"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, May 23, 2012

New Series on Orthodoxy in the 21st Century

The World Council of Churches has just announced the publication of a new series of books, "Doxa and Praxis: Exploring Orthodox Theology."

The first two publications will be released later this summer. The first is by the well-known Orthodox theologian Metropolitan Kallistos Ware and is titled Orthodox Theology in the Twenty-First Century. The second book is by the series editor, Pantelis Kalaitzidis, Orthodoxy and Political Theology.

The WCC has also recently published several books of interest to Eastern Christians, including the edited collection of essays, Just Peace: Orthodox Perspectives (WCC Publications, 2012).

About this book the publisher tells us:
Despite their largely pacifist origins, Christianity and Christian traditions can claim only limited success in their efforts to conciliate conflict, avoid violence, and stop war. The eminent contributors to this deeply reflective book believe it is time to look to the East, to the very different perspectives among Orthodox Christians, on issues of war and the justice that must undergird peace. From Europe and Russia, as well as the Middle East and Asia, two dozen Orthodox theologians and church people cast the classic dilemmas of war and peace, military service, just war, and religious nationalism into a deeper theological framework. The book examines: the historical characterizations of Orthodoxy in a variety of settings and nations (Greece, Oriental Christianity, Bulgaria, Armenia, Western Europe, etc.); dilemmas of nationalism for the churches; the Russian Orthodox Church and the military; the invasion of Iraq; globalization; fundamentalism; interreligious tensions; the ecclesial vocation of peacemaking.

Also just released in January of this year is another edited collection,  Building Bridges: Between the Orthodox and Evangelical Traditions (WCC Publications, 2012), 268pp.
About this book the publisher tells us:
In recent decades, Evangelicals and Orthodox Christians have encountered each other more widely than ever before. Relationships have often been difficult and dogged by misunderstanding. How can two Christian traditions, which seem so different, begin to understand each other and find common ground? Is it possible for Orthodox and Evangelical Christians to move from competition to co-operation and develop relationships marked by mutual respect? What are the key theological issues between them which need to be faced? And what might these two traditions be able to offer together to the whole church? Building Bridges presents papers, reports, and reflections from a remarkable series of seminars, bringing together representatives of these streams of Christianity. Held at Bossey, Switzerland, between 2000 and 2006, the seminars built on earlier consultations and brought together theologians and church leaders from a wide range of Evangelical and Orthodox churches. The topics explored include the nature of salvation, the role and place of Holy Scripture, the nature and purpose of the church, and what it means to be human. Building Bridges will be a stimulus to further dialogue between two traditions of considerable theological and demographic significance.
Finally, released last November is a third collection of essays, Many Women Were Also There: the Participation of Orthodox Women in the Ecumenical Movement (WCC Press, 2011), 244pp. About this book the publisher tells us:
In this book, the distinctive voices of Orthodox Christian women wrestle with the realities of their lives and contexts - but also of their faith - within the long and ambiguous legacy of the Christian tradition for women. Keenly aware of the insights and shortcomings of Orthodox Christianity, they reflect the historical, theological, and practical aspects of women's experience. Drawing especially from North America, Europe, and Greece, the book includes noted theologians and biblical scholars, as well as women in ministry, counseling, political science, and public service. Together they envision a future in which Christian life delivers on the promise of those early days when "many women were with him."

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