"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, May 7, 2018

Byzantine Concepts of Personhood and Individuality

It has been said for a while now that the major theological questions of our time will be anthropological in nature. Much of the career and writings of John Zizioulas have been devoted to trying to address such questions, but now a new generation of younger scholars is arising to meet some of the same challenges. Collected into a book just released are a number of those scholarly writings: Personhood in the Byzantine Christian Tradition: Early, Medieval, and Modern Perspectives, eds. Alexis Torrance, Symeon Paschalidis (Routledge, 2018), 248 pages

About this collection the publisher tells us:
Bringing together international scholars from across a range of linked disciplines (theology, history, Byzantine studies and philosophy) to examine the concept of the person in the Greek Christian East, Personhood in the Byzantine Christian Tradition stretches in its scope from the New Testament to contemporary debates surrounding personhood in Eastern Orthodoxy. Contributions explore various dimensions of the issue in specific historical contexts that have not hitherto received the scholarly attention they deserve. The volume thus brings forward an important debate over the roots of contemporary notions of personhood and will provide a key stimulus to further work in this area.
Earlier this year, a paperback edition of another book edited by Torrance and Johannes Zachhuber was released: Individuality in Late Antiquity (Routledge, 2018), 204pp.

About this book the publisher tells us the following:
Late antiquity is increasingly recognised as a period of important cultural transformation. One of its crucial aspects is the emergence of a new awareness of human individuality. In this book an interdisciplinary and international group of scholars documents and analyses this development. Authors assess the influence of seminal thinkers, including the Gnostics, Plotinus, and Augustine, but also of cultural and religious practices such as astrology and monasticism, as well as, more generally, the role played by intellectual disciplines such as grammar and Christian theology. Broad in both theme and scope, the volume serves as a comprehensive introduction to late antique understandings of human individuality.

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