Understanding Orthodox Christian Spirituality Today: Insights from Patristic and Contemporary Theology
Olga Sevastyanova & Nikolaos Asproulis (eds.)
Texts by Ivana Noble, Eirini Artemi, Olga Sevastyanova, Dionysios Skliris, Zurab Jashi, Andrej Strocaŭ, Emil M. Mărginean, Guram Lursmanashvili, Camelia Isaic, Stefan Zeljkovic, Fr. Stephen C. Headley, Nikolaos Asproulis, Dimitrios Keramidas, Sotiris Mitralexis
Publication: November 2019 Language: English Cover painting: Ivana Noble 160 pages, soft cover Dimensions: 24 Χ 17 cm. ISBN: 978-618-5375-04-1
Orthodox spirituality is so strongly rooted in liturgical practices that it is sometimes believed to be incompatible with academic research. (…) Firstly, it is believed by some that theology as an intellectual enterprise is unnecessary, because everything is already said and experienced during the Liturgy. Along with this, Orthodox theology is sometimes understood as exclusively contemplative and apophatic. Conversion is, however, never achieved if it only affects an intuitive, mystical side of a person and does not affect their knowledge and theological beliefs. When one comes to Church, he or she comes in the wholeness of their being, which includes their intellectual life. (…) Secondly, theology is sometimes limited to dogmatics, understood as a set of doctrines, i.e. the preserved “apostolic deposit of faith” which is to be “guarded faithfully and declared infallibly”. This deposit is not the product of human intellectual efforts, therefore any type of further deliberation on the issue is considered to be irrelevant. Theology is, however, not limited to an authoritative set of doctrines and to the “dogmatic witness on behalf of the Church”. There is also a process of understanding what these Church dogmas could possibly mean.