Philosopher

Ivan Illich

Ivan Illich

September 4, 1926 - December 2, 2002
Philosopher and Priest
From Vienna, Austria
Served in United States, Mexico, and Germany
Affiliation: Catholic
"The machine-like behaviour of people chained to electronics constitutes a degradation of their well-being and of their dignity which, for most people in the long run, becomes intolerable. Observations of the sickening effect of programmed environments show that people in them become indolent, impotent, narcissistic and apolitical. The political process breaks down, because people cease to be able to govern themselves; they demand to be managed."

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

December 11, 1918 - August 3, 2008
Writer and Historian
From Kislovodsk, Russian
Served in Germany and Russia
Affiliation: Russian Orthodox
"This is certainly true. Man has set for himself the goal of conquering the world but in the processes loses his soul. That which is called humanism, but what would be more correctly called irreligious anthropocentrism, cannot yield answers to the most essential questions of our life. We have arrived at an intellectual chaos."

Jacques Ellul

Jacques Ellul

January 6, 1912 - May 19, 1994
Philosopher, Law Professor, and Sociologist
From Bordeaux, France
Served in Bordeaux, France
Affiliation: Christian
"The biblical teaching is clear. It always contests political power. It incites to 'counterpower,' to 'positive' criticism, to an irreducible dialogue (like that between king and prophet in Israel), to antistatism, to a decentralizing of the relation, to an extreme relativizing of everything political, to an anti-ideology, to a questioning of all that claims either power or dominion (in other words, of all things political), and finally, if we may use a modern term, to a kind of "anarchism" (so long as we do not relate the term to the anarchist teaching of the nineteenth century)."

Paul Tillich

Paul Tillich

August 20, 1886 - October 22, 1965
Existentialist Philosopher, Theologian and Founding Member of the Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture
From Brandenburg, Germany
Served in Germany and the United States
Affiliation: Lutheran
"The courage to be is rooted in the God who appears when God disappears in the anxiety of doubt."

Jonathan Edwards

Jonathan Edwards

October 5, 1703 - March 22, 1758
Pastor during the America's First Great Awakening
From South Windsor, Connecticut
Served in Northampton, Massachusetts
Affiliation: Reformed
"Godliness in the heart has as direct a relation to practice, as a fountain has to a stream, or as the luminous nature of the sun has to beams sent forth, or as life has to breathing…"

René Descartes

René Descartes

March 31, 1596 - February 11, 1650
Philosopher, Mathematician and Writer
From France
Served in the Dutch Republic
Affiliation: Catholic
"By 'God', I understand, a substance which is infinite, independent, supremely intelligent, supremely powerful, and which created both myself and everything else […] that exists. All these attributes are such that, the more carefully I concentrate on them, the less possible it seems that they could have originated from me alone. So, from what has been said it must be concluded that God necessarily exists."

John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe

1320 - December 31, 1384
Theologian, Preacher, and Translator of the Bible into English
From Yorkshire, England
Served in England
Affiliation: Catholic (Early Reformer)
Death: At mass he suffered a stroke while and died, but in 1415 his body was exhumed and his bones burned because of herasy
"Do not let friars enter your wine cellars for fear they will bless every barrel and change the wine into blood."

Thomas Aquinas

Thomas Aquinas

1225 – March 7, 1274
Priest and Theologian, Known as Doctor of the Church
From Kingdom of Sicily, Italy
Served in Italy
Affiliation: Catholic
"Man’s ultimate happiness consists in the contemplation of truth, for this operation is specific to man and is shared with no other animals. Also it is not directed to any other end since the contemplation of truth is sought for its own sake. In addition, in this operation man is united to higher beings (substances) since this is the only human operation that is carried out both by God and by the separate substances (angels)."

Hildegard of Bingen

Hildegard of Bingen

1098 - September 17, 1179
German Writer, Composer, Philosopher, and Mystic
From Germany
Served in Germany
Affiliation: Catholic
"May the Holy Spirit enkindle you with the fire of His Love so that you may persevere, unfailingly, in the love of His service. Thus you may merit to become, at last, a living stone in the celestial Jerusalem."