"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, June 10, 2015

Imperial-Ecclesial Crises

As Aristotle Papanikolaou's recent book, The Mystical as Political: Democracy and Non-Radical Orthodoxy notes, questions of church and state, which for many in the Western Church seem to have been long-settled, are still live issues in new ways for many in the Christian East after the fall of the Soviet Union. But they were of course live issues around the time of the collapse of other empires, including the West-Roman Empire as a recent book elaborates: Phil Booth, Crisis of Empire: Doctrine and Dissent at the End of Late Antiquity (University of California Press, 2013), 416pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:
This book focuses on the attempts of three ascetics—John Moschus, Sophronius of Jerusalem, and Maximus Confessor—to determine the Church’s power and place during a period of profound crisis, as the eastern Roman empire suffered serious reversals in the face of Persian and then Islamic expansion. By asserting visions which reconciled long-standing intellectual tensions between asceticism and Church, these authors established the framework for their subsequent emergence as Constantinople's most vociferous religious critics, their alliance with the Roman popes, and their radical rejection of imperial interference in matters of the faith. Situated within the broader religious currents of the fourth to seventh centuries, this book throws new light on the nature not only of the holy man in late antiquity, but also of the Byzantine Orthodoxy that would emerge in the Middle Ages, and which is still central to the churches of Greece and Eastern Europe.

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...