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The "Russian Orthodox Church Abroad" came into existence as a distinct body following the Communist takeover in Russia. This book offers both a brief history and an explanation of the position of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad written by one of its greatest leaders, Archbishop John (Maximovitch) of Shanghai and San Francesco, who is now recognised as a saint. A short life of St. John is given and a list of key dates in the Church's life in addition to the main body of the text. Well illustrated with black and white photos.
The Russian Orthodox Church has survived more than seventy years of the most brutal and sustained attempts to eradicate religion that has ever been. Weakened but spiritually alive, it is confronted by the demands of a ravaged, exhausted society. Can it, however, find the resources and energy to respond to these demands? Jane Ellis describes the developments and problems in the Russian Orthodox Church under glasnost and especially since the new freedoms were granted following the millennium celebrations of 1988. New opportunities mean new challenges and demand huge new resources. Old problems in the form of close State and KGB contacts remain, and new problems in the form of competition from other denominations and sects arise. Traditionally the Orthodox Church has enjoyed a 'symphony' with the State. However are unhealthy links with the KGB and the communist past still damaging the Church. Is it in danger of becoming a state church?
The splendour of Orthodox Christian worship has often fascinated believers from other traditions. Praying with the Orthodox Tradition is a complete collection of prayers for different hours of the day, making accessible some of the riches of Orthodox spirituality and resounding with praise and thanksgiving for the greatness of God. The foreword by Bishop Kallistos Ware explains how the prayers were first used and how much all Christians can learn from this living tradition.
Meletij Smotryc kyj was one of the outstanding figures in the great flourishing of Orthodox spirituality that occurred in the late 16th and early 17th century in response to the challenge posed first by Polish heterodox religious movements, and later by the Polish Counter-Reformation. His biography reflects the tensions and contradictions that characterized his nation the Ruthenians, the Orthodox Christians of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth. Ruthenian patriots were torn between various allegiances to nation, church, and traditions. Thus, in Smotryckyj s life we witness one of the later acts in the drama of the European Age of Reform, all the more important because for the first time the Reformation and Counter-Reformation came into direct daily contact with the Byzantine world of Orthodox Slavdom.
Professor Frick's biography the first major English language work on Smotryc kyj examines the ways in which established cultures were altered by cross-cultural understandings and misunderstandings, resulting from the confrontation and mutual adaptation of two or more diverse cultures. This study, which has affinities with the microhistorical approach, seeks to reconstruct details in the lives of individuals and pays special attention to the ways in which individual world views conflicted with each other and with various higher authorities. "Meletij Smotryc kyj" will be of interest to scholars and students of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland-Lithuania, and those researching the history of the Uniate, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Churches in Eastern Europe.
Meletij Smotryc'kyj was one of the outstanding figures in the great flourishing of Orthodox spirituality that occurred in the late 16th and early 17th century in response to the challenge posed first by Polish heterodox religious movements, and later by the Polish Counter-Reformation. His biography reflects the tensions and contradictions that characterized his "nation"--the Ruthenians, the Orthodox Christians of the Polish--Lithuanian Commonwealth. Ruthenian patriots were torn between various allegiances to nation, church, and traditions. Thus, in Smotryckyj's life we witness one of the later acts in the drama of the European Age of Reform, all the more important because for the first time the Reformation and Counter-Reformation came into direct daily contact with the Byzantine world of Orthodox Slavdom.
Professor Frick's biography--the first major English--language work on Smotryc'kyj--examines the ways in which established cultures were altered by cross-cultural understandings and misunderstandings, resulting from the confrontation and mutual adaptation of two or more diverse cultures. This study, which has affinities with the "microhistorical approach," seeks to reconstruct details in the lives of individuals and pays special attention to the ways in which individual world views conflicted with each other and with various higher authorities. "Meletij Smotryc'kyj" will be of interest to scholars and students of Ukraine, Belarus, Poland-Lithuania, and those researching the history of the Uniate, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic Churches in Eastern Europe.
This text is one of the most important and yet approachable works produced by Cyril. It was written after the Council of Ephesus (431) to explain his doctrine to an international audience. Cyril argues for the single divine subjectivity of Christ, and describes how it encompasses a full and authentic humanity in Jesus - a human experience that is not overwhelmed by the divine presence, but fostered and enhanced by it. Christology becomes then, for St Cyril, a paradigm for the transfigured and redeemed life of the Christian. There is an introduction to the historical and theological background of the time, of the text and to St Cyril himself.
These reflections from "Children in the Church" are based on a series of informal talks given to Orthodox Christian parents at the Monastery of St John the Baptist, Essex, England. In essence, they encompass many aspects of Christian life: marriage and the Christian family, prayer in the Christian home, the example of Christian parents, the Christian education of children, liturgical and spiritual life, leisure time and social life, and Christian life in the teen years. Sister Magdalen's major emphasis is that "if children are conceived, born, and brought up surrounded by prayer and love, they will grow up as spiritual persons and thus fulfill their human vocation".
"Spirit of Truth" is a two-volume study of the origin and development of the teaching on the Holy Spirit as it appears in the Gospel and First Epistle of John. Scholarly works on Johannine pneumatology have tended to concentrate on the image of Spirit as Paraclete or Advocate and have neglected the specific "hermeneutic" or teaching - interpreting role attributed to the Spirit throughout the New Testament and specifically in the thought of the fourth evangelist. The purpose of this study is to explore and explain how this hermeneutic function developed in Johannine thought and ecclesial experience, and to stress its vital implications for scriptural interpretation and preaching within the church community today. The first volume traces the origin of the image of Spirit as "Spirit of Truth" through the Old Testament and intertestamental Judaism. Its dualistic aspect ("spirit of truth/spirit of deception"), as I John 4;6) is shown to be rooted in the Dead Sea Scrolls and, ultimately, in the ethical-eschatological dualism of the Iranian prophet Zarathustra. Many of the findings in this "history-of-religious" quest are new and have never before been presented in published form.
This is a collection of texts on prayer, taken from Greek and Russian sources. The spiritual teaching of the Orthodox Church appears here in its classic and traditional form, but expressed in unusually direct and vivid language. The Art of Prayer is concerned in particular with the most frequently used and best loved of all Orthodox prayers - the Jesus Prayer. It deals also with the general question 'What is Prayer?', with the different degrees of prayer from ordinary oral prayer to unceasing prayer of the heart, with the dangers of illusion and discouragement, and the need for seclusion and inner peace.
Now Back in Print. This classic introduction to the Orthodox Church, written from within the context of the ecumenical community, addresses key doctrinal issues and provides a basis for Western Christians to understand their brothers and sisters in the Eastern Church.
Marcus Pasha Simaika (1864-1944) was born to a prominent Coptic family on the eve of the inauguration of the Suez Canal and the British occupation of Egypt. From a young age, he developed a passion for Coptic heritage and devoted his life to shedding light on centuries of Christian Egyptian history that had been neglected by ignorance or otherwise belittled and despised. He was not a professional archaeologist, an excavator, or a specialist scholar of Coptic language and literature. Rather, his achievement lies in his role as a visionary administrator who used his status to pursue relentlessly his dream of founding a Coptic Museum and preserving endangered monuments. During his lengthy career, first as a civil servant, then as a legislator and member of the Coptic community council, he maneuvered endlessly between the patriarch and the church hierarchy, the Coptic community council, the British authorities, and the government to bring them together in his fight to save Coptic heritage. This fascinating biography draws upon Simaika's unpublished memoirs as well as on other documents and photographs from the Simaika family archive to deepen our understanding of several important themes of modern Egyptian history: the development of Coptic archaeology and heritage studies, Egyptian-British interactions during the colonial and semi-colonial eras, shifting balances in the interaction of clergymen and the lay Coptic community, and the ever-sensitive evolution of relations between Copts and their Muslim countrymen.
The continuing influence of the culture, thought and institutions of the Byzantine Empire on the Orthodox Church in political ideology, the encounter with Islam and the West, theology, spirituality, ecclesiology and contemporary ecumenism.
The scripture lessons of the Orthodox Church through the course of its liturgical seasons and feasts. Scriptural texts are interpreted within the context of the Church's worship and prayer.
While only rarely reflecting explicitly on liturgy, French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) gave sustained attention to several themes pertinent to the interpretation of worship, including metaphor, narrative, subjectivity, and memory. Inspired by his well-known aphorism, "The symbol gives rise to thought," Liturgical Theology after Schmemann offers an original exploration of the symbolic world of the Byzantine Rite , culminating in a Ricoeurian analysis of its Theophany "Great Blessing of Water." . The book examines two fundamental questions: 1) what are the implications of the philosopher's oeuvre for liturgical theology at large? And 2)how does the adoption of a Ricoeurian hermeneutic shape the study of a particular rite? Taking the seminal legacy of Orthodox theologian Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983) as its point of departure, Butcher contributes to the renewal of contemporary Eastern Christian thought and ritual practice by engaging a spectrum of current theological and philosophical conversations.
St. Cyprian works fall naturally into two groups: treaties (sermons, libelli, tractus) and letters (epistulae). A translation of the treatises will be found in volume 36 of this series. The letters, of which eighty-one have come down to us, written from c.249 until his death in 258 A.D., may be found translated in this volume. They give a penetrating insight into the affairs of the Church in Africa in the middle of the third century. They reveal problems of doctrine and of discipline which had to be decided in a period of crisis and persecution when the Church, still in its infancy, had not yet emerged from the catacombs. Most important of all, they make Cyprian vividly alive as an understanding bishop who could be both gentle and firm, enthusiastic and moderate. He was prudent enough to go into exile to direct his flock from afar when his presence was a potential source of danger to the people; he was courageous enough to face martyrdom that he knew would ultimately he his. Of these letters, fifty-nine were written by Cyprian himself and six more, emanating from Carthaginian Councils or Synods, were largely his work also. Sixteen letters were written by others; apparently eleven were lost. St. Cyprian's prestige and influence was great in Christian antiquity. Unfortunately, he is not well known or as widely read in modern times as he deserves. This is probably due to Cyprian's lack of complete orthodoxy, in the modern sense of the word, regarding the recognition of the See of Peter and the rebaptism of heretics. The modern reader must bear in mind that the period of the Fathers was the time of the laying of the foundation of so much which we accept and see so clearly today. In any case, both Lactantius (Div. Inst. 5.1.24) and St. Augustine (De bapt. contra Donatistas), while acknowledging the weaknesses of St. Cyprian's stand on the questions mentioned, do not in the slightest detract from their respect and admiration for their fellow countryman. Prudentius pays St. Cyprian the following tribute in his Peristephanon 13.5.6 ff.): 'As long as Christ will allow the race of men / to exist and the world to flourish, / As long as any book will be, as long as there / Will be holy collections of literary works, / Everyone who loves Christ will read you, O / Cyprian, will learn your teachings.'
A stimulating interpretation of the history of Eastern Christianity, this book serves as a general introduction to the Orthodox Church and is widely read by Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike. As Schmemann himself said, This book is not a scholarly investigation into the history of the Orthodox Church nor a mere manual. It is a reflection on the long historical pilgrimage of Orthodoxy, an attempt to discern in our past that which is essential and permanent and that which is secondary, mere past. It is my sincere hope that in reading this book Western Christians may realize that our past is also their past, or rather, our common past, that essential "term of reference" without which no mutual understanding is possible. As the Eastern isolation of Orthodoxy is coming to an end, as it becomes more and more implanted in the West, it becomes urgent that its history be known and understood. Father Alexander Schmemann (aEURO 1983) was a prolific writer, brilliant lecturer, and dedicated pastor. Former dean and professor of liturgical theology at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, his insight into contemporary culture and liturgical celebration left an indelible mark on the Christian community worldwide.
The book is an annotated critical edition of an unpublished collection of hymnographical texts, preserved in the eleventh-century Greek manuscript 11 of the library of Leimonos monastery, Lesbos, Greece. This important codex is a Menaion for June comprising thirty akolouthiai on saints; nineteen of them are hitherto unpublished. The edition of the texts is accompanied by an introduction, a liturgical, palaeographical, and hymnographical commentary, appendices of unpublished hymns preserved in manuscripts other than Lesbiacus Leimonos 11,andindices. The introduction examines codex Lesbiacus Leimonos 11 and its importance from a liturgical, hymnographical, and palaeographical perspective. It is divided into four chapters. The first presents the liturgical environment of the period from the ninth century, when most of the texts edited were composed, to the eleventh, when the production of the codex could be placed, and the liturgical books used in the period, the structure of the akolouthiai and the festal calendar of the Byzantine church. The second chapter deals with the content of the texts edited. Chapter Three presents briefly the life and the hymnographical work of the authors of the texts. The last chapter of the introduction is devoted to the manuscript tradition of the texts.
"Blessed is He who has brought Adam from Sheol": Christ's descent to the dead in the Theology of Saint Ephrem the Syrian is an examination of the theological use of the doctrine of Christ's descent to the dead in the works of Saint Ephrem the Syrian (ca. 306-373 C.E.). In the ancient Christian church, it was believed, taught, and confessed that in the interval between his crucifixion and resurrection, Jesus Christ descended to the abode of the dead. Christ's descent to the underworld was nowhere earlier, more elaborately, or more influentially expressed than within cultural milieu of Syriac Christianity, where the underworld was designated not as Hades or Inferos, but as Sheol, and it was nowhere within this milieu more frequently, effectively, and influentially implemented than in the writings of Ephrem the Syrian. Organically integrated with and providing an integrating function within his theological reflection as a whole, Ephrem's conception of Christ's descent to Sheol provides us with an important and distinctive vision of the significance of this salvific event. Ephrem's use Semitic and non-Western poetic forms and structures as a mode of theological discourse, coupled with his preference for imagery and symbolism rather than definition, resulted in a variety of vivid depictions of Christ's descent to Sheol. Especially informed by Ephrem's view of the redemptive and revelatory significance of Christ's incarnation, these 'verbal icons' imaginatively collapsed distinctions between temporality and eternity and creatively drew together cosmological, incarnational, soteriological, ecclesiological, sacramental, and eschatological themes in the context of Christian worship. Thomas Buchan is an editor for Gorgias Press in Piscataway, New Jersey and adjunct professor of Church History at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey (Fall 2004). Born in Rahway, New Jersey in 1972, he earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies at Wheaton College (Wheaton, Illinois) and an M.A. in Church History at the Wheaton Graduate School (Wheaton, Illinois). Dr. Buchan studied the history and theology of early Christianity at the Caspersen School of Graduate Studies at Drew University, earning the M.Phil. in 1999 and completing the Ph.D. "with distinction" in 2003.
John Bushnell's analysis of previously unstudied church records and provincial archives reveals surprising marriage patterns in Russian peasant villages in the 18th and 19th centuries. For some villages the rate of unmarried women reached as high as 70 percent. The religious group most closely identified with female peasant marriage aversion was the Old Believer Spasovite covenant, and Bushnell argues that some of these women might have had more agency in the decision to marry than more common peasant tradition ordinarily allowed. Bushnell explores the cataclysmic social and economic impacts these decisions had on the villages, sometimes dragging entire households into poverty and ultimate dissolution. In this act of defiance, this group of socially, politically, and economically subordinated peasants went beyond traditional acts of resistance and reaction.
This lavishly illustrated guide to iconography explains through words and pictures the history, meaning, and purpose of Christian icons as well as the traditional methods that religious painters use to create these luminous, spiritually enlivened works of art. / Solrunn Nes, one of Europe's most admired iconographers, illuminates the world of Christian icons, explaining the motifs, gestures, and colors common to these profound symbols of faith. Nes explores in depth a number of famous icons, including those of the Greater Feasts, the Mother of God, and a number of the better-known saints, enriching her discussion with references to Scripture, early Christian writings, and liturgy. She also leads readers through the process and techniques of icon painting, illustrating each step with photographs, and includes more than fifty of her own original works of art. / Deeply inspiring and utterly unique, The Mystical Language of Icons serves to inform both those who are familiar with the rich tradition of religious art and those who are not. Even more, it is a powerful devotional resource that Christians everywhere can turn to again and again. / This beautifully illustrated book provides the reader with an excellent guide to understanding icons. . . . For anyone interested in the production and meaning of icons, this book will be essential reading. Theological Book Review / Solrunn Nes has produced a fine guide to iconography in her Mystical Language of Icons. The book is lavishly illustrated in full color throughout with Nes's own icons, each in the style of one of the various schools with which she is most conversant. All are striking and luminous and fully in accord with the objective canonical tradition. Her work reveals how one committed prayerfully to the latter can nonetheless produce art of obvious creativity. This book is unreservedly recommended. Touchstone"
Christos Yannaras is one of the most significant Orthodox theologians of recent times. The work of Yannaras is virtually synonymous with a turn or renaissance of Orthodox philosophy and theology, initially within Greece, but as the present volume confirms, well beyond it. His work engages not only with issues of philosophy and theology, but also takes in wider questions of culture and politics. With contributions from established and new scholars, the book is divided into three sections, which correspond to the main directions that Christos Yannaras has followed - philosophy, theology, and culture - and reflects on the ways in which Yannaras has engaged and influenced thought across these fields, in addition to themes including ecclesiology, tradition, identity, and ethics. This volume facilitates the dialogue between the thought of Yannaras, which is expressed locally yet is relevant globally, and Western Christian thinkers. It will be of great interest to scholars of Orthodox and Eastern Christian theology and philosophy, as well as theology more widely.
How do people experience spirituality through what they see, hear, touch, and smell? Sonja Luehrmann and an international group of scholars assess how sensory experience shapes prayer and ritual practice among Eastern Orthodox Christians. Prayer, even when performed privately, is considered as a shared experience and act that links individuals and personal beliefs with a broader, institutional, or imagined faith community. It engages with material, visual, and aural culture including icons, relics, candles, pilgrimage, bells, and architectural spaces. Whether touching upon the use of icons in the age of digital and electronic media, the impact of Facebook on prayer in Ethiopia, or the implications of praying using recordings, amplifiers, and loudspeakers, these timely essays present a sophisticated overview of the history of Eastern Orthodox Christianities. Taken as a whole they reveal prayer as a dynamic phenomenon in the devotional and ritual lives of Eastern Orthodox believers across Eastern Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.
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