ibid., “The Relationship Between Man and Man”, The Greekphyse.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    “The Relationship Between Man and Nature”, (36). Also see “The Silence”, (20, no. 2). Indestructible unity:akatalyte henoteta. InThe Suffering God, op. cit., Kazantzakis offers further evidence for his belief in a dipolar God. Examples of terms on the right side of my diagram abound. Examples of terms on the left include the following: God as the InvisibleOne; a God who partially escapes time and place; God as “Someone Else”; the “Great Ecstatic”; as “indestructible”; human beings asreflections of God; human beings polluting God, but God is nonetheless beyond our “ephemeral worldly essence”.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Leonard Eslick, “Plato as Dipolar Theist,”Process Studies 12 (1982): 243–251. Also see his “The Dyadic Character of Being.”Modern Schoolman 21 (1953–1954): 11–18.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Notice the importance of power (dynamis) for both Plato and Kazantzakis; see above, notes 4 and 16.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Eslick, “Plato as Dipolar Theist”, p. 244.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    In a addition to Eslick, see the fine study of P. E. Moore,The Religion of Plato (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1921).Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Psyche andnous.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Kazantzakis' God has what the ancient Greeks would calleros, notagape. See. for example, “The Relationship Between Man and Man”, (13, 16.)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    “The Vision”, (14), etc.Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    See, for example, “The Earth”, and “The Vision”, (30).Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Metaphysics A.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    See my “Eating and Spiritual Exercises: Food for Thought from Saint Ignatius and Nikos Kazantzakis”,Christianity and Literature XXXIV (Summer, 1983): 25–32. Also see my “Wordsworth's Panentheism”, forthcoming.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer SBM B.V. 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel A. Dombrowski
    • 1
  1. 1.Creighton UniversityOmahaU.S.A.

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