'The Theology of John Zizioulas'

Copies of The Theology of John Zizioulas arrived here today. The book is published in May, and so far is visible on Amazon.co.uk only. Ashgate have the Contents page and Introduction. Here’s the blurb.

John Zizioulas is widely recognised as the most significant Orthodox theologian of the last half century and acclaimed advocate of ecumenism. From his indepth knowledge of the intellectual resources of the Church, Zizioulas has argued that the Church Fathers represent a profound account of freedom and community that represents a radical challenge to modern accounts of the person. Zizioulas uses the work of the Fathers to make an important distinction between the person, who is defined by a community, and the individual who defines himself in isolation from others, and who sees community as a threat to his freedom. Zizioulas argues that God is the origin of freedom and community, and that the Christian Church is the place in which the person and freedom come into being.

This volume offers a critical appraisal of the theology of John Zizioulas. Leading Anglican, Reformed, Catholic and Orthodox international scholars, including Colin Gunton, Nicholas Loudovikos, Paul McPartlan, Wolfhart Pannenberg and Philip Rosato present essays which analyse Zizioulas’ trinitarian doctrine of God, and his theological account of the Church as the place in which freedom and communion are actualised. Many include discussions of Zizioulas’ Being as Communion as well as other lesser known works, now available in Communion and Otherness. Together they represent an unrivalled introduction to the work of this great theologian.

Robert Turner Eschatology and Truth

Alan Brown On the Criticism of ‘Being as Communion’ in Anglophone Orthodox theology

Wolfhart Pannenberg Divine Economy and Eternal Trinity

Markus Mühling The Work of the Holy Spirit

Colin Gunton Persons and Particularity

Douglas Farrow Person and Nature

Nicholas Loudovikos Christian Life and Institutional Church

Demetrios Bathrellos Church, Eucharist, Bishop

Paul Collins Authority and Ecumenism

Philip Rosato SJ The Ordination of the Baptized

Paul McPartlan The Local and Universal Church

Douglas Knight The Spirit and Persons in the Liturgy

The first chapter by Robert Turner sets out the issues very lucidly and accessibly. In my case, words of one syllable are all I can manage these days, so the Introduction is an easy read for any undergraduate. Then comes a simply awesome chapter by Alan Brown which shows just how exciting this subject can get.

I am very grateful to all the book’s contributors of course, but most particularly to Demetrios Bathrellos, for whom this business has been going on for eight years, and to Mihail Neamtu, Alan Brown and Liviu Barbu, and to Pam Bertram and her colleagues at Ashgate. As for Zizioulas, I am still finding that there is much more to learn from this extraordinary theologian. As Liviu pointed out, he is a church father himself, and an apostle for the contemporary church.