Wordtrade LogoWordtrade.com

Religion Christianity

 

Review Essays of Academic, Professional & Technical Books in the Humanities & Sciences

 

Orthodoxy

Philomathestatos: Studies in Greek and Byzantine Texts Presented to Jacques Noret for his Sixty-Fifth Birthday/Etudes de Patristique Grecque et Textes byzantins Offerts a Jacques Noret a l’occasion de ses soixante-cinq ans edited by B. Janssens, B Roosen, P. Van Deun(Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta: Peeters) (Studies in English/ French) On May 18, 2004 Jacques Noret will reach the age of 65, a milestone both on the personal and professional level marked by his retirement from our Institute, and an excellent opportunity to celebrate this renow­ned scholar with a Festschrift.

Generally speaking, it is not an easy task to find an appropriate as well as appealing title for such a collection of studies. But in the case of Jacques Noret a solution presented itself quite quickly. Ten years ago we prepared a collection of essays to honour and thank another eminent scholar of our Leuven Institute, Carl Laga, for many years the director of the Series Graeca of the Corpus Christianorum. That honorary volume was entitled "Philohistôr", "one fond of (literary) research". Among the very rare attestations of this epithet in Greek literature, one in particular caught our eye: in his Contra Iulianum (Book I, chapter 40, lines 17-20), Cyril of Alexandria calls both Pythagoras and Plato, "extremely eager to gather knοwledge and very fond of (literary) research." Both qualifications being particularly appropriate to characterise our colleague Jacques Noret, we sincerely hope he will feel flattered and honoured by the title "Philomathestatos".

Thanks to the opening contribution of his close friend Guy Philippart which elucidates many aspects of his private and scholarly life, we can here confine ourselves mainly to the meritorious commitment of our col-league and friend to our Leuven Institute for Palaeochristian and Byzan­tine Studies, one of the prides of the Catholic University of Leuven.

Bom in Ukkel (Uccle), a small town near Brussels, Jacques Noret stu­died Classical Philology, finishing in 1971 with a dissertation on the Life of the Cypriot saint Auxibios. He also completed one Bachelor year of Oriental Studies. In 1966 he entered the Society of Jesus, and more in particular the very famous Société des Bollandistes in Brussels. Like every Jesuit, he devoted himself to the study of philosophy and theo­logy. In 1974 he left the Society to build a completely new life with his beloved Marie-France and his children Nausicaa and Joël. In November 1976 he successfully defended his doctoral dissertation on the two important Lives of Athanasios of Athos, founder of the Great Laura. Thanks to his friend and mentor Maurice Geerard, the author of the famous Clovis Patrum Graecorum, he escaped unemployment: on January 1, 1978, he started to work at the Catholic University of Leuven, at the Centre for Hellenism and Christianity, which later became the aforementioned Institute for Palaeochristian and Byzantine Studies.

Our Institute takes pride in editing the Series Graeca of the Corpus Christianorum, which now comprises more than 50 volumes and is reco­gnized all over the world for its expertise in the difficult field of critical editions of mostly Greek patristic and Byzantine texts. This irreproa­chable reputation is due largely to the high philological standards that have been maintained since the publication of the first volume in 1977 (the opera omnia of John of Caesarea), but especially since the arrival of Jacques Noret in 1978.

Truly exemplary are the two volumes he edited himself: volume 9 (1982) with the critical edition of Vitae A and B of Athanasios of Athos, a remarkable spin-off of his doctoral research, and volume 26 (1993), in which he reworked his critical edition of the Life of saint Auxibios, prepared many years before during his studies in classical philology.

But ever so important for the series as a whole is his work behind the scenes, the careful watch he kept on the quality of the Series Graeca. With his well-known minuteness and erudition, Jacques Noret read, veri­fied and corrected each of the outcoming volumes, firmly, and from time to time even severely, discussing different issues with the respective authors in order to reveal the historical or philological. Surely very few of these authors will forget Jacques' insistence on the importance of bringing together the whole manuscript tradition of a text, both direct and indirect, on the careful collation and examination of the manuscripts, and on the value of orthography, punctuation and accen­tuation as found in the manuscripts topics to which he has devoted a number of pioneering publications — in short, his insistence on the pre­cedence of the manuscript evidence over the personal contribution of a scholar.

Rendering homage as it were to the of the Byzantine and post-Byzantine scribes, he not only declined to figure as author on several front-pages of the series — on that of the fourth volume of the works of Petrus of Callinicus, published very recently, he contented himself with a simple "auxiliante". Nor did he regard his erudition as a reason not to share his knowledge with others, especially younger scholars. We,the three editors of the present volume, have benefitted daily from his complaisance, whenever we were struggling with philological and palaeographical problems or with bibliographical difficulties — Jacques' work on the Clavis Patrum Graecorum in recent years provides ample evidence for his excellent knowledge of even the latest developments in research: in 1998 he published a Supplementum to the Clavis together with Maurice Geerard, but the 2003 anastatic reprint of volume III with addenda he prepared alone. We will actively strive to continue this lear­ned tradition in Leuven and to develop even further the exceptional editorial skill achieved mainly thanks to Dr Jacques Noret.

It should be sufficiently clear by now that his 65th birthday is an excellent opportunity to honour and celebrate Jacques Noret, but by far not the sole reason. Following a good academic tradition, we, his pupils and closest colleagues, would like to offer him this Liber amicorum, to which leading Patristic and Byzantine colleagues and scholarly friends have contributed. The three editors are extremely grateful for the enthu­siastic reactions they had to their call for papers, and warmly welcome all the scholarly contributions in this honorary volume. In order to lend coherence to the Festschrift, the focus is on the themes so dear to the honoree:

critical editions of Patristic or Byzantine texts (B. Markesinis has discovered some interesting new texts of Evagrios Pontikos; R.Y. Ebied and L.R. Wickham have edited some Syriac;  Declerck presents the critical edition of some short texts attributed to Nicephorus I, patriarch of Constantinople; B. Janssens and P. Van Deun concentrate on the poems of the later author George Amiroutzes);

the transmission and contents of literary works of the Patristic and Byzantine era (G. Dorival analyses a text of Eusebios of Caesarea; C. Macé and M. Kohlbacher concentrate on Gregory of Nazianzus; S.J. Voicu focuses on the origins of the corpus pseudochrysostomi­cum; Chr. Riedweg examines a text of Cyril of Alexandria; C. Steel deals with his beloved authors Proklos and Denys the Areo­pagite; J.W. Nesbitt presents a study on the sixth-century author Alexander the Monk; Chr. Boudignon and B. Roosen deal with Maximus the Confessor, the former reexamining the Maximus' oeuvre in search of new data on the saint's life, the latter adding some new information to the transmission of the Documents vitam Maximi Confessoris illustrantia; in three different articles M. Bibikov, J. Munitiz, and D.Tj. Sieswerda together with F. Thomson, concentrate on [Pseudo]-Anastasios of Sinai; J. Schamp exp1ore once again the Bibliotheca of Photius, a topic to which the contri­bution by S. Gysens is also devoted; K. Demoen deals with a poem of John Geometres; C.G. Giuseppe Conticello connects Theophy­lact of Bulgaria with Thomas Aquinas, while Vassa Conticello pre­sents her findings on an anthology attributed to John of Damascus appending the text of some unpublished fragments of Severus of Antioch);

Byzantine hagiography (M. Starowieyski deals with the Quo vadis? episode; J. Verheyden with the pseudepigraphic Ascension of Isaiah; A. Jacob with saint Vincent of Saragossa; J. Van Reed with the dossier of St George, and U. Zanetti with the legend of the Three Hebrews in the furnace, offering a critical edition of some( Coptic fragments);

Byzantine history and institutions (P. Karlin-Hayter investigates the Acts of SS David, Symeon and George, a very important source fo: the iconoclastic controversy; Th. Olajos contributes an article on the history of the Avars; N. Maes studies the role of empresses; during the Macedonian dynasty, while an episode in the Islamo-Byzantine relations is unravelled in the article of D. De Smet);

Byzantine palaeography, codicology, ecdotical techniques, and the orthography, accentuation and punctuation of later Greek texts (C Laga focuses on the punctuation of Byzantine manuscripts; J. Featherstone takes a closer look at the orthography of the De cerimonus; Monseigneur Canart deals with the palimpsests of the Vatican Library, while M. Pirard elucidates a colophon in a Vatican manuscript);

Byzantine vocabulary and language (W. Clarysse studies the his tory of a Greek verb);

cultural and religious developments in Byzantium (the articles o H. Hauben and Br. Neil deal with Early Byzantine Kourion and with Cyril and Methodius respectively; A. Tihon offers a technical study of some Byzantine computation treatises dealing with the date of Easter; the contribution of G. Podskalsky studies the pai played by Judas Iskariot in Byzantine exegesis and J. Scharpé dis cusses some Russian icons). 

Vladimir Solov'ev: Reconciler and Polemicist by International Vladimir Solov'ev Conference, William Peter Van Den Bercken, Manon De Courten, Evert Van Der Zweerde (Peeters) Vladimir Solov'ëv (1853-1900) is regarded as the most original and systematic of the Russian philosophers in the 19th century. Ηe has once again become the subject of international scholarly attention both in Slavic countries and the West. This volume contains selected papers pre­sented at the international conference on Vladimir Solov'ëv held at Nijmegen University, The Netherlands, in September 1998. The scope of this conference was wide-ranging, dealing with theological, metaphysical, philosophical and historical themes.

Though SοΙον'ëv's broad intellectual activity defies any strict attempt at categorisation, the editors have classified its major themes under the dual characteristic of reconciliation and polemics. Solov'ëv was pas­sionately committed to the reconciliation of all beings under the idea of all-unity, which he attempted to achieve by engaging in uncompromis­ing polemics with his contemporaries.

The thirty contributors to this volume are specialists from Russia, ,Ukraine, Bulgaria, Western Europe and the United States. The volume makes a significant contribution to the intellectual reassessment of Vladimir Solov'ëv since the rediscovery of his philosophical heritage in his own homeland in the late 1980s. 

Orthodox Christianity and Contemporary Europe: Selected Papers of the International Conference Held at the University of Leeds, England, in June 2001 edited by Jonathan Sutton, William Peter Van Den Bercken (Eastern Christian Studies, V. 3: Peeters) This volume contains selected papers presented at a conference on Orthodox Christianity and its contemporary European setting. The conference was held in England, at the University of Leeds, in June 2001 and drew together historians, theologians, philosophers, specialists in theological education and political scientists. Countries with an Orthodox Christian history were well represented, as well as Orthodoxy in the diaspora and other Christian confessions by representatives from Western Europe and the United States and Canada.

The coherence of Orthodox Christianity and contemporary threats to its coherence formed one main strand for reflection, but discussion also broadened out to consider the nature of religious tradition as such. Part I of the collection brings together papers on such matters as identity, nationalism, globalization, human rights discourse, ecumenical dialogue and competing interpretations of what it means to be `European'. Part II focuses on Orthodox Christianity in Russia and Part Ill on the traditionally Orthodox countries of Armenia, Bulgaria, Greece, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine.

The present collection is meant as a contribution to further reflection on Orthodox identity, and relationship between Christianity and culture in Europe at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

THE INNER KINGDOM by Bishop Kallistos Ware. ($14.95, paper, xii, 230 pages; Volume One of THE COLLECTED WORKS, St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 0-88141-209-0) cloth

This is a revised and expanded version of a book that has already appeared in French, Italian and Greek. It focuses on themes central to Eastern Christian worship and spiritual life and serves as an introduction to the series of six volumes of Bishop Kallistos's collected works.

The opening chapter recounts the author's journey to Orthodoxy. The next two chapters provide profound and illuminating insights on death, bereavement and resurrection in Christ, and on repentance. Chapters four through seven invite us into the world of the desert ascetics and hesychast monks. Combining scholarly rigor with practical counsels on prayers, Bishop Kallistos makes the wealth of the Orthodox tradition accessible to today's Christians. The next three chapters concern personal vocation, martyrdom, spiritual guidance, and the strange path of the fool for Christ's sake. There follows a brief essay on time and eternity. The final chapter is a challenging discussion of Origen and Ss Gregory of Nyssa, Isaac the Syrian and Silouan the Anthonite, and in conversation with them Bishop Kallistos asks, 'Dare we hope for the salvation of all?' "The Inner Kingdom is the first of a planned six-volume collection of works by Bishop Kallistos. His thought combines depth and honesty with judicious wisdom and balance, expressed in a clear and direct style. A teacher at the University of Oxford who lectures around the world, Bishop Kallistos speaks equally to laypeople and specialists, on both timeless mysteries and urgent contemporary concerns

 This is the first volume of a planned six-volume collection. Kallistos Ware, raised an Anglican in England, joined the Orthodox communion as a young man, and now, as Bishop, teaches at Oxford University. He is a highly popular lecturer and preacher. Those who have not had the occasion to hear him in person have, in this collection, an opportunity to see why he is so popular. After a chapter describing his journey to Orthodoxy, there follow eleven essays, all engaging, all profound, that treat of: Orthodox spirituality and liturgy, prayer (especially the Jesus prayer and hesychism), the "fool for Christ", time, and the doctrine of universal salvation first broached by Origen of Alexandria in the third century. 

What is it that makes Bishop Kallistos's works so engaging? First of all, his is a very practical, very moderate spirituality. Ware knows the riches of the universal Christian tradition, having specialized in that area of the Church, patristics, that predates the schism that rent Christianity in two between East and West. Many of his illustrations are taken from the sayings of the desert fathers and mother. Secondly, he writes from the heart, a heart filled with the love of Scripture and tradition, and a love of Orthodoxy. Third, he understands of what he writes, and is not afraid to point out shortcomings. 

Like all great spiritual writings, Ware's works can be appreciated by persons of any spiritual persuasion. While the holy fool, or fool for Christ, is particularly associated with the Eastern tradition, its roots are found in Scripture, and fools for Christ can be found in Western Christianity (St. Francis of Assisi being one notable example), Judaism, and even in non-western religions, such as Islam and Buddhism. Ware rightly warns the reader: "May we always find room for the holy fool within our church communions; for the community that excludes the fool may find that it has also shut the door in the face of the Divine Fool, Christ Himself."   Among Western monastics, one often hears the complaint that there are no longer any characters in the monastery. Religious life is sorely lacking if it does not have room for these holy fools. 

The final essay, on the doctrine of apocatastasis, generally associated with Origen of Alexandria, treats of the question of God's great mercy and whether, at the end of time, all creatures will be saved, even the devil. It is a topic that is generally not discussed publicly, for fear that people will not be concerned about sinning, if God's mercy is so overwhelming. Ware offers a sympathetic view of Origen, one which attempts to erase the centuries of calumny that have been directed against him, for the most part, it seems, because of a false accusation that he took too literally the Gospel's admonition that "if your eyes causes you to sin, then pluck it out," although it was not his eye that was the source of Origen's problem. As Ware shows, the doctrine was also taught by Gregory of Nyssa and Isaac the Syrian, both considered orthodox teachers.

The rest of the essays exhibit Ware's profound love of and respect for both Scripture and the traditions of the Church, especially the traditions of the early desert fathers and mothers, and their successors in monastic life.

 Bishop Kallistos is that rare individual whose work is accessible to the layperson, but at the same time worthwhile for the specialist. His musings are profound, and treat of profound topics, such as the nature of time and the importance of silence, but at the same time he is a practiced spiritual teacher who can relate these topics to the everyday life of the simple believer. We can only look forward to the publication of the other five volumes for a rich feast presented by a wise teacher.

Contents:
Strange Yet Familiar: My Journey to the Orthodox Church
"Go Joyfully": The Mystery of Death and Resurrection

The Orthodox Experience of Repentance
The Theology of Worship
A Sense of Wonder

Pray Without Ceasing: The Ideal of Continual Prayer in Eastern Monasticism
Silence in Prayer: The Meaning of Hesychia
The Seed of the Church: Martyrdom as a Universal Vocation

The Spiritual Guide in Orthodox Christianity
The Fool in Christ as Prophet and Apostle
Time: Prison or Path the Freedom?

Dare We Hope for the Salvation of All?
Bibliographical Note

Index

 

Headline 3

insert content here