Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation

Overview


Can Orthodox Christianity offer unique spiritual resources especially suited to the environmental concerns of today? This book makes the case that yes, it can. In addition to being the first substantial and comprehensive collection of essays, in any language, to address environmental issues from the Orthodox point of view, this volume with contributions from the most highly influential theologians and philosophers in contemporary world Orthodoxy will engage a wide audience, in academic as well as popular ...
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Toward an Ecology of Transfiguration: Orthodox Christian Perspectives on Environment, Nature, and Creation

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Overview


Can Orthodox Christianity offer unique spiritual resources especially suited to the environmental concerns of today? This book makes the case that yes, it can. In addition to being the first substantial and comprehensive collection of essays, in any language, to address environmental issues from the Orthodox point of view, this volume with contributions from the most highly influential theologians and philosophers in contemporary world Orthodoxy will engage a wide audience, in academic as well as popular circles--resonating not only with Orthodox audiences but with all those in search of a fresh approach to environmental theory and ethics that can bring the resources of ancient spirituality to bear on modern challenges.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This anthology is a monumental contribution to the literature on religion and ecology. The abundant contributions of the Orthodox tradition to seeing into the sacred depths of nature are evident in this rich collection of essays. It will stand as a classic in the field for years to come and help reshape reflections on our shared planetary future."-Mary Evelyn Tucker, Forum on Religion at Ecology at Yale

"Because the ecological crisis of our day is fundamentally a crisis of values, religious traditions have a crucial role in fostering a reverent sense of affiliation with the natural world. Two aspects of the present collection were especially illuminating for me in this regard. One was the vision of nature as a community of logoi: organisms and objects that in addition to being created by the Divine Logos, directly participate in that same creative mystery and power. The other was the sensuality and sweetness that Orthodox believers have often found in nature, from the poetry of St. Isaac the Syrian right up to the vision of our contemporary Bartholomew the "Green Patriarch." I feel personally grateful for this ambitious, inspiring, and timely book."-John Elder, Professor Emeritus of English and Environmental Studies at Middlebury College

"I must say from the onset that my enthusiasm can hardly be contained!. . . . To my knowledge there are no books currently being offered that provide the depth and scholarship found here. . . . This manuscript has gathered the best in the field and collated them into what certainly can become a foundational text book for further academic study."-Rev. Chad Hatfield, Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary

"I rate this as perhaps the signature work on Orthodoxy and the Environment (and Nature) available in English. [Its] range of topics and specializations make it useful for people who are not Orthodox and for those with diverse academic backgrounds. It is difficult to imagine anyone who cannot learn or benefit from some chapters or parts of this book."-Daniel P. Buxhoeveden, Research Professor, Founder and Director of the Religion and Science Initiative, University of South Carolina

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Product Details

Meet the Author

The Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Throne, taught theology in Sydney and Boston. He currently serves as theological advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues. His environmental publications include Beyond the Shattered Image (Light & Life) and On Earth as in Heaven (Fordham).

Bruce V. Foltz, Professor of Philosophy at Eckerd College is founding President for both the International Association for Environmental Philosophy and the Society for Nature, Philosophy, and Religion. His environmental publications include Inhabiting the Earth: Heidegger, Environmental Ethics, and the Metaphysics of Nature; Rethinking Nature: Essays in Environmental Philosophy; and The Noetics of Nature: Environmental Philosophy and the Holy Beauty of the Visible (forthcoming Fordham).

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Table of Contents

Contents
Prefatory Letter by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
Foreword by Bill McKibben

Introduction: "The Sweetness of Heaven Overflows onto the Earth": Orthodox Christianity and Environmental Thought
John Chryssavgis and Bruce V. Foltz

I. "Knowledge United to God": Environment, Nature, and Creation in Patristic Thought
The Logoi of Beings in Greek Patristic Thought
David Bradshaw
Hierarchy and Love in St. Dionysius the Areopagite
Eric D. Perl
The Beauty of the World and Its Significance in St. Gregory the Theologian
John Anthony McGuckin
Natural Contemplation in St. Maximus the Confessor and St. Isaac the Syrian
Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen)
Man and Cosmos in St. Maximus the Confessor
Andrew Louth

II. "The Heart That Receives": Environment, Nature, and Creation In Twentieth-Century Orthodox Thought
Ecology, Theology, and the World
Savas Agouridis
Through Creation to the Creator
Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia
Creation as Communion in Contemporary Orthodox Theology
Aristotle Papanikolaou
The Theological-Ethical Contributions of Archimandrite Sophrony (Sakharov) to Environmental Issues
Perry T. Hamalis
The Cosmology of the Eucharist
George Theokritoff
"A 'Tradition' That Never Existed": Orthodox Christianity and the Failure of Environmental History
Jurretta Jordan Heckscher
A New Heaven and a New Earth: Orthodox Christian Insights from Theology, Spirituality, and the Sacraments
John Chryssavgis
Proprietors or Priests of Creation?
Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon

III. "Love Comes from Meeting God": Historical, Theological, and Philosophical Dimensions Sedimentation of Meaning in the Concepts of Nature and the Environment
James Carey
Existential versus Regulative Approaches: The Environmental Issue as an Existential and Not a Canonical Problem
Christos Yannaras
Nature and Creation: A Comment on the Environmental Problem from a Philosophical and Theological Standpoint
Nikos Nissiotis
Physis and Ktisis: Two Different Ways of Thinking of the World
John Panteleimon Manoussakis
Human Image, World Image: The Renewal of Sacred Cosmology
Philip Sherrard
Environment and Security: Toward a Systemic Crisis of Humanity?
Costa Carras
Church Walls and Wilderness Boundaries: Defining the Spaces of Sanctuary
L. Michael Harrington
Orthodoxy and Ecopoetics: The Green World in the Desert Sea
Alfred K. Siewers
Perspectives on Orthodoxy, Evolution, and Ecology
Gayle E. Woloschak
Ecology, Morality, and the Challenges of the Twenty-First Century: The Earth in the Hands of the Sons of Noah
H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr.

IV. "Sweetness Overflowing onto the Earth": Insights from Orthodox Spirituality
The Fragile Surround
Scott Cairns
Liturgy, Cosmic Worship, and Christian Cosmology
Elizabeth Theokritoff
"All Creation Rejoices in You": Creation in the Liturgies for the Feasts of the Theotokos
Christina M. Gschwandtner
Traces of Divine Fragrance, Droplets of Divine Love: On the Beauty of Visible Creation
Bruce V. Foltz
Natural and Supernatural Revelation in Early Irish and Greek Monastic Thought: A Comparative Approach
Chrysostomos Koutloumousianos
Ecology and Monasticism
Archimandrite Vasileios
The Prophetic Charisma in Pastoral Theology: Asceticism, Fasting, and the Ecological Crisis
Anestis Keselopoulos
The Spirit of God Moved upon the Face of the Waters: Orthodox Holiness and the Natural World
Donald Sheehan

Appendixes
A. Vespers for the Environment
Translated by Archimandrite Ephrem (Lash)
B. Environment, Nature, and Creation in Orthodox Thought: A Bibliography of Texts in English
Compiled by John Chryssavgis and Bruce V. Foltz
C. Glossary
Compiled by Nicholas R. Anton

Notes
On the Contributors
Index

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