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By John Zizioulas

‘Communion and otherness: how can those be reconciled?' during this wide-ranging research, the celebrated Orthodox theologian, Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon, seeks to respond to that question. In his celebrated booklet, Being as Communion (1985), he emphasized the significance of communion for all times and for solidarity. during this very important spouse quantity he now explores the complementary proven fact that communion is the foundation for precise otherness and id.

With a relentless expertise of the private existential questions of at the present time, Metropolitan John probes the Christian culture and highlights the existential issues that already underlay the writings of the Greek fathers and the definitions of the early ecumenical councils. In a lively and demanding method, he defends the liberty to be different as an intrinsic attribute of personhood, fulfilled in simple terms in communion.

After an immense starting bankruptcy at the ontology of otherness, written specifically for this quantity, the topic is systematically built with regards to the Trinity, Christology, anthropology and ecclesiology. one other new bankruptcy defends the concept the daddy is reason behind the Trinity, as taught via the Cappadocian fathers, and replies to criticisms of this view. the ultimate bankruptcy responds to the standard separation of ecclesiology from mysticism and strongly favours a paranormal figuring out of the physique of Christ as an entire. different papers, formerly released yet a few no longer simply available, are all revised for his or her inclusion here.

This is a different contribution to discussion on one of the most very important matters for theology and the Church from one of many major figures in smooth ecumenism.

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Christians could not comply with this "philosophical" assumption'. 17 G. Florovsky, Creation and Redemption, p. 219: 'the world has a contingent beginning, yet no end. It stands by the immutable will of God'. 16 On Being Other 19 (c) it would not be ontologically 'other', since its being would be essentially and ultimately identical with the nature from which it has come forth. Its end would have been like the beginning by necessity, and, if the beginning was nothing, it would return by necessity to nothing, whereas if its beginning was 'something', it would return by necessity to that 'something' from which it came forth.

A 'panentheistic' conception of the world would seem to result from such a teaching. It would, however, have to be expressed not in substantialist but in personalist categories. This means that, in its deeper being, the world is what it is, namely a whole of particulars constantly undergoing modification so as to become relational and at the same time other, not by virtue of an interaction of substances in a sort of quasichemical manner, but in and through the presence and involvement of a Person who lends his mode of being, his hypostasis, so as to 'effect the mystery of his embodiment in everything',56 enabling everything in creation to undergo the modification necessary for its being relational and particular or other at the same time.

III. OTHERNESS AND THE BEING OF CHRIST If we now come to Christology, we shall see how otherness and freedom meet in the constitution of the being of the Saviour. Chalcedon defined Christ's being as being made up of two natures, divine and human, united Without division and without confusion'. The issue of otherness is central to this definition. We noted above, in connection with the doctrine of creation, that the being of God and the being of the world are by definition totally other, owing to the intervention of freedom in the event of creation.

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