Glossary (P.T. Forsyth)


For difficult words in P. T. Forsyth, The Justification of God, NCPI, 1988 (1917) the following Glossary may help (he swallowed a dictionary, to be sure):

  • Actinic: caused by chemical charges produced by radiant energy – especially in the visible and ultraviolet sector of the spectrum
  • AgnosticismThe belief that there is a god, but that this god is unknowable. (It has been described as Atheism wearing a top hat).
  •  Anthropocentric: the assumption that man is the central fact of the universe
  •  Apotheosis the elevation of a person to the rank of a god
  •  Architectonic relating to the scientific systematization of knowledge
  •  Aristophanes An Athenian playwright, some consider him the greatest ancient writer of satirical comedy. Surviving plays include: The Clouds (423) and Lysistrata (411).
  •  Caravanserai: an inn in some eastern countries with a large courtyard that provides accommodation for caravans
  •  Clive Clive of India, 1769, hero for England, ruled Bengal as a British Emperor
  •  Cunctator Maximus The Delayer – Latin; a Roman General, Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus (280-203BC) was called Cunctator; the delaying refers to his military tactics.
  • Denouement:  the final resolution of a complex sequence of events
  •  Dies iræ Judgment Day; Day of Wrath
  • De haut en bas From top to bottom (French); with condescension; or superiority 
  • Élan a combination of style and vigour  
  • Empiricist one who relies on observation and experiment
  •  Empyrean the highest heavenly sphere in ancient and medieval cosmology usually consisting of fire or light
  •  Eudemonism A system of ethics that evaluates actions in terms of their capacity to produce happiness.
  •  Entelechy a hope that progresses from possibility to actuality
  •  Faux pas A social blunder
  •  Felix culpa Blessed fault or fortunate fall’ “O happy fault”.
  •  Fides formata Formed Faith
  •  Hegelian Philosophy of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), of Germany
  •  Heterogenous:   completely different; incongruous; not homogenous
  •  Impolitic Unwise; not expedient
  •  In Petto In secret, or private
  •  Jus talionis an eye for an eye [quoted from The Cruciality of the Cross, p. 214]
  •  Kharma (also Karma) Actions produce consequences. Hinduism and Buddhism teach that a person’s action have ethical consequences which determine the nature of the person’s next existence; linked with perpetual transmigration or reincarnation.
  •  Kriegspiel: A full scale war game between two nations
  •  Lessing Gotthold Ephraim Lessing (1729-1781), a German philosopher, of the era known as the Enlightenment, which rejected much of tradition and advocated reason as the primary basis of authority.
  •  Marmoreal Like marble, in whiteness, hardness
  •  Meliorism: the belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment.
  •  Nadir: the lowest point  [e.g. The nadir of the Incarnation]
  •  Nisus: an impulse towards or striving after a goal
  •  Otiose: of no use; ineffective; futile
  •  Pantheism: Equating everything in the universe with god. i.e. God is all.
  •  Palaestra: the Ancient Greek wrestling school
  •  Pelagian: synergism Pelagius taught a denial of original sin, and the ability of man to be righteous of his own free will; the results is a co-operation between God and man in the matter of salvation: grace, plus human effort
  •  Penetralia the innermost parts, or sanctuary
  •  Petitsmaítres small masters
  •  Prius  former, prior, before, formerly
  •  Remora a suckerfish – which attaches itself to sharks, whales, sea turtles or the hulls of ships
  • Rousseau: Jean-Jacques Rousseau, an 18th century philosopher who taught that man is good by nature.
  •  Sans gêne without embarrassment or constraint
  •  Saeva indignatio perturbabat mentem   fierce indignation, + (perturbare) to become upset + (ae·quam ser·va·re mentem) to preserve a calm mind  {* could not find full term}
  •  Schiller Friedrich von Schiller (17591805) – a German poet, philosopher, historian, and dramatist.
  •  Sempiternal: having no known beginning and presumably no end; “the dateless rise and fall of the tides”; “time is endless”; “sempiternal truth”; enduring forever
  •  Solipsism The theory that the self is the only reality.
  •  Sub specie aeternitatis Latin for “under the aspect of eternity;
  •  Stupefied a state of mental numbness
  •  Sublimated to make nobler, or purer
  •  Surfeit excess – perhaps from indulgence
  •  Surmise An idea or opinion based on insufficiently conclusive evidence; to make a guess or conjecture.  
  •  Tableau a dramatic scene; in a play, an interlude where everyone freezes
  •  Teleology the study of a purposed goal [telos] planned by God
  •  Theocentric viewing life with God as central to all things
  •  Theodicy A vindication of God’s goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil.
  •  Tithonus In Greek mythology Tithonus was a mortal beloved by Aurora, the goddess of the dawn. She begged Zeus to give him eternal life, but forgot to ask also for eternal youth. As Tithonus withered, he shrank into a grasshopper.
  •  Unfilial not befitting a son or a daughter
  •  Unweeting Unwitting; not knowing; unaware; not intended
  • Vis medicatrix naturae The healing power of nature (‘Vis’ pronounced ‘wis’)
  •  Wahnsinn Insanity; madness; frenzy; delirium (German)
  •  Weal prosperity and happiness




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