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Alexander Schmemann suggests an approach to issues such as secularism and Christian culture from the perspective of the unbroken experience of the Church, as revealed and communicated in her worship, in her liturgy - the sacrament of the world, the sacrament of the Kingdom.
In his meditations, Fr. Hopko draws on his long experience as a pastor and teacher, working with young and old throughout the country, to present to the modern reader the relevance of the Church's two-thousand-year-old tradition of preparing to greet our Lord's Resurrection.
The three documents translated in this volume, "Against the Monophysites," "Concerning the Three Chapters," and On the True Faith," are significant imperial documents reflecting the conclusion reached in that theological program. Although they failed to convince the monophysites or reconcile them to the imperial Church, they articulate the interpretation of Chalcedon's Christological definition, upheld by Orthodox theologians even today, and set the stage for the Christological definitions of the Fifth Ecumenical Council.
The position which Gregory and Macrina eventually reach corresponds essentially to that of St Paul, namely that our bodies will rise again as bodies, but in a finer and more glorious form than we have now. Expressing this belief in terms of Greek silence, the dialogue assumes that the same physical elements which compose our present bodies must be reassembled in our resurrection bodies; otherwise our bodies would be recreated rather than raised.
In this collaborative effort, Fr John and Lyn Breck provide practical, theological, and pastoral thinking on complex matters: the use of embryonic stem cells, gene therapy, new definitions of sexuality and marriage, treatment of addictive behavior and substance abuse, and end-of-life care. Taking us through the stages on life's way, the authors show us how the ancient, vital wisdom of the Orthodox Church inspires and informs contemporary life.
The voice of John Zizioulas may turn out to be the fresh voice for which theology and especially ecclesiology have long been waiting. In the context of a complete theology, which includes extended consideration of the major theological topics - the Trinity, Christology, eschatology, ministry, and sacrament, but above all, the Eucharist - the author propounds a fresh understanding, based on the early Fathers and the Orthodox tradition, of the concept of person, and so of the Church itself.
His consideration of the local church as "catholic" in the literal sense, and the need to understand the universal Church, not as a superstructure but as the communion of all Churches, provides the program for the ecclesiology of the future.
Yves Congar has written that he considers the author to be "one of the most original and profound theologians of our epoch" and that he "presents a penetrating and coherent reading of the tradition of the Greek Fathers."
John Zizioulas is Metropolitan of Pergamon, in the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.
Being as Communion is part of the CONTEMPORARY GREEK THEOLOGIANS SERIES.
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