"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).

Thursday, April 3, 2014

How Good it is When the Brethren Dwell Together in Unity

Though it will set the usual Athonites and would-be Athonite bloggers to foaming at the mouth, the patriarchs of old and new Rome are set to commemmorate the meeting 50 years ago of their predecessors in Jerusalem. A short little book that was set for release in March, but appears delayed until the middle of this month, discusses that meeting in 1964 and its implications in the half-century since: John Chryssavgis, ed., Dialogue of Love: Breaking the Silence of Centuries (Fordham UP, 2014), 96pp.

About this book we are told:
In 1964, a little noticed, albeit pioneering encounter in the Holy Land between the heads of the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church spawned numerous contacts and diverse openings between the two "sister churches," which had not communicated with one another for centuries. This year, fifty years later, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will meet again in Jerusalem to commemorate that historical event and celebrate the close relations that have developed through mutual exchanges of formal visits and an official theological dialogue that began in 1980.

This book contains three unique chapters: 1) A sketch of the behind-the-scenes challenges and negotiations that accompanied the meeting in 1964, detailing the immediate consequences of the event and setting the tone for the volume. 2) An inspirational account, albeit interwoven with a scholarly evaluation of the work of the North American Standing Council on Orthodox/Catholic relations over the last decades. 3) A recently discovered reflection on the meeting that took place fifty years ago by one of the most important Orthodox theologians of the twentieth century, expressing cautious optimism about the future of Christian unity.
We are also given the table of contents:
Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon

John Chryssavgis

1. Pilgrimage toward Unity: Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI in Jerusalem Based on Correspondence and Archives
John Chryssavgis

2. Breathing with Both Lungs: Fifty Years of the Dialogue of Love
Brian E. Daley, S.J.

3. "A Sign of Contradiction": A Reflection on the Meeting of the Pope and the Patriarch
Georges Florovsky

Afterword: The Dawn of Expectation
Walter Cardinal Kasper

List of Contributors

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