"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Personhood in Leontius of Byzantium

Holy Cross Orthodox Press in Brookline recently sent me a copy of Stelios Ramfos, Yearning for the One: Chapters in the Inner Life of the Greeks, trans. Norman Russell (2011), 352pp.

About this book the publisher tells us: 
In this searching investigation, Stelios Ramfos explores the roots of the modern debate on the person and concludes that the preoccupation of the Byzantine Greeks with eternity inhibited them from developing a fruitful sense of interiority. He argues that, nevertheless, a figure such as Leontius of Byzantium can suggest a way forward if Byzantine theological thinking is re-visited in the light of insights derived from the Western philosophical tradition.
In his "blurb" for the book, Aristotle Papanikolaou rightly links Ramfos's book with the wider preoccupation with theological anthropology today, especially (thanks to John Zizioulas in particular) the Cappadocians:
One of the most important and ecumenically influential contributions of Orthodox theology in the last century to broader discussions on the Trinity, Christology, theological anthropology, and ecclesiology has been the retrieval of a relational understanding of personhood, in which the person is constituted as an event of irreducible uniqueness and ecstatic freedom in relations of communion. Stelios Ramfos, however, convincingly demonstrates that for a contemporary theological anthropology, there exists a depth and richness to the Byzantine tradition well beyond the Cappadocian Fathers. . . . Through his masterful translation, Norman Russell again makes available to the English-speaking world an engaging and provocative book by a Greek intellectual. Ramfos expands our knowledge of the Byzantine tradition and contemporary Orthodox theology; he also enriches the current debate, theological and philosophical, on the nature of personhood. --(Aristotle Papanikolaou, Fordham University)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...