Christianity and Classical Culture, Episode 12: Friendship

In this episode of Christianity and Classical Culture, Dr. Fleming discusses the notion of Friendship from the time of the Greeks and Romans to the present day. Learn why friendship is so much more than modern man conceives of.


Original Air Date: May 17, 2017
Show Run Time: 44 minutes
Show Guest(s): Dr. Thomas Fleming
Show Host(s): Stephen Heiner

Christianity and Classical Culture℗ is a Production of the Fleming Foundation. Copyright 2017. All rights are reserved and any duplication without explicit written permission is forbidden.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Dot says:

    Thank you for Season 1, Christianity and Classical Culture, Episode 12: Friendship. It is most interesting and I plan to listen to it again.

    I hear some about “solidarity and subsidiarity”. I can understand solidarity but not subsidiarity. I would like to hear a topic on subsidiarity – pro and con, and was it always a part of the church teaching.

  2. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    Dot, you raise a very important question. The term subsidiarity, so far as I have been able to trace it, does not go back too far–though I may be wrong on this; however, the concept is rooted in Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, and the Calvinist Althusius. In political terms, it is exemplified to some extent by America’s original constitutional order. The Federalist pays some homage to it, though it is often hard to know what game Hamilton might have been playing. But, politically, the emphasis on the local and the familiar one gets from Jefferson’s writings is a good example. In essence, the principle dictates that whatever can be handled by the lowest level of society, should be kept there. The household should handle family affairs, kinfolk the affairs of the extended family, the local town or county, the state, and up to the nation. In my first book, I proposed that whenever a higher level of authority took power unnecessarily from a lower–and, it is sometimes necessary, after all–such a violation is tyrannical.

  3. Avatar Dot says:

    Thank you. I have a very meager knowledge of this. It appears that it may have more to do with kinship and solidarity of a group. I am thinking only in regards to a church, the diocese and the church’s involvement and contribution in the activities of the diocese.

  4. Thomas Fleming Thomas Fleming says:

    No, you were right to begin with. The concept covers all aspects of social life including church organization, alms-giving, etc. The old principle “charity begins at home is a popular expression of the subsidiarity principle.”

  5. Avatar Ken Rosenberger says:

    This another great little podcast, and thank you, Dr Fleming, for giving us more signposts to look out for in Homer. I especially enjoyed the illustrative example of Sam Francis for a discussion of the difference between a friend and a comrade. I hope you will continue to tell us regale us with anecdotes about your many friends and comrades, as you have seemingly known just about anyone worth knowing in the last 50 years. When appropriate, of course, which I know you would not do otherwise.

    I think by now we should all pay special tribute to Stephen Heiner, who has been a terrific interlocutor in so many of these podcasts. By now, I’m sure, I have taken him for granted as “the guy who asks Tom all the questions.” But they are the right questions, and they get us where we need to arrive.

  6. Avatar Robert Reavis says:

    I second Mr. Rosenberger’s compliments about Mr. Stephen Heiner. He is a thoughtful man and knows the difference between roots and branches. Tom Fleming is one of a kind, which is to say he has character,or is a character but not a caricature. I contribute his survival through all the years to his wife and his courage to his friendships.