rss_2.0Perichoresis FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Perichoresis Feed Rights in Two Eastern Orthodox Official Documents: An Analysis from a Public Theology Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper represents a critical analysis of Eastern Orthodox perspective on Human Rights in two important official documents issued by some of the most prominent patriarchates: Moscow and Constantinople. They are compared and looked at from a public theology’s point of view as outlined by Max Stackhouse. At the same time, in this article it will be emphasized the fact that the same Eastern Orthodox theological tradition is to be credited for two significantly different approaches on the topic at hand. The recorded differences are to be interpreted in such a manner as to account for a possible paradigm shift in Orthodox ‘rights talk’. But this shift is more evident in contact with Western environment where the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition is just one of the religious and public voices in a pluralist, globalized and secularized society.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue from their Own History: An Analysis of the Leader’s Speech in the Book of Samuel<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The final speech given by Samuel to mark the passing from a theocratic to a monarchical regime is distinguished by the strategy of learning from their own history. The leader uses historical elements to determine the community to obey Yahweh as a part of an educational strategy whereby the leader uses history for pedagogical purposes. The mentioned events are subjective in nature and reflect the re-validation of Samuel as leader, the belief that Saul had become a part of the divine plan of government, and it highlights the sins of the people showing the decisive contribution of Yahweh to the progress of the community up until that moment.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue from Wright: A View on N. T. Wright’s Approach to the New Testament<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The writings of the prominent biblical scholar N. T. Wright are much debated upon throughout the world. His currently in progress ‘Christian Origins and the Question of God’ series intrigued some and pleased others. There are a lot of articles and books evaluating either positively or negatively his writings. This is all because of the huge amount of information and of the carefully constructed methodology that permits Wright to continue his project despite the critiques brought against him. This article strives to offer a positive account of Wright’s project, having its focus on his methodology. The author suggests that the key of understanding his methodology lies in his theory of reading the New Testament texts and the history related to them. It is further suggested that this theory of reading pushed Wright toward the well-known category of ‘worldview’. This puts him in the position of bringing together the ‘then’ and the ‘now’ worldviews which, in the author’s view, constitutes the major contribution of Wright’s project.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in the Bible<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study casts light on how the issue of childlessness is portrayed in the Bible. The discussion begins with a commentary on Michal’s story, which provides the foundation for further reflection on how childlessness was dealt with in the biblical world, especially in the situations where no miraculous divine solutions were provided. Several humanly devised solutions, acceptable and practiced in the ancient world are presented. The last part of the paper focuses on the more eschatological view of human existence provided in the New Testament, showing that childlessness is a form of suffering included in the promise of redemption brought about by the inauguration of God’s kingdom. As such the response of the redeemed community is to be characterized by love and compassion.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s General Revelation: A Conversation of Dogmatic and Biblical Theology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of this work is threefold. First, it is an attempt to revisit the doctrine of God’s general revelation in conversation of dogmatic and biblical theology. Beyond the classical twofold categorizations of revelation, as natural and supernatural or general and special, in this work we argue for a threefold understanding of God’s general revelation: revelation in history, revelation in conscience and revelation in creation. Second, we intend to affirm that the foundation for this threefold conception of general revelation is the doctrine of the Trinity and the perichoretic relationships between the three divine Persons in internal life of the Trinity as well as in their activity in creation and salvation. Therefore, history is a space of the Triune God’s revelation, the revelation in conscience is a trinitarian activity, and revelation in creation is unfolding the Father, who creates through the Son in the Spirit. Third, we aim to affirm that there could be possible to elaborate a perichoretic model of God’s general revelation. Being rooted in the perichoretic understanding of Trinity, such a model pressuposes the fact that the three forms of God’s general revelation are indisolubly connected, without contradiction, separation or confusion.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of the Dead as an Element of Factionalism in the Corinthian Church Community<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Human tragedy could be summed up a single word—death. One first encounters it through the death of others, and then everyone faces it for themselves. The Christian faith confronts humanity’s final foe head on, delivering sustained hope amidst the sorrow and despair of impending death. This paper will first address the central role of the resurrection of the dead in First Corinthians. Second, the paper will present Paul’s retort to several challenges raised against the notion of the resurrection. Finally, the paper will attempt to systematize the means by which Paul proves the resurrection of the dead.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue‘Are You the One Who is to Come?’ Epistemological Perspectives on Encountering the Judeo-Christian God<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Gaining an insight on how the human perceptive apparatus has the ability to discern between the worlds, physical, divine and demonic, has intrigued many theological minds throughout the history. The concept of ‘spiritual senses’, developed in the patristic period, offers a platform for the debate on the intricate role that sensorial, psychological and spiritual skills play in perceiving the transcendent world. This paper argues that an encounter with the Judeo-Christian God presupposes, besides an innate spiritual, a priori, pre-cognitive consciousness regarding the existence of the divine, also a wholistic animation, regeneration and transfiguration of the human perceptive and psychological apparatus, through sanctification by the work of the Word and the Holy Spirit, in the community of believers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Davidic Messiah in the Old Testament Tracing a Theological Trajectory<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The present article revisits the issue of messianism, particularly as it finds its expression in the Davidic kingship tradition, that is, the belief concerning a Davidic Messiah. Since Old Testament messianic hope is inseparably associatied with the dynasty of David a study that traces the various perspectives concerning the Davidic Messiah chronologically and canonically can bring a contribution to this important Old Testament theme, too often neglected. Thus, the study shows that the belief in the coming of a Davidic Messiah is a prominent eschatological theme in the Old Testament. Its roots can be traced back to the historical covenant made by Yahweh with David, which receives hyperbolic and symbolical dimensions in the royal Psalms, and a full-fledged eschatological orientation in prophetic writings. The monarchic prophets: Isaiah, Micah, Amos, and Hosea draw on the covenant promises to David to ground their message regarding the coming of a ‘new David’, who would destroy the wicked, protect the poor and oppressed, and institute an eternal era of peace, justice, and righteousness. In the context of the Babylonian exile, Jeremiah and Ezekiel foresee that God will bring forth a righteous ‘shoot’ of Davidic line to reunite the nation and shepherd God’s people. In the post-exilic period, Zechariah underscores the promise that David’s son will build a house for Yahweh, moving from the initial historical focus on Zerubbabel and his role, to the eschatological expectation of the one and only messianic figure that will bring the final restoration.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s Conversion to Christianity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>It is not until the 11th century AD that we can speak of Austria being a thoroughly Christian country (Romanowski 1994: 57). This is all the more astonishing when one considers that even before the turn of the first century most of what is today Austria was part of the Roman Empire and how quickly Christianity spread to other parts of the Roman Empire. But how did the Christianization of Austria come about in the first place? Who were the bearers of mission? What strategies were used? Is the term ‘missionary work’ appropriate at all or was it not rather a superficial, politically motivated Christianization? These questions are to be investigated and answered in the following article.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and Theodoret on the Temptation of Christ: An Imaginary Dialogue Between Alexandrian and Antiochene Christological Positions<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this paper some parallelisms and differences are presented between two ancient theological traditions concerning their model of Christ by comparing two representative figures of both schools, namely Theodoret of Cyrus and Cyril of Alexandria. Since the Christology of the two authors could not be compared in detail within such a paper, the investigation resumes itself to the mode how they interpret the Lord’s Temptation by the devil in the wilderness. The works involved in the analysis include Theodoret’s treatise <italic>On the incarnation</italic> written in 431 before the Council of Ephesus, the fragments of Cyril’s <italic>Commentary on Matthew</italic> as well as his <italic>Commentary on Luke</italic>. The doctrinal conclusion of this comparison is that the two traditions represented by these illustrious theologians—despite their conspicuous and undeniable differences— signify rather complementary than flatly opposing views and that the two ancient traditions have found their revival even in the sixteenth century, and continue to influence the theologians of our time. This is why the author considers Chalcedon as being a corridor (in which both traditions can walk side by side whilst respecting the limits set by ‘the columns’, i.e. the four famous expressions) rather than a narrow path or a tightrope-walking, where only one is able to go through.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Evaluation of the Puzzled Syntax of 2 John 1: 5<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The syntax of 2 John 1: 5 is problematic. Six manuscripts, Ψ 5. 81. 642*. 1852 l, try to solve this difficulty by emending the participle ‘γράφων’ to the indicative verb ‘γράφω’. Culy and Leedy on Greek NT diagrams, on the other hand, understand the participle ‘γράφων’ to modify ‘ἐρωτάω’. In the latter approach, the participle ‘γράφων’ serves to modify ‘εἴχομεν’. This last approach, however, is divided into two possibilities: either it functions as a participle of condition or of attendant circumstance. Three English Bibles use a participle of condition (Holman Christian Standard Bible, NET Bible, and Christian Standard Bible). The other English translations, however, employ the function of attendant circumstance participle. Despite these syntactical discrepancies, this research offers a fresh reading of the puzzled syntax of 2 John 1: 5.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue S. Political Economy on Migrants-Citizens Relations: State-Raids Vs. Church-Sanctuaries (Charity Re-Privatization)<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This is a Political Economy study on migrants-citizens relations management in the United States of America, with special attention to the religious factor and the pendulum effect. There is a model switch, from integration policies (open doors and melting pot agenda, with expropriation of charity by Public Sector) to official persecution (state-raids and deportations, with re-privatization of charity), under a high social opportunity cost. Also, there is a split between the State and civil society (including the church), causing civil disobedience and sanctuary network across the country. The paper focuses on the development of the Sanctuary Movement, as a case of popular action against to the power elite policies and their sanctions. There was a revival of this movement during the values crisis or 2008 recession, but at the same time there was a critical division into the movement, with higher tension for the migrants.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Touch or to Be Touched. Doubting Thomas in the Bible, Apocryphal Texts, and the Arts. A Literary Perspective<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In Christian tradition, the name of the Biblical Thomas is connected primarily to the story of John 20: 27 in which the apostle in invited by Jesus to touch his tortured body. This invitation is the result of Thomas’ prior scepticism to the reality of the resurrection. Contrary to popular belief, the text of John does not indicate clearly if Thomas accepts Jesus’ offer. John creates a narrative gap for the readers to fill in, stimulating the reader to contemplate the relationship between the notion of seeing, touching and believing, and their mutual dependency (or the lack of it). In this historical-literary article, the author investigates this literary dependency in the synoptic gospels, John’s gospel, several apocryphal texts, and four famous paintings, all focussing on the character of Thomas, in search of the different ways in which these authors and artists try to fill in John’s apparent narrative gap.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Sign of the Types: A Critical Reflection on the Church-Sect Typology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Religion comes in many shapes and sizes, and the classification of religious movements may help scholars understand how these groups form, develop and change. One of the most common tools used in the sociology of religion to do so is the church-sect typology, which is rooted in the basic idea that religious movements can be placed along a continuum according to their degree of congruence with mainstream society. This article provides an overview of how this kind of thinking developed, in order to show how the church-sect typology has been widely accepted and built upon, as well as being heavily criticised by other sociologists. The first part consists of a survey of early versions of the typology, contains different methods of classifying religious movements and provides further explanations where necessary, especially where the term ‘cult’ is concerned. The next section is focused on the many criticisms of the church-sect typology as a whole, after which some possible solutions are offered, and it will end with some recommendations in the form of a new theoretical framework.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as a Hermeneutical Key to Ontology: Social Constructionism, Kierkegaard, and Trinitarian Theology<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>If humans are created in the image of a trinitarian God, then we might consider that the fundamental ontology of humans would be relational, furthermore to some degree perichoretic. If <italic>perichoresis</italic> is somehow reflected in human relations (notwithstanding all Creation), <italic>perichoresis</italic> should be evident analogically in our social relations, theology, and various disciplines of thought. This relational concept of the Church Fathers failed to be further developed because the concept of the Trinity fell from theological focus over the centuries. Today subtle but radical changes are occurring in the field of social psychology and communications theory. Whereas it was once common for modern paradigms to dominate the field, social constructionists have begun to react against the preponderance of typically modern themes as the primacy of the subject or ontological discourse framed exclusively in the language of subject-subject. On the other hand, their work offers a unique opportunity for Christian theology to expand its understanding of <italic>perichoresis</italic>. For Kierkegaard the relationship itself becomes a positive third term that intensifies the polarities and therefore suggests an alternative tripartite consideration: subject-relationship-subject. From this tripartite relational structure of humanity as differentiated-unity, I am positioned to develop a logic of spirit and explore the possibility of <italic>analogia spiritus</italic>—the non-reflexive transformational dynamic facilitating holistic change and meaning—as the essential dynamic within <italic>perichoresis</italic>. This in turn reveals that these dynamics active as human spirit can be analogically correlated in <italic>mutual co-conditioning reciprocity</italic> in relation to the Trinity and <italic>the Eternal activity</italic> of the Spirit and Christ.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue in a Pre-Christian Mode: Boethius, , , and<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this essay, I compare and contrast how Boethius (in <italic>Consolation of Philosophy</italic>), the author of <italic>Beowulf</italic>, J. R. R. Tolkien (in <italic>The Lord of the Rings</italic>), and C. S. Lewis (in <italic>Till We Have Faces</italic>) found ways to integrate their Christian theological and philosophical beliefs into a work that is set in a time and place that possesses the general revelation of creation, conscience, reason, and desire, but lacks the special revelation of Christ and the Bible. I begin by using Lewis’s own analysis of the <italic>Consolation</italic> in his <italic>Discarded Image</italic> to discuss what it means for a Christian author to write in a pre-Christian mode. I find a model for such writing in Ecclesiastes, and discuss how Boethius, while confining himself to the pagan wisdom of Greece and Rome, points the way from philosophical consolation to theological transformation. I then use Tolkien’s ‘<italic>Beowulf</italic>: The Monsters and the Critics’ to unpack the distinction between the author’s Christian faith and the purely pagan consolation he offers to his characters, and locate that dynamic in the epic itself. Next, I explore how Tolkien, in imitation of <italic>Beowulf</italic>, balances a deep sense of loss and fatalism with an intimation of a higher providence guiding all. Finally, I show how Lewis, in imitation of Boethius, finds in the pagan world of his novel seeds of a greater revelation to come.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of C. S. Lewis Concerning Faith, Doubt, Pride, Corrupted Love, and Dying to Oneself in<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In <italic>Till We Have Faces</italic> (<italic>TWHF</italic>), C. S. Lewis combines his passion for pagan mythology with his knack for communicating Christian truths via story, powerfully illustrating a number of theological and moral positions that are prominent in many of his other writings. This article examines two major themes in <italic>TWHF</italic> that are also emphasized heavily within Lewis’s prose: (1) maintaining faith (which is examined from various angles) in the face of various emotionally-driven temptations to doubt; and (2) recognizing that pride prevents us from knowing God and corrupts the love we have for others into a jealous hatred. The article uncovers a variety of ways that Lewis masterfully paints a picture via the characters and the story of <italic>TWHF</italic> that exemplifies religious and ethical insights within these two themes.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue, Who God Is, and a Cure for our Deepest Shame: A Few Reflections on<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Till We Have Faces</italic> is a retelling of the Cupid/Psyche myth with a few twists, namely, a nonstandard narrator and the inability of Psyche’s sister, Orual, to see the palace. Both innovations lead the reader to understand better the dynamics at play in Orual’s effort to disrupt Psyche’s life with her husband/god. The inability to see, on Orual’s part, at first suggests that the nature of the story is primarily epistemological. What is it that can be reasonably known or inferred? Digging deeper, however, reveals that the epistemic elements are actually penultimate, and that instead the book bolsters an ethically robust epistemology. Who we are deeply affects what we can see. Before Orual could apprehend the nature of the gods, she had to be brutally honest about who she herself was. A victim of abuse who was constantly shamed for reasons beyond her control, she is a sympathetic character in several ways, but she gradually moves from being victim to victimizer, treating others as means to ends, and, in the case of Psyche, ‘loving’ her in a way that was more hate than love. Self-knowledge was needed for Orual to apprehend the truth. She comes to realize her treatment of Bardia, Batta, Redival, and especially Psyche was not as pure and altruistic as she had thought. She had to come to terms with the ugliness within herself, and her penchant for consuming others, before she could hope to see the beauty and love of the gods for what they were.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue Mystery of Grace: A Theological Reading of C. S. Lewis’s<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p><italic>Till We Have Faces</italic> is profitably read at three levels: for its surface story, as a crime drama, and as an exploration of the theological mystery of grace. By transposing the myth of Psyche into the mystery genre, Lewis prepares the reader for Orual’s unreliability as a narrator and lures the reader into the novel’s theological depths. Part Two of the novel contains a series of visionary labors which Lewis borrows from Lucius Apuleius but recasts as feats achieved jointly by Orual and Psyche. The theological reading in this article finds textual support for rereading Part One of the novel as depicting Orual, by grace, unknowingly performing Psyche’s labors. Read thusly, the novel is a working out of Lewis’s belief that God can change the past—that grace can reach back into our histories and retell our story. By ascribing to the mutability of the past, Lewis sidesteps the dispute among various branches of Christianity over whether prevenient grace (the grace that pursues us prior to conversion) is both irresistible and salvific. An examination of four sources of grace in Orual’s life (love of beauty, love of wisdom, religious practice, and bereavement) reveals that what would have been common grace in her life becomes salvific as it leads to her redemption. This exposition also shows the novel’s indebtedness to the many classical Greek sources to which Lewis alludes within it, as well as its affinity with some of the ideas of Simone Weil.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as Signpost: The Autobiographical Impulse of C. S. Lewis<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>For half a century, readers of C. S. Lewis had only two problematic and at times obscure spiritual autobiographies (<italic>The Pilgrim’s Regress</italic> and <italic>Surprised by Joy</italic>) to use in attempts to understand Lewis’s journey to faith through what he called Joy, Sehnsucht, or longing. Both books, though important and full of key insights, in some ways hid more than they revealed. Recent discoveries, however, have widened the arc of autobiography. Lewis’s landmark pre-Christian account of his conversion to theism, ‘Early Prose Joy’, published in 2013, monumentally widened and deepened our understanding of Lewis’s spiritual journey to faith. And the fragmentary poem ‘I Will Write Down the Portion that I Understand’ also adds significant insight, at least into Lewis’s composition process of grappling with conversion. Insightful recent scholarship by Alister McGrath suggests widening the scope of what we consider spiritual autobiography in Lewis to include <italic>A Grief Observed</italic>; this idea opens the door to a broader view of how autobiography functions both in Lewis’s compositional life and in the categorization of his writings. This essay accepts that invitation, finding clear autobiographical efforts to capture the role of Joy in Lewis’s early poetry, including <italic>Dymer</italic>, and in his late novel <italic>Till We Have Faces</italic>. That last book, written with soon-to-be-wife Joy Davidman, serves crucially to change the focus of Lewis’s spiritual autobiographies from Joy to love. By thus expanding and exploring Lewis’s autobiographical arc, this essay brings to light an almost teleological understanding of love and the central theme of Lewis’s life and work.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue