- Tuesday, 01 October 2013 15:57
Orthodox theologian John Behr recently published Becoming Human: Meditations on Christian Anthropology in Word and Image (St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2013).
Being human is what we are created to be. Those of us with flesh and blood, body and soul, are not angels. Christians come at the question of anthropology differently. And it is a true statement that as many ecclesial communities in the world there a way of understanding the nature and beauty of what it means to be a human being.
What this book provides is a good complement to a greater theological perspective of humanity. You can read Behr together with Benedict XVI and John Paul II. Behr helps to identify a path and not a destination; the author’s method is one which looks at our ecclesial experience. We are always in process, never a finished project. Hence, Becoming Human is a healthy theological meditation, that is, he’s not giving a stale presentation of human nature is dynamic, we are in the process of becoming, and not finished when at a given point in our personal history. That is, until we die. Becoming Human is accessible and is graced by 41 color plates.
Father John Behr, a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, a patristics scholar and dean of St Vladimir’s Seminary (Yonkers, NY). Behr authored The Way to Nicaea, The Nicene Faith and The Mystery of Christ: Life in Death, all available from SVS Press.
- Thursday, 21 February 2013 15:46
Book sales will no doubt sky rocket with Benedict’s resignation next week. But this superficial reason won’t hold those really interested in one of THE most pivotal thinkers of the Church in the 20th and 21st centuries when Volume 2, Joseph Ratzinger in Communio: Anthropology and Culture (Michigan/Cambridge, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2013) is in the mailbox.
Joseph Ratzinger in Communio: Anthropology and Culture is edited by David L. Schindler and Nicholas J. Healy. The 14 texts herein address anthropological themes written by Joseph Ratzinger between 1972 and 2005. That Eerdmans is the publisher is a terrific help since their list is widely acclaimed and ecumenical.
The editors tell us in the introduction of the second volume is to available in one place all of Ratzinger’s articles that appeared in the American edition of Communio, beginning with first edition in 1974. The writings have been grouped into three major categories: Church, anthropology, and theological renewal. Hence, you’ll find in this volume essays on humanity between reproduction and creation; Jesus Christ today; the meaning of Sunday; hope, technological security understood as a problem of social ethics; and God in John Paul II’s “Crossing the Threshold of Hope.”
In 2010, David L. Schindler et al. published what is now known as volume 1 under the title of Joseph Ratzinger in Communio: The Unity of the Church.
If you don’t know about the Communio journal, it is an international quarterly journal of theology and culture, founded in 1972 Hans Urs von Balthasar, Henri de Lubac, Jean-Luc Marion and Joseph Ratzinger, among others. There are 21 Communio study circles that meet to discuss the published articles or some other agreed upon text. As an historical note, Communio was a journal promoted by Father Luigi Giussani for the ongoing theological education of members following the ecclesial movement, Communion and Liberation.