SFI ACADEMIC PERIODICAL “THE LIGHT OF CHRIST ENLIGHTENS ALL”. ISSUE 26
The Light of Christ Enlightens All : Academic periodical of St. Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute. Issue 26. Moscow : St. Philaret's Christian Orthodox Institute, 2018. 216 p.
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
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.
The Experience of Covering the Topic “The Church’s Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition, Its Scriptures and Traditions” in Teaching Faith to Modern Catechumens
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.
The Role of Women in the Church, the Ordination of Women, and the Order of Deaconesses: An Orthodox Theological Approach
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.
Russian Church Emigration and the 1917–1918 Moscow Local Council: Adopting and Carrying out Its Decisions in the 1920s–1930s
In the early 1920s, Russian church communities in Europe found themselves in a quite extraordinary situation, requiring a complete reorganisation of their structures, both at the diocesan and parish levels. Having kept alive their memory of the 1917–1918 Moscow Council, many ecclesiastical figures in emigration viewed its decisions as reliable guidelines for creating a new church structure. Later on, however, the jurisdictional divisions followed, highlighting the two opposite attitudes to the Council s heritage. Some considered it necessary to implement its decisions, whereas others preferred to change or even abolish the norms elaborated at the Council. This article explores how the Moscow Council served as a starting point in organising various ecclesiastical jurisdictions in emigration in the 1920s–1930s and how these institutions carried out or not its decisions.
Keywords: 1917–1918 Moscow Council, church life in emigration, Russian emigration in Europe, Russian church abroad, Metropolitan Evloghios.
Embodying the Idea of Sobornost within the 1917–1918 All-Russian Local Council
The article is published on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of the 1917– 1918 Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church. Its history and proceedings have been thoroughly studied by Russian and foreign church historians. The understanding of the current state of the Russian Church and the hopes for the revival of church life in the XXI century depend on how the experience and the decisions of the Council have been learnt and assimilated. The article points out the factors in church history that determined the uniqueness and significance of the Council. Particular attention is paid to the issue of electing the patriarch, including the procedure. The author represents the positions of both supporters and opponents of reestablishing the patriarchate. The Local Council not only restored the institution of patriarchate but also proposed a system of church administration based on the principles of sobornost. This system endured a very short time and afterwards it has never been implemented elsewhere. The author sees the significance of the Moscow Council in strengthening the idea of sobornost in the believers’ minds, far from being reduced to convening periodic church meetings of different levels but rather consisting in the active participation in the life of the Church of all its members — laity, clergy and episcopate.
Keywords: the 1917–1918 Council, patriarchate in Russia, sobornostof the Church, Pre-Council Presence, Pre-Council Board, Higher Church Administration.
Ψυχή as an Equivalent to ֶנ ֶפשׁ in the Septuagint: Problems of Translation and Interpretation
The article explores the correlation between the meanings of the Hebrew word Both . ֶנ ֶפשׁ and the Greek word ψυχή used to translate the Hebrew word ֶנ ֶפשׁ words are among the basic concepts of biblical anthropology. The word “dusha” (“soul”) in Church Slavonic and Russian (Synodal) translation of the Old Testamentwasgenerallyusedtorenderthewordsψυχήandֶנֶפשׁ ,respectively. The paper defines the religious and cultural context within which the word ψυχή was used to translate the word ֶנ ֶפשׁ when the Septuagint was created. The issues of interpretation of the Greek Bible text containing the word ψυχή are also addressed. The author outlines the approaches to the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible text (containing the word ֶנ ֶפשׁ ) used in the times of this translation. The approaches of how the translators of the Septuagint interpreted the target text containing the word ψυχή are reconstructed. The article also outlines the reconstruction of how the first readers and listeners to the Greek Bible text interpreted the Septuagint text containing the word ψυχή. In connection with the problem of “spiritualization” of the Bible, the article studies the examples of the interpretation of the word ψυχή indicating the significant changes in the Old Testament anthropology. The article summarises the results of research on this subject. Within the existent methodology for studying the Septuagint, the author considers the hypothesis that the Septuagint translators did not presume anysemantic shifts and changes intheinterpretation of the wordֶ נֶפשׁ, whereas the meaning of “immortal soul” was not supposed for the word ψυχή in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible.
Keywords: soul, biblical anthropology, spiritualization, translation, interpretation, Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, Philo of Alexandria, ֶנ ֶפשׁ , ψυχή.
Letter from Bishop Hermogenes (Golubev) to the Senior Priests and Church Councils of the Tashkent and Central Asian Diocese
The published letter from Bishop Hermogenes (Golubev) to the senior priests and church councils is introduced for the first time into scientific use. This document not only outlines the activities of Bishop Hermogenes in the Tashkent diocese, but also gives an idea of how sobornost can be embodied in today’s church. Bishop Hermogenes introduced additional contributions to a special fund from each parish in proportion to its revenues. Thus, low-income parishes were supported by large parishes and were kept from being closed. This measure met resistance from some clergymen and church councils of large parishes. In his letter Bishop Hermogenes emphasises that the inner connection between the members of the whole Church is defined by the spirit of sobornost, whereby any parish cannot be indifferent to the Church’ shared work.
Keywords: Tashkent diocese, Bishop Hermogenes (Golubev), church, sobornost, parish, general parochial fund, additional contributions.
On the Grounds of Christian Unity
The article examines the theological views of Protopresbyter Vitaly Borovoy on the issue of Christian unity. Over a number of years, he represented the Russian Orthodox Church in the World Council of Churches. Fr. Vitaly also was an observer from the Russian Orthodox Church at the Second Vatican Council. The article is based on his published texts as well as on the manuscripts of his papers delivered at theological conferences in the 1980s–1990s. Fr. Vitaly’s views on Christian unity can be characterised by the rootedness in the Russian religious and philosophical thought of the XIX — early XX centuries, by his aspiration to renewing witness, to keeping the continuity of the Tradition of the Church in a creative way, to contributing to a constructive inter-Christian dialogue and to restoring unity by practical efforts.
Keywords: inter-Christian dialogue, unity, witness, service, confession, Tradition of the Church.
The Unknown “Musica Universalis” by Sister Joanna
The article offers a description and a theological and artistic interpretation of a piece of textile painting (tablecloth) by Sister Joanna (Reitlinger), well-known icon painter of the XX century. This artwork is represented as a symbolic picture of the world, created on the basis of some religious and philosophical views combining the elements of ancient mythology with the Christian concept of the universe. The images of animals inscribed into the segments of the tablecloth are analysed in detail in terms of iconography and colour treatment. The author interprets them as a phenomenon of harmony between the spiritual and material origins.
Keywords: Sister Joanna (Reitlinger), textile painting, iconography of animals.
Book Review: The Way from the Shepherd to the Pastor: Protopr. Vitaly Borovoi: In memoriam.
Book review: Protopr. Nikolay Afanasyev. Willow of Edessa and his time