Philosophy

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  1. Maximus The Confessor as a European Philosopher

    Maximus The Confessor as a European Philosopher

    $64.95

    Maximus the Confessor as a European Philosopher. The study of Maximus the Confessor’s thought has flourished in recent years: international conferences, publications and articles, new critical editions and translations mark a torrent of interest in the work and influence of perhaps the most sublime of the Byzantine Church Fathers. It has been repeatedly stated that the Confessor’s thought is of eminently philosophical interest. However, no dedicated collective scholarly engagement with Maximus the Confessor as a philosopher has taken place—and this volume attempts to start such a discussion. Apart from Maximus’ relevance and importance for philosophy in general, a second question arises: should towering figures of Byzantine philosophy like Maximus the Confessor be included in an overview of the European history of philosophy, or rather excluded from it—as is the case today with most histories of European philosophy? Maximus’ philosophy challenges our understanding of what European philosophy is. In this volume, we begin to address these issues and examine numerous aspects of Maximus’ philosophy—thereby also stressing the interdisciplinary character of Maximian studies. Contributors include: Fr. Maximos Constas, Justin Shaun Coyle, Vladimir Cvetković, Natalie Depraz, Demetrios Harper, Michael Harrington, Georgi Kapriev, Karolina Kochańczyk-Bonińska, Nicholas Loudovikos, Andrew Louth, John Panteleimon Manoussakis, Michail Mantzanas, Smilen Markov, Sotiris Mitralexis, Marcin Podbielski, Dionysios Skliris, Georgios Steiris, Stoyan Tanev, Torstein Theodor Tollefsen, Jordan Daniel Wood “This groundbreaking volume correctly identifies an odious convention in the division of disciplines: while major thinkers such as Augustine or Aquinas self-evidently make their way into being part of philosophy’s legacy, equally major thinkers that are categorized as ‘religious’ are exiled to the hermetically sealed domain of theology, even if their contribution to classical philosophical problems is unique, pertinent, and most fecund. The book at hand delivers on its promise of reclaiming Maximus the Confessor for philosophy and of recognizing his oeuvre as a critical contribution to its history; as such, it is one of those endeavors that contribute to nothing less than a paradigm change.” —Grigory Benevich, The Russian Christian Academy for the Humanities “This rich and diverse set of essays goes far in demonstrating not only the depth and nuance of Maximus the Confessor’s philosophical theology in its own context but its relevance to a wide array of contemporary theological concerns. They indicate very well why the study of Maximus has experienced a profound renaissance in the past several years, as this is a thinker whose stature matches the far more studied figures of Augustine and Aquinas. From metaphysics to theological anthropology, from apophaticism to ethics, this collection is a fine contribution to the expanding research on Maximus and will further generate interest in the Confessor among historical theologians, philosophers, and scholars from a wide variety of disciplines.” —Paul M. Blowers, Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan College Learn More
  2. Metaphysics As a Personal Adventure

    Metaphysics As a Personal Adventure

    $29.95

    Christos Yannaras in Conversation with Norman Russell Christos Yannaras remains one of the most fascinating voices in the Orthodox world. His theology is drawn less from books, than from encounters, experiences, the fate of Greece and of the world. All this is explored in an immensely engaging conversation with his principal translator, Norman Russell. An indispensible introduc-tion to the range and depth of Yannaras’ thought. —Andrew Louth, Professor Emeritus of Patristic & Byzantine Studies, Durham A captivating portrait of one of the most important contemporary Orthodox theologians and philosophers. It offers insight into Yannaras’ thought, and, perhaps more importantly, his ways of thinking—engaged, open, critical. It offers further depths for those already familiar with his works and a great introduction for those yet to encounter them. —Fr Georges Florovsky Distinguished Professor of Patristics, SVS Christos Yannaras is a philosopher, theologian, and political thinker widely regarded as one of the most important Orthodox thinkers of the twentieth century. He sees theology—along with philosophy—not as an academic enterprise, but as a serious approach to reality in all the dimensions vital to life today. A controversial figure, he castigates much of what passes for Christianity in the East as well as in the West, calling it a religionization of faith. In this book he responds to searching questions concerning his work, setting his thinking as a whole in an integrated vision of knowledge, truth, relationship, and salvation. CHRISTOS YANNARAS is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the Panteion University of Athens. He is also well known in Greece as a public intellectual through his newspaper columns and television appearances. NORMAN RUSSELL is an honorary research fellow of St Stephen’s House, Oxford. He is a noted patristics scholar and the English translator of several of Yannaras’s books. Learn More
  3. The Role of Death in Life. A Multidisciplinary Examination of the Relationship between Life and Death

    The Role of Death in Life. A Multidisciplinary Examination of the Relationship between Life and Death

    $49.95

    A Multidisciplinary Examination of the Relationship between Life and Death The relation between life and death is a subject of perennial relevance for all human beings--and indeed, the whole world and the entire universe, in as much as, according to the saying of ancient Greek philosophy, all things that come into being pass away. "In this book, the mutual implication of death and life is demonstrated from an astronomical level, in the emergence of human life from the death of stars, to the molecular level where death enables the emergence of cellular life, through anthropological, philosophical, and theological insights, to the realm of medical care for the dying, where it is claimed that 'only theology can save medicine.' A profound and challenging book." --Andrew Louth, Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University, United Kingdom "How can Christians defend the place of natural death and the death consequent upon sin, while continuing to insist upon the undying character of true life as such and so the reality of resurrection? These penetrating essays by several of the leading theological thinkers of our times will powerfully help the reader to ponder these crucial matters of our contemporary mortality." --John Milbank, Research Professor and Director of the Centre of Theology and Philosophy, University of Nottingham "For once, it is not a polite exaggeration to say this is a 'unique' book. The breadth of disciplines represented and the originality of the analysis offered make it an exceptional contribution to current debates. Anyone who thinks the dialogue between theology and the natural sciences is, at best, an exchange of uncomprehending platitudes, will have to think again in the face of these expert, challenging essays, which show that an orthodox theology of our embodied condition can be culturally transformative." --Rowan Williams, Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge "A substantive, important, and provocative volume. The insights of the essays it encompasses will richly reward the reader." --H. Tristram Engelhardt Jr., Professor of Philosophy, Rice University, Professor Emeritus, Baylor College of Medicine Learn More
  4. On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The Ambigua, Volume II

    On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The Ambigua, Volume II

    $39.95

    Out of stock

    Maximos the Confessor (580–662) occupies a unique position in the history of Byzantine philosophy, theology, and spirituality. His profound spiritual experiences and penetrating theological vision found complex and often astonishing expression in his unparalleled command of Greek philosophy, making him one of the most challenging and original Christian thinkers of all time. So thoroughly did his thought come to influence the Byzantine theological tradition that it is impossible to trace the subsequent history of Orthodox Christianity without knowledge of his work. The Ambigua (or “Book of Difficulties”) is Maximos’s greatest philosophical and doctrinal work, in which his daring originality, prodigious talent for speculative thinking, and analytical acumen are on lavish display. In the Ambigua, a broad range of theological topics—cosmology, anthropology, the philosophy of mind and language, allegory, asceticism, and metaphysics—are transformed in a synthesis of Aristotelian logic, Platonic metaphysics, Stoic psychology, and the arithmetical philosophy of a revived Pythagoreanism. The result is a labyrinthine map of the mind’s journey to God that figured prominently in the Neoplatonic revival of the Komnenian Renaissance and the Hesychast Controversies of the Late Byzantine period. This remarkable work has never before been available in a critically based edition or English translation. Nicholas Constas, editor and translator. Learn More
  5. On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The Ambigua, Volume I

    On Difficulties in the Church Fathers: The Ambigua, Volume I

    $44.95

    Out of stock

    Maximos the Confessor (580–662) occupies a unique position in the history of Byzantine philosophy, theology, and spirituality. His profound spiritual experiences and penetrating theological vision found complex and often astonishing expression in his unparalleled command of Greek philosophy, making him one of the most challenging and original Christian thinkers of all time. So thoroughly did his thought come to influence the Byzantine theological tradition that it is impossible to trace the subsequent history of Orthodox Christianity without knowledge of his work. The Ambigua (or “Book of Difficulties”) is Maximos’s greatest philosophical and doctrinal work, in which his daring originality, prodigious talent for speculative thinking, and analytical acumen are on lavish display. In the Ambigua, a broad range of theological topics—cosmology, anthropology, the philosophy of mind and language, allegory, asceticism, and metaphysics—are transformed in a synthesis of Aristotelian logic, Platonic metaphysics, Stoic psychology, and the arithmetical philosophy of a revived Pythagoreanism. The result is a labyrinthine map of the mind’s journey to God that figured prominently in the Neoplatonic revival of the Komnenian Renaissance and the Hesychast Controversies of the Late Byzantine period. This remarkable work has never before been available in a critically based edition or English translation. Nicholas Constas, editor and translator. Learn More
  6. Becoming Human: Meditations on Christian Anthropology in Word and Image

    Becoming Human: Meditations on Christian Anthropology in Word and Image

    $34.95

    This book reflects upon various dimensions and implications of the astounding fact that Christ shows us what it is to be God by the way he dies as a human being and, in so doing, simultaneously shows us what it is to be a human being. Connecting the end—“It is finished”—with the beginning—“Let us make a human being” Fr John Behr challenges us to think again about who we are, as male and female, what we are called to become, and the relation between life and death in this journey. Presented in a poetic and meditative manner, adorned by images and offset quotations, this book inclines the reader towards a meditative reading, weighing, rather than skimming, each word and image. The Very Rev. Dr John Behr is the Dean of St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Professor of Patristics, and the Editor of the Popular Patristics Series. He is also the author of The Way to Nicaea, The Nicene Faith and The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death, all available from SVS Press. "In the Church we are still on the road to Emmaus," says Fr John Behr. This is just one of the many striking phrases in this short but far-sighted book. Fr John has the precious gift of expressing profound truths in simple language. I note in particular the way in which he envisages human nature in dynamic terms, not as something "given" once for all, but as an uncompleted project. I shall also remember what he says about death as a starting-point, not an end-point. The text is enhanced by the many illustrations: there is a skillful interplay between word and image. This is a book to read and re-read. ~Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia Learn More
  7. Authority in Byzantium

    Authority in Byzantium

    $138.60

    Authority is an important concept in Byzantine culture whose myriad modes of implementation helped maintain the existence of the Byzantine state across so many centuries, binding together people from different ethnic groups, in different spheres of life and activities. Learn More
  8. Icons in Time, Persons in Eternity: Orthodox Theology and the Aesthetics of the Christian Image

    Icons in Time, Persons in Eternity: Orthodox Theology and the Aesthetics of the Christian Image

    $128.80

    Icons in Time, Persons in Eternity presents a critical, interdisciplinary examination of contemporary theological and philosophical studies of the Christian image and redefines this within the Orthodox tradition by exploring the ontological and aesthetic implications of Orthodox ascetic and mystical theology. It finds Modernist interest in the aesthetic peculiarity of icons significant, and essential for re-evaluating their relationship to non-representational art. Drawing on classical Greek art criticism, Byzantine ekphraseis and hymnography, and the theologies of St. Maximus the Confessor, St. Symeon the New Theologian and St. Gregory Palamas, the author argues that the ancient Greek concept of enargeia best conveys the expression of theophany and theosis in art. The qualities that define enargeia - inherent liveliness, expressive autonomy and self-subsisting form - are identified in exemplary Greek and Russian icons and considered in the context of the hesychastic theology that lies at the heart of Orthodox Christianity. An Orthodox aesthetics is thus outlined that recognizes the transcendent being of art and is open to dialogue with diverse pictorial and iconographic traditions. An examination of Ch’an (Zen) art theory and a comparison of icons with paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko and Marc Chagall, and by Japanese artists influenced by Zen Buddhism, reveal intriguing points of convergence and difference. The reader will find in these pages reasons to reconcile Modernism with the Christian image and Orthodox tradition with creative form in art. Learn More
  9. Turning East: Contemporary Philosophers and the Ancient Christian Faith

    Turning East: Contemporary Philosophers and the Ancient Christian Faith

    $38.95

    The Orthodox Church is one of the largest religious groups in the world. Yet, it remains an enigma in the West, especially among those who mistake it either for a Greek version of Roman Catholicism or for an exotic mixture of Christianity and eastern religion. Many, however, are coming to recognize the Orthodox Church for what it is: a worldwide community of Christian disciples that has been faithful to the apostolic command, “stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or by our epistle” (2 Thess 2.15). Consequently, growing numbers of people are finding their true home in the Church that has “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2.42). Among these converts are dozens of contemporary philosophers. Some are accomplished, world-renowned, senior scholars. Others are junior scholars in the earliest stages of their careers. As a group, they belong neither to any particular philosophical ‘school’ nor to any particular Orthodox jurisdiction. What they have in common is a desire to enter deeply into an authentic and loving communion with the Living God, with God’s people, and ultimately with all of God’s creation. Turning East is a collection of autobiographical essays in which sixteen of these philosophers describe their personal journeys to the Orthodox Church, explain their reasons for becoming Orthodox Christians, and offer a sense of how their conversions have changed their lives. Learn More
  10. Gregory of Nyssa and the Concept of Divine Persons

    Gregory of Nyssa and the Concept of Divine Persons

    $47.95

    The concept of personhood is central to a wide range of contemporary issues, ranging from reproductive rights to the death penalty and euthanasia. We may think that the concept of person is a modern discovery. In fact, however, this idea does not originate with our discovery of human rights, consciousness, and individuality. As this study shows, for example, the fourth-century theologian Gregory of Nyssa developed a very sophisticated concept of the person in the context of his attempts to clarify the paradox of the Trinity - a single God comprising three distinct persons. Turcescu offers the first in-depth analysis of Gregory's writings about the divine persons. Turcescu's work not only contributes to our knowledge of the history of Trinitarian theology but can be helpful to theologians who are dealing with issues in contemporary ethics. Learn More

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