"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).

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Bulgarian and Romanian Scholars in the OCA

I attended a splendid ordination at the OCA parish of St. Nicholas yesterday, and there saw a considerable number of her theologians gathered, including my friend Fr. Radu Bordeianu, whom I interviewed here, and whose magnificent book, as I noted before, remains the most important work published in ecclesiology so far this century: Dumitru Staniloae: An Ecumenical Ecclesiology

The ordinand, Fr. Silviu Bunta, is a scholar teaching at the University of Dayton, specializing in Jewish-Eastern Christian mysticism and biblical and apocalyptic literature. This was the focus of his doctoral dissertation at Marquette, under his Doktorvater and the bishop who just ordained him, Alexander Golitzin. As a scholar who taught at Marquette until being elevated to the episcopate last year, Golitzin has published several books: The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain: Contemporary Voices from Mount Athos (St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 1995), 311pp.  (Another recent book on Mt. Athos was noted here, where I also interviewed the author.)

Bishop Alexander is also the translator of On the Mystical Life: The Ethical Discourses, Vol. 1: The Church and the Last Things and the second volume: On the Mystical Life: The Ethical Discourses, Vol. 2: On Virtue and Christian Life. 
Both of these books were published in the Popular Patristics series of St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, some of whose other offerings were noted here, here, and here.

Golitzin has also published on that most mysterious of characters, Dionysius: Et Introibo Ad Altare Dei: The Mystagogy of Dionysius Areopagita, with Special Reference to Its Predecessors in the Eastern Christian Tradition (1994). Other works on Dionysius have been noted here.

Finally, Bishop Alexander was one of the editors of The A to Z of the Orthodox Church,which was republished in 2010.

When it came time for communion, there was a Romanian triumvirate distributing the holy mysteries: Frs. Radu and Silviu, along with their friend and compatriot, Fr. Bogdan Bucur, author of Angelomorphic Pneumatology (Brill, 2009), 238pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
This book discusses the occurrence of angelic imagery in early Christian discourse about the Holy Spirit. Taking as its entry-point Clement of Alexandria’s less explored writings, Excerpta ex Theodoto, Eclogae propheticae, and Adumbrationes, it shows that Clement’s angelomorphic pneumatology occurs in tandem with spirit christology, within a theological framework still characterized by a binitarian orientation. This complex theological articulation, supported by the exegesis of specific biblical passages (Zech 4: 10; Isa 11 : 2-3; Matt 18:10), reworks Jewish and Christian traditions about the seven first-created angels, and constitutes a relatively widespread phenomenon in early Christianity. Evidence to support this claim is presented in the course of separate studies of Revelation, the Shepherd of Hermas, Justin Martyr, and Aphrahat.
Bucur is also author of the article "From Jewish Apocalypticism to Orthodox Mysticism" in that wonderful new collection edited by Augustine Casiday, The Orthodox Christian World, which I started reviewing in detail here.

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