Thursday 7 August 2014

Orthodox Christology - Second Edition

Orthodox Christology

A new, second edition, of this collection of papers by Father Peter Farrington of the British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate is now available for purchase as a paperback.

This new edition contains additional papers, and one paper which has never been published elsewhere before. The volume has now increased to over 350 pages of interesting and useful content.

These papers are of significant interest to those studying Orthodox Christology, and those interested in understanding the perspective of the Oriental Orthodox communion of Churches.

The volume can be purchased using the following link, and includes worldwide shipping. The fully inclusive price is £25.

The Table of Contents of this new edition is:

An introduction to Orthodox Christology
Eutyches and the Oriental Orthodox tradition
The Orthodox view of Ibas of Edessa

The Orthodox Christology of St Severus of Antioch
The Humanity of Christ in St Severus
Hypostasis in St Severus of Antioch
St Timothy Aelurus of Alexandria
After Chalcedon - Orthodoxy in the 5th/6th Centuries
The Oriental Orthodox Rejection of Chalcedon – An Introduction
The Intercession of the Archangel Michael in St Severus of Antioch
Some Brief Thoughts on the Eucharist from St Jacob of Serugh
A Syrian monk as educator
Natural disasters in the Sixth Century Chronicle of Pseudo-Joshua
The Apostle Thomas and the Origins of the Orthodox Church in India

New chapters...

The Orthodox Tradition and the Councils of the Church
Thoughts about Penal Substitution
A Conversation on the Will of Christ with an Eastern Orthodox Monk

Unpublished chapter...

Can the Oriental Orthodox receive the Eastern Orthodox Councils?

Excerpt from this chapter...

At the beginning of the 21st century it seems that the relationship between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox communities is as close as it has been for centuries. There certainly remain those within the Eastern Orthodox community who might be considered as viewing the Oriental Orthodox community through a prism of ignorance and misrepresentation, some of which is due to the lack of proper explanation by the Oriental Orthodox themselves. But increasingly it has become impossible for Eastern Orthodox to doubt that Oriental Orthodox have always confessed the perfect and complete humanity of Christ. In a growing number of congregations around the world there is a pastorally based reception to communion of lay members from other Orthodox communities. While formal agreements allowing communion between various Orthodox communities, and even proposals for reunion from senior Eastern and Oriental Orthodox hierarchs, suggest that an opportunity to explore the possibility of unity has now presented itself as both a challenge and encouragement.

Despite the positive outcome of the dialogues between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox communions over the last decades, it seems clear that an outstanding and significant issue remains the status of those councils not received by the Oriental Orthodox. These form such an important aspect of the life and witness of the Eastern Orthodox communion that they cannot easily be ignored. Recent agreements produced by the theological dialogue between the Eastern and Orthodox communities have appeared to skate over the need for a formal response from the Oriental Orthodox to these later councils.

Nevertheless, the Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox have been able to produce a Joint Agreement which confesses a mutual confidence that the same Christology has always been held by all. That being so, it must be the case that the later councils of the Eastern Orthodox, and even the most controversial texts such as the Tome of Leo, are all able to be understood in an Orthodox manner. These joint statements have been accepted by the Holy Synods of almost all the Oriental Orthodox churches and therefore represent a formal and official view of the Eastern Orthodox.
This seems to be a moment in history that calls for generous efforts to resolve centuries old disputes. If it is necessary to go that extra mile in the name of truth and love, then such demands must be embraced.

I have been a member of the British Orthodox Church within the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate for over twenty years. Even before I became Orthodox I was engaged in the consideration of the controversy between the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox communities, and it has continued to be one of the most important areas of my own research and study. To be able to write about the unhappy separation of those Orthodox Christians who believe and practice the same faith requires some detailed understanding of the controversial issues, and of the historical consequences of events taking place over 1500 years ago.

This paper is part of a wider project to consider and respectfully present proposals aimed at encouraging the reconciliation of the Eastern and Oriental Orthodox communities. In this particular study it will be considered whether the Oriental Orthodox can receive the Eastern Orthodox councils in some formal manner. I believe it is both possible and necessary, and that such a reception can take place without the Oriental Orthodox abandoning our own consistency of faith and continuity of history.

It will be necessary to consider the Tome of Leo, the councils of Chalcedon, the Second of Constantinople, the Third of Constantinople and the Second of Nicaea. If we must accept them for the sake of reconciliation then how are we to accept them without sacrificing our own integrity? This paper will describe one perspective in the following pages.

(The rest of this paper is available in the second edition of Orthodox Christology. More information and ordering is available at the An Orthodox Priest blog)

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