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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Why the Septuagint?

The series of postings about Genesis on this site has led some people to ask why it refers so much to the Septuagint, the translation of the Old Testament into Greek made in the Hellenistic period, rather than the original text. After all, the original text was written in Hebrew, except for small portions in Aramaic, the Septuagint being translated from […]

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Notes on Genesis (xxxv) Hagar and her Seed

‘Now the angel of the Lord found her’ (Gen 16:7). Encountering jealousy from her mistress Sarah after becoming pregnant by her master Abraham, Hagar flees into the wilderness, where she is found by ‘the angel of the Lord’. This is the first occurrence in the Septuagint version of Genesis of the word ‘angelos’, which could also be translated ‘messenger’. This being goes […]

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Pussy Riot in Trouble

Early in the year the members of a feminist punk group, Pussy Riot, entered the sanctuary of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow where they ‘prayed’ to the Virgin for the end of the government of Vladimir Putin and uttered a number of profanities.  They have been detained in harsh conditions and charged with hooliganism. Their behaviour was […]

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Christos Yannaras’ Variations on the Song of Songs (2005)

The long tradition of commentary on this most steamy book of the Bible continues, although what the contemporary Greek thinker Christos Yannaras offers is not so much commentary as a series of reflections, almost responses to the text, which are introduced in musical terms. They describe territory familiar to many people. Hence, the words My beloved is mine and I am his. He […]

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Differences between the Christian East and West

Two scholars dealing with different issues suggest differences in the ways in which the Eastern and Western Christian traditions operate. Discussing the ways in which the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions approach the problem of divorce, Cl. Gallagher quotes the words of another author: ‘The crucial difference between the two disciplines lies not in the fact that one accepts divorce and […]

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