οἶκος & λόγος: a gloss

Welcome!

This blog reflects on οἶκος and λόγος, the Greek terms “oikos” and “logos,” meaning respectively in English “home/household” and (reflecting the multiple meanings of logos in English) “story/word/harmony/purpose/reason/bond/intermediary/unifying principle.”

It does so from the standpoint of the Russian Orthodox Christian tradition, as unworthily practiced by your writing servant in Northern Appalachia. The header photo for the blo is from Tall Timbers, a nearby nature preserve with old-growth hemlock woods.

Together, those roots form the word ecology, definable as the “story of home,” offering insight into life itself as meaning.

Most importantly to Christians, the Logos is the Word, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the logoi of the Logos, the words of the Word, both constitute and redeem Creation, as a living embodied text.

The combination of those root words oikos and logos provides a traditionally grounded “pansemiotic” spin on the postmodern idea that there is nothing outside the text. They offer a sense of iconographic cosmic Christian rhetoric applicable to 21st-century discourse on faith, environment, sustainability, and human community.

Related terminology: “ecosemiotics” stems from the work of the Tartu-Moscow-Copenhagen school of semiotics: oikos + semiosis,” household making of home.” And “ecopoetics” stems from oikos + poiesis, or “the shaping of home”–the highlighting of meaning in Creation, as is done in apologetic theology

Hence the subtitles to this blog:

1. oikos + logos= “apophatic ecology.” Exploring how ecology, based in a Christian apophatic theological sense, can focus on our interaction with God’s energies rather than on essentialism or objectification.

2. “oikos + semiosis,” “ecosemiotics” or meaning-making about home. In a Christian context, exploring from the saints of the Church how the Orthodox Christian hesychastic tradition (far beyond any abilities of your unworthy blogger) finds meaning about our home in Paradise through quietude–as in the experience of iconographic metonymy of sacred words and images.

3. “the ecopoetic country,” indicating oikophilia, or love of home–with our ultimate natural home being in Paradise and the new heaven and earth to come with our Lord. This reflects the Orthodox doctine of theosis–inner conciliarity in mystical hierarchy with God’s uncreated energies (seen in the logoi)–and the Orthodox term sobornost: Our external conciliarity in mystical hierarchy with one another in the Church and in the oikumene or inhabited world.

4. “apologetic theology”: Seeking incarnational embodied Christian theology in ascetic, liturgical, cosmological, anthropological relationship to life on earth, based in Scripture, Orthodox liturgical tradition, asceticism, and the Ecumenical Councils of the Orthodox Church (with special attention to the Fifth, and awareness also of the Eighth and Ninth).

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