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By John Zizioulas

‘Communion and otherness: how can those be reconciled?' during this wide-ranging research, the celebrated Orthodox theologian, Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, seeks to respond to that query. In his celebrated publication, Being as Communion (1985), he emphasized the significance of communion for all times and for cohesion. during this vital spouse quantity he now explores the complementary proven fact that communion is the foundation for real otherness and id.

With a continuing expertise of the inner most existential questions of this present day, Metropolitan John probes the Christian culture and highlights the existential issues that already underlay the writings of the Greek fathers and the definitions of the early ecumenical councils. In a lively and tough manner, he defends the liberty to be different as an intrinsic attribute of personhood, fulfilled merely in communion.

After a big commencing bankruptcy at the ontology of otherness, written particularly for this quantity, the subject matter is systematically constructed with regards to the Trinity, Christology, anthropology and ecclesiology. one other new bankruptcy defends the concept the daddy is explanation for the Trinity, as taught by means of the Cappadocian fathers, and replies to criticisms of this view. the ultimate bankruptcy responds to the established separation of ecclesiology from mysticism and strongly favours a paranormal figuring out of the physique of Christ as an entire. different papers, formerly released yet a few now not simply available, are all revised for his or her inclusion here.

This is an additional contribution to discussion on one of the most important matters for theology and the Church from one of many major figures in glossy ecumenism.

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Extra resources for Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church

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61 On Being Other 35 no other in God), while a person, such as the Father, is inconceivable without relationship to other persons. By making the person of the Father the expression of the one ontological dpxf| in God, we make otherness ontologically constitutive in divine being. Equally, by attributing divine being to a personal cause rather than substance, we elevate particularity and otherness to a primary ontological status. Finally, by attaching primary ontological causation to only one person of the Trinity, we affirm that the 'One' of platonic and Greek ontology does not ontologically precede the 'Many' but is itself 'One' of the 'Many'.

33 (iv) Bridging the gulf of otherness between God and the world through 'hypostatic union', that is, through a Person (the Son of the Trinity), and not through nature, requires, philosophically speaking, an ontology which is conceived not on the basis of what things are (their nature), but of how they are (their 'way of being', or hypostasis). Maximus uses for that purpose a distinction between logos and tropos:34 29 Maximus, Ep. 15 (PG 91, 553D): 5icupopd rcpoaamiKf|. Cf. Basil, Adv. Eun. 19 (PG 29, 556B).

193). 23 For a fuller discussion of the fundamental differences between Maximus and Evagrius in this respect, see P. Sherwood, St Maximus the Confessor: The Ascetic Life. The Four Centuries on Charity, 1955, esp. pp. 92 and 237f; also L. Thunberg, Microcosm and Mediator, esp. pp. 4041T. 22 22 Communion and Otherness There are difficulties with this attempt to reconcile communion with otherness. One such difficulty has to do with the gnoseological and contemplative character of this ontology. 26 (b) Through the Logos as a personal principle.

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