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Communion and Otherness
Further Studies in Personhood and the Church
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"Metropolitan John Zizioulas is generally recognised as the most brilliant and creative theologian in the Orthodox Church today. The publication of a new book from his pen, supplementing his earlier master-work "Being as Communion, "is a major event, of the greatest interest to Western Christians as well as Orthodox. By exploring the theme of 'Otherness', he has developed in an original and illuminating way what he said in his earlier writings about Communion as the basis for personhood and church life. Here is a voice that greatly needs to be heard." "As with most creative theological proposals, readers likely will find much with which to disagree. Yet, if one takes the time to engage and not simply dismiss, this volume will pay handsome dividends...Those interested in ecclesial theology will find in this volume much worth contemplating and an able dialogue partner." Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology "All who have benefitted from the influential insights of Being as Communion will be eager to read this new sequel, addressing the critical issue of the balance between relationality and difference in ontological thought."--Sanford Lakoff 'On page after page of this outstanding book, our assumptions are challenged and our minds led back to the most deeply significant aspects of Christian faith, and to the conceptual and practical map drawn not only in Scripture but in the Greek Fathers, including the fathers of the desert and their teaching on practice and prayer. Few will read this book without sensing that they have been invited to rediscover Christianity itself in its richest traditional form.'--Sanford Lakoff ."..This volume, along with Being as Communion, provides one of the most insightful, contemporary and accessible accounts of Orthodoxy available." Thomas Finger, Christian Century, May 20, 2008--Sanford Lakoff 'John Zizioulas is always a challenging, but rewarding read. His theology of personhood and the implications it has for the doctrine of the Trinity, the church, the human being are difficult to match and his theology will continue to be one that others find helpful. He has done us a great service in drawing Western theology back to the Cappadocian Fathers. Communion and Otherness will surely join Being as Communion as a much read and much quoted book.' Andy Goodliff--Sanford Lakoff ."..this is not an easy read, but very much worth the effort...What I love most about this book is its sense of existence as God's gift to us and to all of creation, a gift Zizioulas places firmly in a eucharistic context. Because existence is a gift, he argues, atheism can be seen as a form of ingratitude. Faith means being grateful to every other being and finally to God himself, the ultimate Other and 'the author of all otherness. This kind of faith offers no security of rational conviction. The only certainty it offers lies in the love of the Other. The only proof of God's existence is his love-demonstrated by our very being, in otherness and communion. We are loved, therefore he exists.'" John Garvey, Commonweal, April 11, 2008--Sanford Lakoff "This work is highly recommended for the upper level student, professor, and churchman or churchwoman seeking a deeper understanding of these important topics. Truly a challenging work." -Catholic Library World--Sanford Lakoff 'I'm now reading what I take to be the best book written by an Orthodox theologian in the last 20 years...John Zizioulas' Communion and Otherness is a masterpiece that is not only beautifully Eastern, but philosophically erudite and which engages meaningfully with Western theology. Herein Zizioulas further develops, refines, and defends his relational ontology of personhood that he first put forth in Being as Communion.' Halden, Inhabitatio Dei Website Review--Sanford Lakoff "John Zizioulas, one of the most prominent contemporary Orthodox theologians, continues to develop his understandin
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John D. Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon, was previously Professor of Systematic Theology at the University of Glasgow and Visiting Professor at King's College, London. He is the author of Being as Communion (1985), and has been a major Orthodox contributor to modern ecumenical discussion. Paul McPartlan is Professor at the Catholic University of America.
Introduction: Communion and Otherness; 1. On Being Other: Towards an Ontology of Otherness; 2. On Being a Person: Towards an Ontology of Personhood; 3. The Father as Cause: Personhood Generating Otherness; 4. The Trinity and Personhood: Appreciating the Cappadocian Contribution; 5. Pneumatology and the Importance of the Person: A Commentary on the Second Ecumenical Council. 6. Human Capacity and Human Incapacity: A Theological Exploration of Personhood; 7. "Created" and "Uncreated": The Existential Significance of Chalcedonian Christology; 8. The Church as the "Mystical" Body of Christ: Towards an Ecclesial Mysticism.