A Life Together: Wisdom of Community from the Christian East

Overview

 

Written in the tradition of the Orthodox East’s “desert tradition” of short meditations on spiritual themes, Bishop Seraphim’s new book is the Eastern Church’s answer to Bonheoffer’s great reflection on similar themes. Here, Bishop Seraphim explores the Russian understanding of the term Sobornost, a word for “community” first introduced in the 19th century, which has taken shape as a key concept for exploring what community means and how unity between human beings is...

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Overview

 

Written in the tradition of the Orthodox East’s “desert tradition” of short meditations on spiritual themes, Bishop Seraphim’s new book is the Eastern Church’s answer to Bonheoffer’s great reflection on similar themes. Here, Bishop Seraphim explores the Russian understanding of the term Sobornost, a word for “community” first introduced in the 19th century, which has taken shape as a key concept for exploring what community means and how unity between human beings is truly possible.

 

This uniquely Eastern perspective on a topic of interest to people everywhere will appeal to anyone hungering for a new understanding of community that can inspire daily life. The book will also leave readers with the happy awareness that the history of the Church is not something closed and complete, nor is Christianity an exhausted creed which has run its course. Instead, Christianity is young and ever new, and the Church is just beginning to discover the inwardness that is implicit in the Gospels.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Taking his cues from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's influential Life Together, Moscow bishop and author Sigrist (Theology of Wonder) puts an Eastern Orthodox spin on the theme of unity. Like Bonhoeffer, his push for community stems from an inability to meet with other Christians, one result of life under Soviet rule of Russia. Other similar themes emerge: the importance of group prayer, the need to bear one another's burdens. Yet Sigrist takes the German martyr's ideas a step beyond the daily conduct of earthly communities, suggesting that true community is found in sobornost. Leaving the Russian term untranslated, he explains his meaning: in a deeper interdependence, all things on Heaven and Earth are one. Ideas from various theologians, sacred texts, and quantum physics build out the short meditation, serving to increase the motivation for the practice of unity. Readers in a global society fraught with discord will find hope in this revived prescription for an "interweaving of relationships." Sigrist's nuggets of wisdom are the kind of gems that readers will treasure and quote for years to come. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781557258007
  • Publisher: Paraclete Press
  • Publication date: 4/1/2011
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Bishop Seraphim Sigrist is a Bishop of the Orthodox Church in America. Formerly a missionary in Japan, he has also taught at Drew University in New Jersey. His publications include two books of Christian spirituality, a translated book of the Japanese author Kenji Miyazawa, as well as frequent contributions to Parabola.

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