Truth and Communion

Dr John D. Zizioulas, now Metropolitan of Pergamon
Trans. by REN Yanlin

Script: Simplified Chinese
Publisher: Brotherhood of SS Peter & Paul, Hong Kong
Date: April 2006
Format/Pages: Softcover/112 pp
Availability: in stock
Price: $5.60


This Chinese translation of two essays "Truth and Communion" and "Personhood and Being" is taken from the book "Being as Communion". This book contains an extended consideration of major theological topics. The author propounds a fresh understanding, based on the early Fathers, of the concept of person, and so of the Church itself. As the author states, Christianity provides the true understanding of personhood. Life in the Church is a communion of unique persons, who experience real unity in the Body of Christ.

The Author: John Zizioulas is Metropolitan of Pergamon in the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople.

OFASC Theological Review

The author is a creative thinker who is building a modern Patristic synthesis that draws from, but does not always adhere to, the teaching of the Orthodox Holy Fathers. He has many good ideas and makes a valuable contribution, but one should read his writings with some caution, comparing them against the writings of the Holy Fathers and against the writings of more traditional writers of recent times, such as Archimandrite Justin Popovich, Protopresbyter Dumitru Staniloae, and Vladimir Lossky.

One way in which modernism has had unfortunate effect on the author's thought is in his uncritical acceptance of Darwinian evolutionism, which he calls "a blessing in disguise." As an evolutionist, he believes that there was death and corruption before the fall of man -- an idea that contradicts the Holy Scriptures and the consensus of the Orthodox Holy Fathers. While it is in his other works that he attempts to develop a neo-Orthodox philosophy based on this idea, as well as on the cosmology of evolutionism itself, in the book under review this idea is seen to color his thinking, particularly in the section entitled "From Biological to Ecclesial Existence."