The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theologyby Mary B. Cunningham, Elizabeth Theokritoff
Pub. Date: 01/12/2009
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Orthodox Christian theology is often presented as the direct inheritor of the doctrine and tradition of the early Church. But continuity with the past is only part of the truth; it would be false to conclude that the eastern section of the Christian Church is in any way static. Orthodoxy, building on its patristic foundations, has blossomed in the modern period. This… See more details below
Orthodox Christian theology is often presented as the direct inheritor of the doctrine and tradition of the early Church. But continuity with the past is only part of the truth; it would be false to conclude that the eastern section of the Christian Church is in any way static. Orthodoxy, building on its patristic foundations, has blossomed in the modern period. This volume focuses on the way Orthodox theological tradition is understood and lived today. It explores the Orthodox understanding of what theology is: an expression of the Church's life of prayer, both corporate and personal, from which it can never be separated. Besides discussing aspects of doctrine, the book portrays the main figures, themes and developments that have shaped Orthodox thought. There is particular focus on the Russian and Greek traditions, as well as the dynamic but less well-known Antiochian tradition and the Orthodox presence in the West.
Table of ContentsPart I. Doctrine and Tradition: 1. Who are the Orthodox Christians? A historical introduction Mary Cunningham and Elizabeth Theokritoff; 2. Scripture and tradition in the Church Theodore G. Stylianopoulos; 3. Biblical interpretation in worship Archimandrite Ephrem Lash; 4. God in Trinity Boris Bobrinskoy; 5. Creator and creation Elizabeth Theokritoff; 6. Christ and salvation Peter Bouteneff; 7. Eschatology Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev; 8. The Church Matthew Steenberg; 9. Theology of the icon Mariamna Fortounatto and Mary Cunningham; 10. The human person as image and likeness of God Nonna Verna Harrison; 11. The spiritual way John Chryssavgis; Part II. Contemporary Orthodox Theology: Its Formation and Character: 12. Church Fathers and the shaping of orthodox theology Augustine Casiday; 13. The patristic revival and its protagonists Andrew Louth; 14. The Russian religious revival and its theological legacy Michael Plekon; 15. Some key themes and figures in Greek theological thought Athanasios N. Papathanasiou; 16. Personhood and its exponents in twentieth-century orthodox theology Aristotle Papanikolaou; 17. The witness of the church in a pluralistic world: theological renaissance in the Church of Antioch Nicolas Abou Mrad; 18. Russian theology after totalitarianism Leonid Kishkovsky; 19. Orthodox Christianity in the West: the ecumenical challenge John Jillions.
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This is the stuff that sensational reality show type documentaries are made of. The basic disaster scenario the author is peddling is a polar shift, of the type of continents suddenly shifting tens of degrees, killing many species in a blink. Granted, most geophysicists are suggesting a magnetic field reversal in the next few centuries, caused either by repolarization of the geomagnetic field, or by migration of the magnetic poles; the rapid crustal shift model would result in an immense transfer of rotational energy by various forms of friction and hysteresis, causing oceans to heat up and even boil in places. This sort of thing has not happened in the past, much less every 10,000 years or so. Sudden vertical movements of thousands of feet are also unheard of. Rapid geological vertical movements do take place, over the course of millennia, not over decades or centuries. Over short time intervals isostatic equilibrium is maintained. If a continent develops a huge ice cap, it will subside over time, and when the ice has melted, it will rebound like Scandinavia has since its ice cap melted at the end of the latest glaciation. While the author does present some legitimate historic anomalies, they are placed alongside erroneous conclusions by others. For instance, the ruined city of Tihuanaco has been dated by erroneous archaeo-astronomocal method as some 15,000 years BC. Radiocarbon dating, on the other hand, is more like 1200 BC, according to Wikipedia. Sometimes a window is just a window, to paraphrase Freud. It was an interesting read. I'd liked to have seen what he would have written with some of these issues corrected. It does put certain items in their place. For instance, all the pages written on Atlantis is based on a few quotations from Plato. Anything about flying machines, antigravity, energy crystals, etc. is all from someone's fertile imagination. Conclusion: Don't waste your time.