The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology



Orthodox Christian Theology Is Often Presented As The Direct Inheritor Of The Doctrine And Tradition Of The Early Church But Continuity With The Past Is Only Part Of The Truth It Would Be False To Conclude That The Eastern Section Of The Christian Church Is In Any Way Static Orthodoxy, Building On Its Patristic Foundations, Has Blossomed In The Modern Period This Volume Focuses On The Way Orthodox Theological Tradition Is Understood And Lived Today It Explores The Orthodox Understanding Of What Theology Is An Expression Of The Church S Life Of Prayer, Both Corporate And Personal, From Which It Can Never Be Separated Besides Discussing Aspects Of Doctrine, The Book Portrays The Main Figures, Themes And Developments That Have Shaped Orthodox Thought There Is Particular Focus On The Russian And Greek Traditions, As Well As The Dynamic But Less Well Known Antiochian Tradition And The Orthodox Presence In The WestThe Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology

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  • Paperback
  • 321 pages
  • The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology
  • Mary B. Cunningham
  • English
  • 10 October 2017
  • 0521683386

10 thoughts on “The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology

  1. says:

    The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology is a collection of 18 papers on various aspects of the Orthodox faith The papers are written from an Orthodox perspective, as the writers not only study Orthodox Christianity academically, but they are also Orthodox believers.It should be noted that this is not a general introduction to the beliefs and practices of the Orthodox Church, though editors Cunningham and Theokritoff do sketch Orthodox Christianity in their introduction Anyone un The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology is a collection of 18 papers on various aspects of the Orthodox faith The papers are written from an Orthodox perspective, as the writers not only study Orthodox Christianity academically, but they are also Orthodox believers.It should be noted that this is not a general introduction to the beliefs and practices of the Orthodox Church, though editors Cunningham and Theokritoff do sketch Orthodox Christianity in their introduction Anyone unfamiliar with the basics of Orthodox Christianity should turn to Kallistos Ware s ASIN The Orthodox Church or a similar book However, for those wanting to knowabout certain subjects, this does cover the basics in greater depth.The book comprises two main parts The first, Doctrine and Tradition contains papers on scripture and tradition Theodore G Stylianopolous , Biblical interpretation in worship Archimandrite Ephrem Lash , the Trinity Boris Bobrinsky , the relationship between God and creation Elizabeth Theokritoff , human beings as the image and likeness of God Nonna Verna Harrison , Christ and salvation Peter Bouteneff , eschatology Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev , the Church Matthew Steenberg , the theology of icons Mariamna Fortounatto and Mary B Cunningham and the spiritual way John Chryssavgis.The second part concerns contemporary Orthodox theology and its development The papers here concern the Church Fathers Augustine Casiday , the patristic revival Andrew Louth , Russian and Russian emigr theology of the early 20th century Michael Plekon , post independence Greek theologians Athanasios N Papathanasiou , personhood and its exponents in twentieth century Orthodox theology Aristotle Papanikolaou , developments in the Church of Antioch Nicolas Abou Mrad , Russian theology after totalitarianism Leonid Kishkovsky and ecumenism I personally liked the papers on practical aspects of Orthodox worship, the sort of things that non Orthodox or non Christians are often puzzled by Stylianopolous gives a clear presentation of the place of Scripture in the Orthodox Church, noting that it is read both literally and metaphorically, and it exists in a complementary relationship with Tradition Archimandrite Ephrem Lash s paper describes in exhaustive details how Scripture is used in the Liturgy, namely which readings go with which days in the church year Bobrinsky s chapter on the Trinity makes a complicated philosophical issue accessible to a general readership.I am very disappointed, however, that this book tends to present only one facet of contemporary Orthodox theology, namely academic elites in the West or academic elites in Eastern Europe who, after the fall of Communism, took up the work of the former While the writings of these academics have in some areas been read by clergy and trickled down to their congregations, there is also a strong popular piety that is not so affected by 20th century trends, and indeed sometimes runs contrary to it, and this is completely unrepresented in the book For example, Michael Plekon suggests female ordination is a possibility, but this claim is so rejected by the majority of Orthodox Christians that a disclaimer to that effect should have been included somewhere in the book The Paris school is treated in multiple papers like a remarkable and productive scene, but many Orthodox would prefer to give Bulgakov, Evdokimov and Gillet a wide berth.As the adage goes A theologian is one who prays , and Orthodox theology is represented also by prayerful monastics and ordinary churchgoers, not just the writers represented in this volume Representing what is in many areas the Orthodox mainstream even if it sometimes includes things unpalatable to a Western academic crowd like anti semitism, freemasonry conspiracies and violent opposition to gay activism would have required some effort, as it is not so easily encapsulated in citable publications like the work of the academic theologians, but it would have given aaccurate reflection of the range of Orthodox belief

  2. says:

    A wonderful, in depth view of key theological thoughts of Orthodox Christianity.

  3. says:

    For me the book didn t offer a lot of new ideas and material as it was an overview of Orthodoxy, but some interesting materials presented by a number of contemporary writers and theologians The book does look at contemporary Orthodoxy in the world today, which is unusual for books on Orthodoxy which tend to focus on past history rather than the contemporary scene.

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