Divine Essence and Divine Energies: Ecumenical Reflections on the Presence of God in Eastern Orthodoxy

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9780227173862: Divine Essence and Divine Energies: Ecumenical Reflections on the Presence of God in Eastern Orthodoxy

A composite book of essays from ten scholars, Divine Essence and Divine Energies provides a rich repository of diverse opinion about the essence-energy distinction in Orthodox Christianity - a doctrine which lies at the heart of the often-fraught fault line between East and West, and which, in this book, inspires a lively dialogue between the contributors. The contents of the book revolve around several key questions: In what way were the Aristotelian concepts of ousia and energeia used by the Church Fathers, and to what extent were their meanings modified in the light of the Christological and Trinitarian doctrines? What theological function does the essence-energy distinction fulfil in Eastern Orthodoxy with respect to theology, anthropology, and the doctrine of creation? What are the differences and similarities between the notions of divine presence and participation in seminal Christian writings, and what is the relationship between the essence-energy distinction and Western ideas of divine presence? A valuable addition to the dialogue between Eastern and Western Christianity, this book will be of great interest to any reader seeking a rigorously academic insight into the wealth of scholarly opinion regarding the essence-energy distinction.

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About the Author:

Dr. C. Athanasopoulos has published more than 20 papers and four books in Philosophy and Theology. He was a Director of Distance Learning at IOCS and is currently an Associate Lecturer in Philosophy at the Open University (UK).

Review:

‘...A valuable addition to the dialogue between Eastern and Western Christianity, this book will be of great interest to any reader seeking a rigorously academic insight into the wealth of scholarly opinion about the essence-energy distinction...’ (The American Journal of Biblical Theology, Vol. 14, Number 19, May 2013)

“[Divine Essence and Divine Energies], represents a model of honest and open theological and intellectual dialogue between theologians of the Christian East and the West, a quality ecumenical effort.” (G. Gispert-Sauch, S. J. Journal of Theological Reflection, Vol. 77/6 June 2013)

This collection of articles, which will be of great interest to scholars of Eastern Orthodox theology and Catholic-Orthodox dialogue, shows that the conversation [concerning the theological vision of Gregory Palamas] is set to continue. (Thomas Cattoi Reviews in Religion and Theology, Vol.21, No.1, January 2014)

Certainly, this volume deserves the attention of all those interested in conciliar discourse. Yet it also serves as a vital text that might direct the reader towards deeper understanding of the “Uncreated Light” and related doctrinal concepts. The content and contours of this volume elevate the discussion of the divine energy-essence distinctions while the breadth and depth of perspectives serve to challenge the reader with a rich intellectual exercise. The writers of the ten essays walk carefully and critically across the subject matter while demonstrating the latitude in which the Christian tradition has travelled historically, philosophically, and theologically as it has sought to understand a doctrine at the center of the East-West divide. Accordingly, I would highly recommend this as a chief text for student and scholar alike. (Ashley John Moyse American Journal of Archaeology, Vol.7, No.1, January 15th 2014)

This book is not for the faint-hearted but the keenly interested will find it a worthy adventure. (Christopher Villiers, Catholic Lay Theologian Theological Book Review, Vol. 25, No.2, 2013)

This symposium inspired by David Bradshaw's brilliant and controversial book, Aristotle: East and West (20014), gathers together contributions from theologians of both East and West, who reflect on the book and its central contention about the crucial role of the uncreated energies in an Orthodox metaphysics, topped and tailed by contributions from Bradshaw himself, conclusions responding to the sumposium. (Andrew Louth Theology, Theology, vol 117, issue 6, 2014)

In Divine Essence and Divine Energies: Ecumenical Reflections on the Presence of God in Eastern Orthodoxy, theologians of other traditions discuss the distinction between the essence and energy of God, a key part of Orthodox spirituality not replicated elsewhere. (Church Times, 22nd January 2016)

...this work contains an ecumenical undertaking of very high quality on a subject that goes beyond the basics! (C. R. Etudes Theologiques Et Religieuses)

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