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Academic Periodical

The Quarterly Journal of St. Philaret’s Institute

Theological Research

 Viktor Alexandrov, Ph. D. in Medieval Studies, Independent scholar (Hungary, Budapest)Ph. D. in Medieval Studies, 

Bishop and Priest

Выпуск №24, pp. 24–45
The article outlines the correlation between the ministries of bishop and presbyter in the ancient church. The author highlights the emergence of the two separate ministries from the original single ministry of proestotes. He draws attention to Fr Nikolay Afanasiev’s opinion that historically the holders of the two ministries received the same gifts of grace. According to his hypothesis, even nowadays the difference between bishop and priest is not charismatic but rather a matter of ecclesiastical discipline. Some primary consequences of this conclusion for the present-day church are also pointed out.
Keywords: bishop, presbyter, priest, proestos, parish, Afanasiev, ecclesiology
Archpriest Vitaly Borovoy, Professor, Doctor of Theology
Bulgakov and Berdyayev: Theology and Philosophy
Выпуск №16, pp. 9–35
The article is based on the manuscript of the presentation prepared by Archpriest Vitaly Borovoy to have been delivered at the theology workshop in Chambésy (Switzerland), on the eve of celebrating the 1000th anniversary of Russia’s Christianisation. The paper analyses the theological views of Archpriest Sergius Bulgakov and the philosophical ideas of Nikolay Berdyayev, with both of them being the prominent representatives of the Russian Religious-Philosophical Renaissance of the first half of the ХХ century. The bibliographies of major works by Bulgakov and Berdyayev (as well as by researchers of their writings) are also reviewed. This article is an excellent introduction to the thought of these authors.
Keywords: Berdyayev, Bulgakov, theology, philosophy, personalism, existentialism, communism, Russian Religious-Philosophical Renaissance.
Sebastian Paul Brock, Ph.D., Emeritus Fellow, Syriac Studies, Wolfson College (Oxford)
Beauty in the Christian Life according to St Ephraim the Syrian
Выпуск №37, pp. 12–24
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2021.37.1.001
The article examines the concept of beauty in Christian anthropology using the writings of Ephrem the Syrian. The interpretation of the biblical verse about the creation of man in God’s image is analysed using the hymns of a fourth-century Syriac poet as an example. Metaphors are revealed, with the help of which Ephrem develops the idea of the original beauty of man in Paradise, the fall into sin and the loss of beauty by Adam and Eve. The beauty of the image of God in man has been obscured by sin, and human effort and ascesis are needed to restore it. In doing so, God retains the gift of free will and does not resort to coercion. The creation and fall of man, the incarnation of Christ, and man’s return to God through baptism are described by Ephrem using the metaphors of the garment and mirror. The image of a clean and unclouded mirror is revealed in Christ. One who has been baptized must constantly purify his inner eye in order to imitate Christ in this purity. The images of being clothed in the “garments of glory”, the purification of the mirror and the return to original beauty help not only to reveal the specificity of the concepts inherent in early Syriac Christian literature, but also to shed light on the possible understanding of F. M. Dostoevsky’s words “beauty will save the world”.
Keywords: Christian anthropology, the image of God, early Syriac literature, Ephrem the Syrian, the Fall, beauty.
Sebastian Paul Brock, DPhil, University of Oxford, Emeritus Fellow, Syriac Studies (Wolfson College, Oxford)
The Spiritual Senses and Discernment in the Syriac Fathers
Выпуск №30, pp. 182–201
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.30.34617
The article discusses some basic anthropological concepts characteristic of the early Syriac ascetic tradition where a key method of describing the human spiritual structure is to draw analogies; in the present case this is between the limbs of the human body and their internal spiritual counterparts. Thus the main category by which the true ways and objectives of the Christian endeavour are described here concerns the “internal senses”, with a set of their own “limbs”: this allows for a portrayal of a way of life and a means of discernment that is activated by the grace of the Holy Spirit.
Keywords: Christian anthropology, spiritual sense, internal sense, spiritual discernment, grace.
Olga Bulgakova
Saint Irenaeus, Origen, and Saint Gregory of Nyssa: Continuity in Approach to Apokatastasis
Выпуск №20, pp. 75–90
The article covers the concept of universal salvation (apokatastasis) in the works of St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Origen, and St. Gregory of Nyssa. The attempt is made to systematize both similarities and differences in their approaches.
Keywords: apokatastasis, Final Judgment, Church Fathers, soteriology.
Zoya Dashevskaya, Dean, School of Theology, SFI (Moscow)
Church Gathering Represented in Liturgical Actions, Prayers and Interpretations of the Eucharist
Выпуск №29, pp. 19–34
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.29.25878
The article focuses on the theological and liturgical aspects of the reality described by the syntagm “church gathering”. It is expressed in the key points of the order of Eucharist, namely in liturgical prayers and actions as well as in liturgical interpretations. The author considers the so-called “soft points”, a term coined by Archimandrite Robert (Taft), as the most relevant ones for identifying the qualitative features of the liturgical gathering, which were subject at the same time to the greatest reduction.
Keywords: church gathering, euchologion, anaphora, liturgy, liturgical actions
Priest Manfred Deselaers, Ph.D. in Theology, The Member of the Education Department at the Center for Dialogue and Prayer in Oświęcim (Auschwitz)
The Likeness of God in a Mass Murderer? God and Evil in the Biography of Rudolf Hoss
Выпуск №30, pp. 140–154
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.30.34613
Rooted in „theology after Auschwitz”, the article places the traditional question “where was God in Auschwitz?” before the question “where was God in the Auschwitz commandant’s life?”. The author analyses the social, historical, biographical, psychological conditions that influenced the formation of the commandant of Auschwitz Rudolf Hoss and raises the question of God and evil in his life. The article is based on the detailed analysis of Hoss’s autobiography “My Soul, Evolution, Life and Ordeals”, which allows tracing how God-likeness in Hoss’s inner world gradually faded away, since he betrayed the voice of the heart and replaced his conscience with National Socialist ideology, letting evil structures grow. He thus split his world into an inner and outer one and turned his life into a struggle against enemies who must be subjugated or destroyed. The theological question of preserving the “image of God” in a mass murderer is associated here with the biblical concept of “heart”, the existential center of the person, either open or closed towards the Other — God and man. In the conclusions, the author formulates the antinomy between the infinite mercy of God and his absolute justice. In the light of this antinomy, the question about the fate of criminals in eschatological reality can be raised.
Keywords: Rudolf Hoss, theology after Auschwitz, image of God, National Socialism, repentance.
Deacon Vasily (Karl Christian) Felmy, Doctor of Theology, Professor in Ordinary, Department of the History and Theology of the Christian East, University of Erlangen (Erlangen)
The Validity of Sacraments in the Churches Separated from Orthodoxy
Выпуск №29, pp. 11–18
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.29.25794 
The article deals with the issue of recognising in the Orthodox churches the validity of the sacraments administered in the non-Orthodox churches and communities. Various local Orthodox traditions, including theological and other reasons of recognising some of non-Orthodox sacraments, are briefly reviewed. In the author’s opinion, the existing vast diversity of practices of recognising non-Orthodox sacraments requires greater harmonisation of theological, canonical, pastoral and other arguments, including situational ones, for elaborating a more unified and coherent position of Orthodoxy on this issue.
Keywords: theology, ecclesiology, church sacraments, the validity of sacraments
Dmitry Gasak
A Contradictory Experience of Identifying the Boundaries of the Church in the New Testament within their Relation to the Revelation of the Kingdom of Heaven
Выпуск №3, pp. 51–58 
David Gzgzyan, Ph. D. in Philology, Head of Theology and Liturgical Studies Department, SFI (Russia, Moscow)

The Significance and Prospects of the Ecclesiological Theory of Archpriest Nikolay Afanasiev

Выпуск №24, pp. 9–23
The article considers the value of the ecclesiological conception of Archpriest Nikolay Afanasiev in relation to the contemporary theological context. The author points out the non-use of the academic and practical potential of eucharistic ecclesiology. Generally, it has not been assimilated by today’s theology, since there is still no consistent research on the importance and prospects of Fr Nikolay Afanasiev’s conception. At the same time, an attempt is made to demonstrate the constructive potentialities, theological systematisation and the use of eucharistic ecclesiology in church practice.
Keywords: eucharistic ecclesiology, church gathering, charismatic community, reception, church norm, “power of love”.
David Gzgzyan, PhD in Philology
Duty and Value in the Gospel Formula of the Golden Rule of Ethics
Выпуск №3, pp. 25–37
David Gzgzyan, PhD in Philology
Existential Interest, Boundaries of Ethics and Difficulties in a Unified Christian Moral Doctrine Construction
Выпуск №7, pp. 28–50 
The article discusses possible foundations and difficulties in a fully-fledged Christian ethical doctrine constructing. The author considers as an initial step the so-called existential impulse, which motivates emerging of a behavioral strategy exceeding the limits of present existence with its common antithesis of directive or situational morals. However, the dual nature of this existential impulse activity requires admitting the fundamental problem of the content and the boundaries of morality field. It also requires to consider the very possibility of constructing a unified values system as well as overcoming the ressentiment factor through Christian Revelation. 
Keywords: existential impulse, moral boundaries, values, ressentiment.
David Gzgzyan, Ph.D. in Philology, Head of Theology and Liturgical Studies Department, SFI (Moscow)
Church Statics and Dynamics (Generalizing the Ecclesiological Discourse)
Выпуск №29, pp. 53–66
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.29.25882
Contrary to well-shaped theological fields ecclesiology still has to discover the ways to coordinate its possibilities of conceptualization with the described reality levels. Hence we suggest treating this branch of theological knowledge as a still developing discourse. This article presents an attempt to use a static/dynamic controversy as an organizing axis to the ecclesiological discourse.
Keywords: ecclesiology, church, discourse, concept, statics, dynamics
Olga Hegay
Challenges of Communion in Community
Выпуск №3, pp. 70–79 
Priest Georgy Kochetkov, Ph.D. in Theology, Professor, Rector, Saint Philaret’s Institute (Russia, Moscow)
Alexander Kopirovsky, Ph.D. in Education, Professor, Saint Philaret’s Institute (Russia, Moscow)

The Experience of Covering the Topic “The Church’s Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, Its Scriptures and Traditions” in Teaching Faith to Modern Catechumens

Выпуск №26, pp. 38–65
The article is focused on covering the topic “The Church’s Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, Its Scriptures and Traditions” within the holistic and consistent process of teaching faith to modern adult catechumens. Based on the texts of the New Testament, patristic writings, studies by home and foreign theologians, as well as on the long-term personal catechetical experience, the authors consider the key concepts of this topic and offer their detalisation and systematisation. The article addresses the peculiarities of associating various layers of scripture and tradition with Divine Revelation and the knowledge of God. Possible errors and contradictions of their interpretation are also highlighted. As a result, it is concluded that catechumens need to be introduced into the Church’s Holy Tradition and the Holy Scripture, its holy scripture and tradition, writings and traditions within their internal dynamics and growth, not as into a set of definitions and subjects for rational study.
Keywords: Church, Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, scriptures and traditions, Divine Revelation, knowledge of God, catechesis.
Alexander Kopirovsky, Ph.D. in Education, Associate Professor, Head of the Theology Department, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)
Viktoriya Syagayeva, Independent researcher (Moscow)
N. V. Pokrovsky’s Concept of the Emergence of the Christian Basilica in the Context of Contemporary Research
Выпуск №33, pp. 100–117
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2020.33.54185
The article considers the emergence of the Christian basilica, contributing to the discussion originating in the late XV century. It outlines the principle approaches to resolving the discussion. The article contains detailed analysis of the late XIX century debate between professors N. V. Pokrovsky and N. F. Krasno seltsev summarising previous and partly anticipating future discussions on the subject. 
The article concludes that the points of view expressed by the two opponents (Pokrovsky associated the basilica forms with a house (ikos) remodelled to host worship services while Krasnoseltsev viewed these architectural forms as influenced by the Jerusalem Temple) should not be regarded as opposite but as highlighting various aspects and chronological stages of a single process. The article suggests an alternative sequencing of the stages noting, in particular, 
simultaneous occurrence of certain stages. The basis for this alternative sequencing is found in the absence of a discernible transition from private and public Christian basilicas to imperial basilicas, established as fully-fledged temples from the age of Emperor Constantine onwards.
In conclusion, the article reviews Pokrovsky’s concept in the context of the ongoing ecclesiastical architecture crisis resulting from the focus being placed exclusively on sacro-symbolic temple forms, as described in H. Sedlmayr’s works. The concept, which suggests seeking a new temple appearance primarily by adapting the home interior to small community worship is deemed substantially more productive for the purpose of overcoming the crisis than imitating period 
architecture or creating arbitrary forms.
Keywords: Christian basilica, emergence, Pokrovsky, Krasnoseltsev, house (ikos), Jerusalem Temple, Constantine’s basilicas, contemporary ecclesiastical architecture.
Vera Korablina
Anthropology of Origen’s treatise “De Principiis”
Выпуск №16, pp. 49–60
This article highlights some of the original Origen’s conceptions about the person: corporeality as a consequence of the fall, the idea of reincarnation, the belief in apocatastasis. The synthesis between ancient philosophy and early Christian theology is the main subject of anthropology developed by this Alexandrian catechist.
Keywords: anthropology, trichotomy, metempsychosis, apocatastasis, cosmogony.
Lidia Kroshkina
Hierarchism and Eldership in the Writings of the Apostolic Fathers
Выпуск №12, pp. 53–64
The article considers the relationship between pastors and lay people in the early church based on the sources closest to the Apostolic times that became known as the “Writings of the Apostolic Fathers”. These writings reflect a shift in the minds of Christians with regard to an essential church ministry. The concepts of “hierarchism” and “eldership” are juxtaposed on the basis of their onthological (in)equality. Hierarchism is associated with cosubordination, a fundamental separation between a pastor and his congregation and with his special status in this congregation. In accordance with the principle of universal priesthood, eldership is viewed as special responsibility resting on one of God’s flock for his/her brothers and sisters, and for the life of the whole congregation of the faithful.
Keywords: hierarchism, eldership, equality, bishop, presbyter, elder.
Olga Kuznetzova, Head, Theology College, St Philaret’s Institute (Moscow)
The Problem of Identifying Church Boundaries in the writings of Archpriest Sergius Bulgakov, Protopresbyter Nicholas Afanasiev and Archpriest Georges Florovsky
Выпуск №37, pp. 25–42
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2021.37.1.002
The article considers one of the most pressing problems of Orthodox ecclesiology, related to the identification of different ecclesial boundaries. It depends not only on the solution of this question to clarify the doctrine of the Church, which is extremely important in the absence of a special ecclesiological dogma, but also to find ways of achieving the church unity desired by all. The works of Russian Orthodox theologians who made the most significant contribution to the 
development of Orthodox ecclesiology in the twentieth century – Archpriest Sergius Bulgakov, Protopr. Nikolai Afanasiev, and Archpriest Georges Florovsky – are used for this study. Proceeding from an understanding of each individual’s belonging to the Church (membership in the Church) and the problem of recognition or non-recognition of sacraments administered outside the Church, the authors under study come to important conclusions. The main one concerns the need to distinguish not only between the nature of one’s ecclesiality (actual, potential and conditional membership) and the canonical and gracious validity of the sacraments administered outside the Church, but also to consider the existence of ecclesial boundaries of a different order than just canonical ones. The analysis of the studied works results in revealing the difference in approaches in determining the boundaries of the Church of different orders (Florovsky distinguishes charismatic boundaries, Afanasiev points out the boundaries of the Eucharistic assembly, while Bulgakov speaks of mystical boundaries).
Keywords: ecclesiology, Church boundaries, Archpriest Sergius Bulgakov, Protopr. Nicholas Afanasiev and Archpriest Georges Florovsky.
Svetlana Lyats
Issues of the Mystics of Interfaith Communication
Выпуск №3, pp. 80–87 
Alexander Markov, Doctor of Philology, Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities (Russia, Moscow)

The Polemic Meaning of Hannah Arendt’s Dissertation on Saint Augustine

Выпуск №23, pp. 28–38
The technique of “slow reading” of the first pages of Hannah Arendt’s dissertation on St. Augustine shows that the main task of this work is a polemic against psychologism and early existentialism. Externally showing loyalty to her teacher Karl Jaspers, Arendt argues contra a number of his existentialist presumptions to prove that existentialism is merely a particular way of conceptualizing time. Relying on the concept of “acquisition”, Arendt interprets time as a field of the projections of the good; not as an area of experiences and solutions, but as a field of conceptualization of hope and salvation. Thus, under the guise of an existential treatise, Arendt creates a reserve for her future political philosophy as the philosophy of meaningful ethical choice.
Keywords: Arendt, Augustine, Jaspers, existentialism, love.
Ivan Mezentsev, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Associate Professor, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, School of Humanities, Far Eastern Federal University (Vladivostok)
The Problem of Applying the Concept of “Consciousness” in Interpreting Christian Triadology
Выпуск №28, pp. 43–60
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2018.28.23054
This article considers the issue of using the concept of “consciousness” in interpreting the late-antique and medieval Christian triadology. The author demonstrates how the content of biblical, patristic and liturgical texts generates this theological-philosophical problem. A phenomenological method is used: the reader is invited to follow the inner logic and problems of trinitarian theology. The article points out the limitations of the traditional trinitarian terminology. In the authorʼs opinion, the presentation of classical theology in modern language has an important theoretical and practical significance for the formation of Christian identity nowadays. The article shows what conceptual conclusions follow from the development of the trinitarian and antitrinitarian positions on the issue of consciousness within the Trinity. It is also emphasized that, in solving this problem, it is important to understand the difference in the New European interpretation of “consciousness” from the late-antique and medieval understanding of this phenomenon. In general, the article allows for some conclusions about the specifics of the interaction between church and secular languages.
Keywords: Trinity, triadology, hypostasis, person, terminology, consciousness, self-consciousness, autocracy, patristics, theology, religious language.
Marina Naumova, Vice-Rector for General Affairs, SFI (Moscow)
The Living Tradition of the Church in the Theological Legacy of Nikolay Aksakov
Выпуск №29, pp. 35–52
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.29.25880
This article is an attempt to systematise the views of the prominent Russian ecclesiologist and canonist Nikolay Aksakov on the Tradition of the Church. Aksakov speaks of Tradition as the living and continuous self-consciousness of the Church – one and integral, identical throughout the ages. In his opinion, the task of theology is to identify the apostolic tradition of the Church among numerous ecclesiastical and human traditions. Aksakov’s scholarly work had the practical objective of achieving recognition that the life of the Church must be restored on the everlasting and unchanging canonical principles stemming from the apostolic tradition and bearing witness to the sobornal organization of the Church. Such restoration, according to Aksakov, could have taken place only by convening a Local Council, where the plenitude of the Orthodox Russian Church would have been reflected through the developed system of church representation.
Keywords: Tradition of the Church, canon law, ecclesiology
Olga Afanasieva
EschatologicalLife Focus of the Old Believer Communities on Vetka Island
Выпуск №12, pp. 65–80
The article offers an outline and analysis of the eschatological views held by certain Old Believer communities on Vetka Island and the resulting practices. Despite the visible explosion and establishment of a distinctive culture (Vetka icon painting, carving, decoration of hand-written books etc.), despite its susceptibility to influence of cultures distinct from it, despite the ability of the Vetka communities to self-direct and take on responsibility within the church, despite their aspiration to transform the earthly reality by lifting it up to a heavenly ideal, they still remained committed to stereotypical life models, which resulted in identifying the historical order with the mystical order of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Keywords: eschatology, Old Belief, community, schism, salvation, education, rite, Vetka Island.
Athanasios N. Papathanasiou, Doctor of Theology, Hellenic Open University (Greece, Athens)

Christian Fasting in Postmodern Society: Considering the Criteria

Выпуск №23, pp. 7–27
The article focuses on the meaning and criteria of Christian fasting in the postmodern consumerist society associating the attitude to food with a certain body image and dieting, which has become a sort of secular fasting in the “religion of thinness”. The author considers the Christian attitude to receiving food as to an act of thanksgiving, whereas fasting is seen as an act that introduces into everyday life a foretaste of the eschatological freedom from necessity. For Christians, both feasting and fasting have a strong communal dimension. The article also addresses the most pressing aspects of the eventual reconsidering of the forms and rules of fasting in the postmodern world.
Keywords: Christian fasting, postmodernism, consumerist society, ecology, “chemical” theology, debate on reconsidering the rules of fasting.
Stefano Parenti, Doctor of Eastern Christian Studies Professor, Pontifical Liturgical Institute, Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm (Rome)
The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom “Outcompeting” the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great in the Church of Constantinople
Выпуск №28, pp. 9–42
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2018.28.23042
At the present time, exploring the history of worship implies not only analyzing liturgical texts and the processes of their formation but also studying the practices of performing divine services, as reflected in written sources, such as canons, hagiographic literature, sermons, and writings of church figures. These sources contain indications of worship peculiarities in various ages and regions. The article focuses on the complex phenomenon of the Orthodox worship of the Byzantine rite. Celebrated nowadays only ten times a year, the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great used to be the main Byzantine liturgy for Sundays and holidays over the church year. However, due to certain circumstances, it has taken a back seat. On the contrary, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, formerly considered as a “standby” and intended for the weekdays, has gradually come to the fore during the past millennium and has begun to be viewed as the main liturgy of the Byzantine rite, as evidenced not only by liturgical manuscripts but also by surviving indirect data about the celebration practices. Despite the indisputable fact of removing the Liturgy of St. Basil from leading positions, the causes of this change were not previously the subject of historical and liturgical analysis. Thanks to the achievements of comparative liturgics and the contrastive analysis of liturgical and hagiographic evidence, the author points out the major causes for this displacement and associates them not with convenience and the concision of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom but with a whole complex of changes in the practice of liturgical piety, characteristic of monastic and lay churches in Constantinople.
Keywords: Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, anaphora, Byzantine rite, Orthodox worship, euchologion, typicon.
Alina Patrakova
From Secular Anthropology of Security towards Christian Anthropology of Communion
Выпуск №16, pp. 36–48
The article examines the anthropological syndrome Homo Securitatis (security-minded person) developing in today’s secular security paradigm. The path to healing from this syndrome, especially destructive for church life, can be addressing Christian anthropology of communion.
Keywords: anthropology, theology of security, Homo Securitatis, Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae.
Archimandrite Robert Francis Taft, Professor at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Rome)
What is the Role of the Laity in the Church? The Laity are the Church!
Выпуск №37, pp. 43–73
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2021.37.1.003
The question of the role of the laity in the Church, in and of itself, requires clarification insofar as the laity are the very essence of the people of God; they are not only in the Church – they are the Church. All divisions between clergy and laity in Church History are relatively late innovations, as this paper seeks to demonstrate. Neither New Testament texts nor early Christian sources show 
evidence of the separate category of “laity”, as a definition of non-clerics, who do not have a calling to the special liturgical ministries. All members of the church gathering are together the essence of the people of God (ὁ λαὸs τοῦ Θεοῦ) – a phrase used to describe all those in the gathering, whether or not they have been assigned a particular ministry in the Church. Even the word "laity” presents us with a terminological difficulty, insofar as it does not have a clear terminological equivalent in Russian (the term “laiki” only partially conveys the meaning and when we designate people within the Church who do not have a specific church or liturgical ministry as “miryanje”, we are specifically accenting their tendency to associate themselves only with “this world”, understanding them as “people who are concerned with the interests and needs of this world”). This author of this paper seeks to demonstrate that for any faithful member of the people of God, it is his or her service to the church – according to his or her spiritual gifting and related ministry, that bears witness to full membership. The genre of “Story 
Theology” is of particular significance here, alongside early Christian sources and modern church documents. The narrative of “Story Theology” allows us to reveal the path of faith and simple people’s desire to sanctify their lives before God, while retaining their faithfulness to their Christian calling. Their real life witness to the deep and transformative power of God’s action reveals to us, in the opinion of Archimandrite Robert Taft, the actual place that faithful members of the people of God who are designated as “lay” members hold in the history of Church sanctity 
and witness to Christ in the world.
Keywords: Liturgics, ecclesiology, laity, people of God, lay people, clerics, church fellowship, prayer, Eucharist, Story Theology.
Natalia Titova
“Aligning All Spheres of Life with Christ's Truth” in the Works of A. M. Bukharyov (Archimandrite Theodore) (1822–1871)
Выпуск №3, pp. 88–97 
Katya Tolstaya, Doctor of Theology, Associate Professor, Faculty of Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam Director Institute for the Academic Study of Eastern Christianity (INaSEC) (Amsterdam)
Dehumanization as the key to a real understanding of the image of God
Выпуск №30, pp. 103–139
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.30.34598
This article addresses the phenomenon of dehumanization in situations of extreme exhaustion, such as the dokhodyadi of the Gulag and the Muselmänner of Auschwitz. It explores this phenomenon as a challenge to post-traumatic studies in philosophy and theology, as well as to theological anthropology and specifically to the doctrine of the image of God in man, since “the Human in man” (Varlam Shalamov) is traditionally associated with the doctrine of the image of God.  
In recent years, interest in this doctrine has increased amongst Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox theologians, and in interdisciplinary research. In discussions between Western theologians and philosophers, the idea that the image of God can be isolated empirically, or is a specific qualitative (substantive) characteristic in man, is radically contested. The three modern interpretational models of man as an image of God (functional, relational and dynamic) are undermined by the testimony of victims testifying to the empirical reality of the loss of all human in man. They therefore fail to provide solid (theological) anthropology. I argue, on the contrary, that precisely because the testimonies describe the loss of what is traditionally understood as the image of God they paradoxically confirm the reality of God’s image. In this article I propose to revise the oldest, substantial model, based on the example of the anthropology of Maxim the Confessor.
Keywords: image of God, theological anthropology, dehumanization, Varlam Shalamov, Maxim the Confessor.
Olga Tskitishvili
“Where Two or Three are Gathered Together in My Name”: Some New Testament Aspects of the Mystics of Interpersonal Communion and Ecclesiality
Выпуск №3, pp. 59–69
Petros Vassiliadis, Doctor of Theology, Professor of New Testament, Aristotle University (Greece, Thessaloniki)

The Role of Women in the Church, the Ordination of Women, and the Order of Deaconesses: An Orthodox Theological Approach

Выпуск №26, pp. 66–87
The article attempts to develop an Orthodox theological approach to understanding the role of women in the church, their access to the hierarchical priesthood and the possibility of reviving the order of deaconesses. These issues are considered in the light of the theological debate in recent years, as well as on the basis of the decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Council, held in Crete in June 2016. The article also emphasizes that, in the final analysis, the issue is so thorny not because of the ordination of women as such (in other words, not as the sociological problem and the challenges of the present), but rather due to the missiological, liturgical, anthropological and ecological dimensions of understanding the Christian priesthood.
Keywords: ordination of women, order of deaconesses, Pan-Orthodox Council, ecclesiology, anthropology.
Contemporary Orthodox Ecclesiology: the Nature of the Church and Its Boundaries. Interview with Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware), Priest Georgy Kochetkov, Archpriest Valentin Asmus, A. G. Dunayev, A. V. Shishkov
Выпуск №26, pp. 9–37
A series of interviews timed to the conference “Contemporary Orthodox Ecclesiology: the Nature of the Church and Its Boundaries,” organised by St. Philaret’s Christian Orthodox Institute, reflects the views on the relevant ecclesiological issues by representatives of various Orthodox churches and trends within the Russian Orthodox Church.The theologians, whose opinions are collected in this section, focus on multiple aspects of the existence of the Church and outline differently the possible models of its organisation and the permeability of its boundaries. The diversity of viewpoints indicates, on the one hand, the absence of the one Orthodox ecclesiology today. On the other hand, all these highlight the pressing issues related to how the Church identifies itself and its place in the secular world in the post-Constantine era.
Keywords: ecclesiology, boundaries of the Church, sobornost, church communication, parish, community.
Books of Letters of St. Patrick the Bishop Book One: Confession
Выпуск №30, pp. 202–223
DOI: 10.25803/SFI.2019.30.34632
Translation, introductory article and comments by A. G. Dunayev 
The new Russian translation of the “Confessions” of St. Patrick of Ireland was made based on the publication in the series “Christian Sources” (Sources Chretiennes, n. 249). Explanatory notes were compiled using R. Hanson’s comments. The translation highlights numerous allusions to the Holy Scripture; textual quotations are additionally enclosed in inverted commas.
Keywords: St. Patrick of Ireland, “Confession”, mission, Christianity in Ireland, holy fathers.
Conference “Contemporary Orthodox Ecclesiology: Ministry and Structure of the Church”. Interview with Bishop Irinei (Steenberg), Archpriest John Behr, Priest Georgy Kochetkov, D. S. Gasak, V. V. Aleksandrov, Priest Hyacinthe Destivelle
Выпуск №29, pp. 67–79
Conference “Contemporary Orthodox Ecclesiology: The Nature of the Church and its Boundaries”
Выпуск №29, pp. 9–10
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