Byzantine Sacred Arts as Therapeutic Way

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  • Title: Byzantine Sacred Arts as Therapeutic Way: A Medieval “Pharmakon” for the Cyberman
  • Author(s): Inti Yanes-Fernandez
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Religion in Society
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society
  • Keywords: Cyberbeing, Immortality, Alienation, Aesthetic Therapy, Sacred Arts, Theology
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 2154-8633 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2154-8641 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v07i04/1-16
  • Citation: Yanes-Fernandez, Inti. 2017. "Byzantine Sacred Arts as Therapeutic Way: A Medieval “Pharmakon” for the Cyberman." The International Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Society 7 (4): 1-16. doi:10.18848/2154-8633/CGP/v07i04/1-16.
  • Extent: 16 pages

Abstract

Man is a “homo theologicus.” The dominion of the cyberculture is determining the oblivion of the Sacred in a new fashion, creating fictional transcendences that replace traditional reality with cyberconstructions. We aim to show how man is essentially a theologal being and how the Byzantine notion of θέωσις (deification) as expressed in sacred arts can be a way of preserving human essence from its alienation in the fictional transcendences of cyberbeing. We approach cyberculture as a process of ontological desubstantiation via artificial “intelligence” and virtual reproductions. We explain the dual phenomenon of the implanting of a decentered, networked techno-hedonism and the spread of the “avatar syndrome” as a cyber-disease that inhibits in man his responsibility to be real. By contrast, we underscore the importance of the fact that in cyberbeing the “enchantment before beings” as anticipation of a radical freedom is especially safeguarded. While most modern aesthetic is deprived of mystic origin and transcendental telos and proves useless against cyberbeing’s desubstantiating power, Byzantine aesthetic as an ontological healing way can contribute to the de-oblivion of human essence. This implies that sacred Byzantine arts as aesthetic therapy open the horizon in which man experiences his essence as perpetual bliss in the meaning of Being.