Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church

Bloomsbury Publishing
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'Communion and otherness: how can these be reconciled?' In this wide-ranging study, the distinguished Orthodox theologian, Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, seeks to answer that question. In his celebrated book, Being as Communion (1985), he emphasised the importance of communion for life and for unity. In this important companion volume he now explores the complementary fact that communion is the basis for true otherness and identity.


With a constant awareness of the deepest existential questions of today, Metropolitan John probes the Christian tradition and highlights the existential concerns that already underlay the writings of the Greek fathers and the definitions of the early ecumenical councils. In a vigorous and challenging way, he defends the freedom to be other as an intrinsic characteristic of personhood, fulfilled only in communion.




After a major opening chapter on the ontology of otherness, written specially for this volume, the theme is systematically developed with reference to the Trinity, Christology, anthropology and ecclesiology. Another new chapter defends the idea that the Father is cause of the Trinity, as taught by the Cappadocian fathers, and replies to criticisms of this view. The final chapter responds to the customary separation of ecclesiology from mysticism and strongly favours a mystical understanding of the body of Christ as a whole. Other papers, previously published but some not easily obtainable, are all revised for their inclusion here.




This is a further contribution to dialogue on some of the most vital issues for theology and the Church from one of the leading figures in modern ecumenism.
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About the author

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 Communion and Otherness (2006), and has been a major Orthodox contributor to modern ecumenical discussion.

Paul McPartlan is Carl J. Peter Professor of Systematic Theology and Ecumenism at the Catholic University of America.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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Published on
Jul 15, 2010
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Pages
330
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ISBN
9780567360144
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christian Theology / General
Religion / Christian Theology / Systematic
Religion / Theology
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This content is DRM protected.
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Fr. Laurence J. Spiteri
 Not only inefficiency, but frustration, disorder, anger, and injustice threaten all human endeavors, no matter how pure their motives or high their ideals. That's why successful organizations always create employee handbooks and clear procedure manuals that delineate where authority lies, how conflicts are to be resolved, and, above all, how each organization's mission is (and is not) to be accomplished.

Is it any wonder then that the Catholic Church—comprised not of 200 persons but 1.2 billion members in 200 countries—also governs itself by means of a handbook, which it calls the Code of Canon Law?

Because handbooks and manuals concern themselves with the day-to-day inner working of organizations, they often reveal more than do news releases about the actual purposes and genuine spirit of organizations: a fact that's particularly true in the case of the Catholic Church.

Indeed, if you want to know the Church for who She is, you need to be familiar with the Code of Canon Law. Unfortunately, it contains over 1,752 rules (or canons). Among them, you'll find fascinating canons that lay out the Church's official principles and procedures governing matters as various as abbots and annulments, scandals and Sacraments, monks and missions, bishops and books, priests and popes, synods and sacraments, homeschoolers, hostile witnesses, baptisms, burials, parishes, penance, confessions, Councils, impotence, imprimaturs, and, even marriages to the person who murdered your spouse!

Thankfully, Vatican expert and veteran author Fr. Laurence Spiteri has in the pages of Canon Law Explained relieved you of the need to read all 1,752 of them (fascinating or not). Here he acquaints you with the fundamental canons by which the Church seeks to bring about, as it declares in the very last canon, the purpose all of them serve: "The salvation of souls, which must always be the supreme law in the Church."

Fr. Spiteri's brief, but lucid explanations of the origins and meaning of the canons make sense of much that puzzles non-Catholics about our Church and that sometimes frustrates even us Catholics. As he relates the Church's laws and procedures directly to Christ's command "to go forth and teach all nations"—and to the role those laws and procedures play in your salvation and mine—Fr. Spiteri transforms what seem to be dry-as-dust rules into the sweet waters of salvation.

If you want to know the Church for who She is—and to love Her more—Canon Law Explained is the book for you.

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