The theology of John Zizioulas presents a beautiful vision of the Church as Eucharistic communion, in which human persons both are gathered into Jesus Christ and are sent back into the world. In his previous books, Zizioulas focused on the way this communion is related to the communion of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, which calls us to understand being as communion and provides the only foundation for otherness and identity.
With its sustained attention directly to the Eucharistic communion, The Eucharistic Communion and the World provides the context for those discussions. Zizioulas here explores the biblical dimensions and eschatological foundation of the Eucharist, the celebration of the Eucharist by the Church, and the ethos of the Eucharistic community. These essays are provocatively concrete and practical, showing once again that Zizioulas' teaching on persons, communion and otherness has radical implications for the life of the Church and its relationship to the world.
The new book by the Metropolitan John Zizioulas offers a passionate and extremely accessible study on the meaning of the Holy Communion: its biblical foundations and its role in manifesting the Kingdom of Heaven. Few works have been able to underline so emphatically the importance of the Eucharist in understanding the Church, and of its mysterious nature and its dynamic relationship with the world. In its development of the cosmic dimension of the Eucharist, this book seems to be very current. It shows that the Eucharist implies a veritable ethos in how we relate to the environment, man being not a master, but on the contrary a priest, called to offer reverently to God all of creation. In the context of the major ecological crisis bearing down upon the world today, this book makes a decisive contribution to Christians and beyond.
-M. Michel Stavrou
Institut de Théologie Orthodoxe Saint-Serge, France.
The writings of Orthodox Metropolitan John Zizioulas on the Eucharist belong with the work of a number of theologians from various traditions who, over the past half-century, have been moving towards a convergent doctrine of the sacrament. Particularly gratifying is our author's emphasis on the ecclesiological, eschatological and cosmic dimensions of the celebration. It is to be hoped that the cumulative effect will be to bring the divided churches from what Zizioulas calls their mutual post-baptismal excommunication towards a "gathering in one place" when they may enact their ecclesial reunion in a common Eucharist.
Duke Divinity School, USA.
Metropolitan John Zizioulas is unequivocally the most ecumenically influential Orthodox theologian since the revival of the Orthodox intellectual tradition in nineteenth-century Russia. This collection of Zizioulass most important (and not easily accessible) essays on the Eucharist is absolutely necessary for a fuller understanding of the eucharistic logic of Zizioulass system. Luke Ben Tallon is to be commended for providing a resource that demonstrates how Zizioulass trinitarian theology, relational ontology and theology of personhood are ultimately grounded in a eucharistic experience and vision of the world; thus, dispelling misinterpretations of Zizioulas as promoting either social trinitarianism, an episcopo-centric ecclesiology, a denigration of nature, or an ethic that lacks practical import. This book amplifies how being as communion is a eucharistic mode of existence in the world.
Fordham University, USA.
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