Gilles Dorival on continuities and ruptures between Hellenism and Christianity

In his contribution to a volume of studies edited by Arnaud Perrot (Les Chretiens et l’Hellenisme, Editions rue d’Ulm, 2012), Gilles Dorival turns to territory long familiar in academic discourse, the interface between early Christian thought and that of the surrounding Greek Hellenistic world. He is particularly interested in what he calls continuity and persistence, opposed to discontinuity, rupture and  novelty. […]

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Metropolitan Anthony on Discernment

As far as non-Christian religions are concerned…a person can become the object of a demonic temptation. But here is a criterion by which to judge. St Seraphim of Sarov spoke of the fact that if an inner experience is linked with light from the mind, warmth from the heart, joy,  a feeling of deep humility and gratitude, then one can think that […]

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Gabriel Bunge on Created Being Spirituality

However much we may talk of ‘spirituality’ and however fond we may be of using the epithet ‘spiritual’, the Person of the Holy Ghost is the Great Absent One in the ‘spirituality’ of the West, as has often been lamented. As a consequence, we regard many things as ‘spiritual’ that in fact still belong absolutely and entirely to the realm […]

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Cases of Mysterious Gender and Being Worthy in Liturgical Texts

The Apostles’ Creed widely used in the Christian West affirms belief in what it calls the ‘communio sanctorum’. The first word is easily translated ‘communion’, but the gender of the second Latin word is ambiguous, for it could be masculine, in which case it would mean ‘of the saints’, or neuter, which would yield the meaning ‘of holy things’ (i.e. the […]

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Anestis Keselopoulos on St Gregory Palamas: Repentance and Purification (continued)

In his presentation of the thought of St Gregory Palamas, Anestis Keselopoulos observes: ‘The aim of repentance and mourning is to perfectly cleanse the soul from the passions, which ultimately means to overcome the Fall…repentance is the great opportunity God gives man and the potential for intimacy of sonship and union with Him…Man’s purification is the work of the grace of […]

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Depicting God in Art

Some time ago on this blog I discussed the remarkable novel by Orhan Pamuk, ‘My Name is Red’. Set in Constantinople not long after the Turks had come to power, it deals with the impact of Western forms of art on local traditions. Something similar occurred in Russia during the seventeenth century, as James Billington reminds us in his book The […]

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Catherine Pickstock on the Liturgy

A member of a group who call themselves Radical Orthodoxy, the Anglican theologian Catherine Pickstock writes with profundity. My copy of her magnum opus,  After Writing On the Liturgical Consumation of Philosophy, seems to have gone walkabout, as we say in Australia, but excerpts from a shorter piece give an idea of some of her thinking on liturgical matters. She mentions […]

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Vladimir Lossky on the Church

In his Mystical Theology of the Church (Eng transl 1957), Vladimir Lossky writes: ‘The Church is the centre of the universe, the sphere in which its destinies are determined. All are called to enter the Church, for if man is a microcosm, the Church is a macro-anthropos, as St Maximus says. It increases and is compounded in history, bringing the elect […]

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