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Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought

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Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Thought

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Christianity, Democracy, and the Shadow of Constantine

Edited by George E. Demacopoulos, and Aristotle Papanikolaou

The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe has forced traditionally Eastern Orthodox countries to consider the relationship between Christianity and liberal democracy. Contributors examine the influence of Constantinianism in both the post-communist Orthodox world and in Western political theology. Constructive theological essays feature Catholic and Protestant theologians reflecting on the relationship between Christianity and democracy, as well as Orthodox theologians reflecting on their tradition’s relationship to liberal democracy. The essays explore prospects of a distinctively Christian politics in a post-communist, post-Constantinian age.

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Dialogue of Love

Breaking the Silence of Centuries

Edited by John Chryssavgis

In 1964, a little-noticed albeit pioneering encounter in the Holy Land between the heads of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church spawned numerous contacts and diverse openings between the two “sister churches,” which had not communicated with each other for centuries._x000B__x000B_Fifty years later, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew meet in Jerusalem to commemorate_x000B_that historical event and celebrate the close relations that have developed through mutual exchanges of formal visits and an official theological dialogue that began in 1980. This book contains three unique chapters: The_x000B_first is a sketch of the behind-the-scenes challenges and negotiations that accompanied the meeting in_x000B_1964, detailing the immediate consequences of the event and setting the tone for the volume. The second_x000B_is an inspirational account, interwoven with a scholarly evaluation of the work of the North American Standing Council on Orthodox/Catholic relations over the past decades. The third chapter presents a recently discovered reflection on the meeting that took place fifty years ago by one of the most important Orthodox theologians of the twentieth century, expressing cautious optimism about the future of Christian unity.

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In the World, Yet Not of the World

Social and Global Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew speaks to a contemporary world about, human rights, religious tolerance, international peace, environmental protection, and more.In the World, Yet Not of the World represents a selection of major addresses and significant messages as well as public statements by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, first among equalsand spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. The Patriarch is as comfortable preaching about the spiritual legacy of the Orthodox Church as he is promoting sociopolitical issues of his immediate cultural environment and praying for respect toward Islam or for global peace.As the documents reveal, the tenure of the Ecumenical Patriarch has been characterized by inter-Orthodox cooperation, inter-Christian dialogue and interreligious understanding. He has traveled more extensively than any other Orthodox Patriarch in history, exchanging official visitations with numerous ecclesiastical and state dignitaries.In particular, because he is a citizen of Turkey and the leader of a Christian minority in a predominantly Muslim nation, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's personal experience endows him with a unique perspective on religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue. These documents are drawn from his prominent leadership roles as primary spiritual leader of the Orthodox Christian world and transnational figure of global significance - influential roles that become more vital each day. Published together here for the first time, the writings reveal the Ecumenical Patriarch as a bridge builder and peacemaker. One of his catchphrases is War in the name of religion is war against religion.Over the past eighteen years, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's inclination and intention have been to address the most difficult issues facing the world-the deep and increasing mistrust between East and West, the decay and widening destruction of the natural environment, as well as the sharp divisions among the various Christian confessions and diverse faith communities-whether on religious, racial, or cultural levels. He regards being a servant of reconciliation as a primary obligation of his spiritual ministry to. This book reveals the powerful influence of a spiritual institution from the unique perspective of a Christian leader in the world, and yet not of the world.Some of the topics covered:o Faith and freedomo Racism and fundamentalismo Mutual respect and toleranceo Ecology and povertyo Human rights and freedomo Racial and religious discriminationo Church and stateo Terrorism and corruptiono Freedom of conscienceo Europe, Turkey and the worldo Religion and politicso Christians and Muslimso Christians and Jews

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On Earth As In Heaven

Ecological Vision and Initiatives of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Over the past two decades, the world has witnessed alarming environmental degradation--climate change, the loss of biodiversity, and the pollution of natural resources--together with a failure to implement environmental policies and an ever-widening gap between rich and poor. During this same period, one religious leader has discerned the signs of the times and called people's attention to our dire ecological and social situation: His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the worldwide leader of the Orthodox Churches. As this new volume of his writings reveals, Patriarch Bartholomew has continually proclaimed the primacy of spiritual values in determining environmental ethics and action. For him, the predicament we face is not primarily ecological but in fact spiritual: The ultimateaim is to see all things in God, and God in all things.On Earth as in Heaven demonstrates just why His All Holiness has been dubbed the "Green Patriarch" by former Vice President Al Gore (recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for his environmental activism) and the media. This third and final volume of the spiritual leader's selected writings showcases his statements on environmentaldegradation, global warming, and climate change. It contains numerous speeches and interviews in various circumstances, including ecological symposia, academic seminars, and regional and international events, over the first twenty years of his ministry. This volume also encompasses a selection of pastoral letters and exhortations--ecclesiastical, ecumenical, and academic--by His All Holiness for occasions such as Easter and Christmas, honorary doctorates, and academic awards.On Earth as in Heaven is a rich collection, essential for religious scholars, those looking for a deeper understanding of Orthodox Christianity, and anyone concerned with the environmental and social issues we face today.

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Orthodox Constructions of the West

George E. Demacopoulos

The category of the "West" has played a particularly significant role in the modern Eastern Orthodox imagination. It has functioned as an absolute marker of difference from what is considered to be the essence of Orthodoxy, and, thus, ironically, has become a constitutive aspect of the modern Orthodox self. The essays collected in this volume examines the many factors that contributed to the "Eastern" construction of the "West" in order to understand why the "West" is so important to the Eastern Christian's sense of self.

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Speaking the Truth in Love

Theological and Spiritual Exhortations of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew

The second of three volumes of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew's writings, this book includes a selection of major addresses and significant statements by the first among equalsand spiritual leader of the world's 300 million Orthodox Christians. Whereas the first volume covered global and interfaith issues, this volume represents the inter-Christian initiatives and theological outreach of the Patriarch, covering a range of topics, such as ecumenism and theology. It also contains various ecclesiastical declarations, such as occasional pastoral encyclicals and extraordinary patriarchal exhortations.His All Holiness was trained and experienced in inter-Christian relations, having pursued studies in Roman Catholic theology at the Gregorian University of Rome, Protestant thought at the University of Munich, and the ecumenical movement beside the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Moreover, he has lectured widely on the significance and role of Orthodox theology in contemporary society, having received honorary doctoral degrees from esteemed academic institutions throughout the world. Unafraid to address sensitive, and even controversial issues - such as papal primacy, divisions within Christianity, and inter-Orthodox unity - His All Holiness balances Orthodox doctrine and canon law with open-mindedness and open-heartedness.His official visits to Rome as the personal guest of Pope John Paul II marked the first occasions in history that an Ecumenical Patriarch met with the Roman Catholic Pope in Rome. His invitation to Pope Benedict XVI marked the opening of the Pontiff's ministry and his first visit to a Christian minority within a Muslim nation.Over the last two decades, he is also the first Ecumenical Patriarch to have traveled throughout the world and to have convened meetings of all Orthodox primates of autocephalous Churches as well as of all bishops directly within the Ecumenical Patriarchate. This book reveals the spiritual depth and profound doctrine of the Orthodox Church from the unique perspective of a Christian leader speaking the truth in love.

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Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration

Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation

There are few topics today that are so timely, and at the same time so momentous, as those concerning our relationship to the natural environment. This publication is the first substantial and most extensive collection of articles, in any language, to address environmental issues from the point of view of Orthodox Christianity. Its contributors include many of the most highly respected as well as influential theologians and philosophers in world Orthodoxy today. In addition, the collection combines new and original contributions with articles that have become classics in Orthodox circles, but which are currently unobtainable because they were first printed in small editions. Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation is a landmark volume and a textbook reference, not just as pointing toward new horizons in environmental thought, but also as a contribution to the admirable effort to reconcile East and West. This is a book that should engage a very wide audience, in academic as well more popular circles—resonating not only with Orthodox audiences, but especially among those in search of a fresh approach to environmental theory that brings to bear the resources of ancient spirituality upon modern perplexities.

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Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration

Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation

John Chryssavgis

Can Orthodox Christianity offer unique spiritual resources especially suited to the environmental concerns of today? This book makes the case that yes, it can. In addition to being the first substantial and comprehensive collection of essays, in any language, to address environmental issues from the Orthodox point of view, this volume with contributions from the most highly influential theologians and philosophers in contemporary world Orthodoxy will engage a wide audience, in academic as well as popular circles--resonating not only with Orthodox audiences but with all those in search of a fresh approach to environmental theory and ethics that can bring the resources of ancient spirituality to bear on modern challenges.

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