Athanasius the Great succeeded with his Vita Antonii to create a new literary genre, the „biography of a saint“. Through his approach, shaped by his impressive theological knowledge and familiarity with the biblical text, Athanasius unlocked an immense amount of cultural knowledge. The Archbishop of Alexandria structured this hagiographic work on the father of monasticism in a way that allowed the reader to understand and perceive the peculiarities of Saint Anthony in accordance with the Orthodoxy of the Church. The present study examines how Athanasius the Great used about four hundred direct and indirect biblical references to represent a personality of his time, who corresponded to the highest Christian ideals. The main topics of our study are: the importance of the Holy Scripture, how it is highlighted in the Athanasian text; the biblical portrait of Anthony the Great; the speech of the great Anchorite, which accounts for more than a third of this hagiographic work; the representation of the last days of Antonius.
During the 20th Century, the Taizé Community created a unique liturgical tradition, combining Byzantine and Latin liturgical elements with Protestant background worship. The combination of these liturgical elements concurred with the rediscovery of the old Tradition of the Church and with the entrance of a considerable number of Catholic brothers into the Taizé community. The high point of this reconsidered Tradition is the introduction of the weekly Sunday Eucharist using the Taizé liturgical order. Nonetheless, the Community maintains a Eucharistic discipline and tries to avoid intercommunion. The combination of different traditional liturgical elements on a traditional Protestant base under the supervision of the community’s founder, Br. Roger, aroused great interest among both theologians and simple believers during the time.
By comparing St. John Chrysostom’s statements on Church unity after his dismissal, one can notice serious inconsistencies between the texts written by John himself and the statements attributed to him by Palladius of Helenopolis, who attempted to attenuate the outcome of the Johannite schism. In fact, the discrepancies are considerable and the Chrysostomic epistles addressed to the oriental bishops (85-90) imply that St. John encouraged the schism.
Ecumenism is a 20th century concept that cannot be directly transposed in the everyday reality of the Desert Fathers, but the authority of the desert ascetics is still crucial to the monastic milieu of the Orthodox Church as well as other denominations. For this very reason, the present paper intends to investigate the stories recorded in the alphabetical collection of the Egyptian Paterikon in order to understand to what extent they may actually offer a guide to the complex relations with the Other. How do these stories illustrate denominational or even religious alterity? What types of rapports can one identify therein? Rejection? Separation? Acceptance of the other’s difference? These are all legitimate questions and their significance is amplified in the context of our times – a period in which we see an increase in fundamentalist movements and tendencies, including in the Orthodox community.
This paper explores the role of the appeal to the early Church in Old Catholic theology, describing how this appeal has been challenged and further developed through ecumenical dialogue in particular. Noting the various problems involved in this appeal and the manner in which they have been discussed within the Old Catholic (ecumenical) theological discourse, the paper highlights the process of discernment within the Union of Utrecht of Old Catholic Churches, and from that in particular the consultation with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the subject, and analyses the role of the appeal to the early church in this setting. Notably, the hermeneutically reflected appeal to the early church paved the way for a theologically responsible manner of opening the apostolic ministry to women as well as men.