Great Chain of Being and Concentric Circles

Here is a post from a previous blog I had that I feel touches on some interesting ideas worth sharing again.

Inspiritus

For the last week, the concept of the “Great Chain of Being” has continued to arise in my awareness and I thought it prudent to share some of my thoughts surrounding this idea.

Traditionally, this concept is thought of as a linear hierarchy which ranks the various forms of creation into categories representing increasing “closeness” with God. It is also an idea which was applied to the natural world during Aristotle’s reign of thought, with the categorizing of organisms based on particular, physical traits.

This “chain of being” has provided a cosmology for Christians for well over a thousand years, providing a context of power, delineating how it flows from God all the way down to animals, plants, and minerals.

Upon further study of this idea, it had occurred to me that this hierarchy was painting an incorrect picture of creation. Specifically, it begins with the idea that God is “outside”…

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