Read Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church by John D. Zizioulas Free Online
Book Title: Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church|
The author of the book: John D. Zizioulas
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 959 KB
Edition: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press
Date of issue: 1997
ISBN 13: 9780881410297
Read full description of the books Being as Communion: Studies in Personhood and the Church:this is one of my all-time favorites so figured i should put it up here. zizioulas is a prominent eastern orthodox theologian who proposes a trinitarian understanding of identity in which to truly "be" means to "be-in-relation" to others. he challenges the roots of individualistic framings of personhood which start with the individual as an enclosed self and thereafter move second-hand to social relations; and proposes in its place an understanding of personhood as inherently and primarily relational: we exist as persons in and through our relations to God / others / creation.
this trinitarian framework grounded in the life of the Father, Son and Spirit as an eternal communion of self-giving love affirms distinction and union: in our relations we are distinct, but only in-and-towards the other, not as self-enclosed monads. we are united, but not as liquid absorbed into the ocean of the amorphous universal, but rather as distinct-yet-inseparable beings in integrated relationship with the world which constitutes our identity as distinct persons.
this ontological framework has tremendous implications for the nature of the church as well. while i had a harder time relating to the second-half of the book which deals more with orthodox ecclesiology, the point was well-taken that what Christ forms around himself is a communion of persons drawn into the very trinitarian life of God in union with Christ and enveloped in the Spirit as eschatological anticipation of the approaching reunion of God with his creation when God shall "be all in all".
i think this book is important to those of us in the Western church like myself who have defined our spirituality very individualistically as a "me and God" thing and Jesus as "my" "personal" lord & saviour; i'm inspired to move towards a Christian spirituality which is more dependent upon the broader diverse community that I need for my spiritual formation, and the broader need for me to be reconciled not only to God but to the humanity, city, and creation of which I am inextricably a part. The redemption of my personhood will entail the healing of my relationships to all these varied spheres of life.
Read information about the authorHis Eminence, the Most Reverend John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon (b. 1931) is a modern theologian and titular Metropolitan of Pergamon, under the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. The future metropolitan was born January 10, 1931. He began his studies at the University of Thessaloniki but took his first theology degree from the University of Athens in 1955. He studied patristics under Father Georges Florovsky at Harvard Divinity School, receiving his M.T.S. in 1956, and his doctorate in theology from the University of Athens in 1965. He was professor of theology for 14 years at the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh, and has been a visiting professor at the University of Geneva, Gregorian University, and King's College, London. He was consecrated as a bishop on June 22, 1986 and named Metropolitan of Pergamon.
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