The-O Ring and The Bull Ring as Spectacular Archetypes


Anthony Judge – TRANSCEND Media Service

Dramatic Correlation of Theatre, Theory, Theorem, Theology, and Theosophy

Part 2 of The-O ring: Theory, Theorem, Theology, Theosophy? a playful intercultural quest for fruitful complementarity (2014)


This is the concluding part of the argument that the prefix “theo” is effectively central to one of the most divisive debates in the current global civilization, namely that between science and religion. The argument addresses the question whether there is some connection between the etymology of “theorem” and words like “theology” or “theist”. Beyond the obvious relationship of their prefixes, the issue is therefore whether and how Theorem, Theory, Theology, and Theosophy might indeed be related in some form of implicit cognitive “The-O ring” through a pattern of aesthetic correspondences.

A brief indication was given in the previous part of the distinctive nature of each and of the problems with which they are associated. The argument there was developed through the following sections:

The playfulness of this argument follows from previous recognition of its role in integrative insight (Humour and Play-Fullness: essential integrative processes in governance, religion and transdisciplinarity, 2005). Although playful, the suggestion here is that to ignore some such possibility is to court further disaster, already evident in the highly dysfunctional relationship between religion and science — with all the consequences which they exacerbate, separately and in combination, denying any responsibility in the matter. The issue could be fruitfully explored in the terms of each, as argued separately, but that would seem to be unlikely (Mathematical Theology: future science of confidence in belief, 2011). This exploration could be considered a contribution to that possibility.

In methodological terms, the following argument could be considered an exploration of connectivity — of the connectivity within the meta-pattern which supposedly connects. The four “theos” could each be understood as implying a particular form of connectivity and might even be distinguished by the connectivity which they consider “legitimate”. Clearly this is also suggestive of how each might consider the other to be depending on an “illegitimate” form of connectivity.

The playful dimension is significant to the concluding argument here in that the etymology of “theo” is intimately related to “thea“, and theatre ). This fruitfully introduces the feminine dimension variously excluded from the preoccupation of the modalities with which with “theo” is associated. The concluding argument is usefully clarified using a variety of illustrations relating the theme to current global preoccupations. The emphasis here is on how dramatic incorporation of the feminine can enhance “interestingness, suggestiveness and memorability” of the “theo” modalities — otherwise to be recognized as increasingly sterile, infertile and “unfit for purpose”.

The argument as a whole might be caricatured by an adaptation of the title of a famed study of psychotherapy: We’ve Had a 1000 Years of Theo — And the World’s Getting Worse.



This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 2 Jun 2014.

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