Essays in Ecumenical Theology 2

Conversations with Orthodoxy


Author: Ivana Noble
In this volume of Essays in Ecumenical Theology Ivana Noble engages in conversations with Orthodox theologians and spiritual writers on diverse themes. These include the discovery of the human heart, what illumination by divine light means, the relationship between prayer and attitudes and acts of social solidarity, the problematic nature of sacrificial thinking as the way to express redemption through Christ, the ecological dimension of theological anthropology, the need for freedom to coexist with love for others and why institutions need to turn not only to their own traditions but also to the Spirit that blows where it wills.

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Ivana Noble, PhD. (1966) is Professor of Ecumenical Theology at Charles University in Prague, and a former president of Societas Oecumenica. She has published monographs and articles on Orthodox theology, theology and culture facing totalitarianism, and the hermeneutics of tradition.


1 Freedom and Creativity in Spiritual Life
 1 Why Freedom and Creativity as a Starting Point?
 2 St Symeon the New Theologian
 3 St Ignatius of Loyola
 4 Conversing with St Symeon and St Ignatius on Freedom and Creativity

2 The Ladder Connecting Heaven and Earth
 1 Does Spiritual Ascent Have a Recognisable Structure?
 2 Inverted Order of Grace as Revealed in Jacob’s Dream
 3 St John Climacus
 4 Existentialist Reading of Climacus
 5 Petre Ţuţea
 6 The Role and the Problem of Structures in Pursuing Spiritual Life

3 The Experience and the Doctrine of Deification
 1 Deification as Radical Unity with God
 2 St Gregory Palamas
 3 Lessons from (Post)Modern Philosophical Mysticism
 4 Paradoxical Proximities

4 Integrating Hesychast Insights into Mainstream Western Tradition
 1 Modern Revival of Hesychasm
 2 Cardinal Tomáš Špidlík
 3 Špidlík’s Followers
 4 Inculturation of Patristic and Slavic Hesychasm

5 Kenotic Spirituality
 1 Different Interpretations of Kenosis
 2 Fr Lev Gillet – A Monk of the Eastern Church
 3 Kenotic Spirituality in the Present Context

6 The Transformative Power of Holiness
 1 The Beatitudes as a Mirror of Holiness
 2 Mother Maria (Gysi)
 3 Leonardo Boff
 4 Integration of the Negative and the Role of Communion

7 Mission
 1 Mission as a Theological Theme
 2 Georges Florovsky
 3 Emmanuel Clapsis
 4 The Mission in which the Orthodox Participate

8 Liturgical and Sacramental Vision of Life
 1 Liturgy and Sacrament
 2 Communion with God according to Alexander Schmemann
 3 Sacramentality in Louis-Marie Chauvet
 4 Participation in the Transformative Feast

9 People as “Symbolic Animals”
 1 Why “Symbolic Animals”?
 2 Paul Tillich
 3 Paul Ricœur
 4 Openness and Roots

10 The Common Home
 1 God Making His Home in Creation
 2 Fr Dumitru Stăniloae
 3 The Eschatological and the Practical Understanding of the Common Home

11 Redemption
 1 Problems of Metanarratives
 2 Theological Tendencies to Metanarrativity in the Doctrine of Redemption
 3 Vladimir Lossky
 4 Raymund Schwager
 5 From the Economy of the Punishment to the Economy of the Gift?

12 Pan-Orthodoxy and the Vision of Christian Unity
 1 Pan-Orthodoxy in the Time of the Rising Ecumenical Movement
 2 Towards the Pan-Orthodox Council in Crete
 3 Ecumenical Relations in the Conciliar Documents
 4 The Aftermath of the Council
All interested in Christian theology and spirituality, both Orthodox and Western, in ecumenism, and in the search for shared human values.