NR. 3 – 2013

Rezumate Studii Teologice 2013.3

Adrian MARINESCU Criteriile și fundamentele patristice ale teologiei, elemente structurale ale teologiei ortodoxe dintotdeauna și premize ale rezolvării problematicii teologice de astăzi (II)

Summary: Patristic criteria and grounds of theology, constant structural elements of Orthodox theology, and premises for solving today’s theological problems

The present study starts from the close intertwining of theology, the thought and ethos of Church Fathers, and Church liturgical practice. According to the Holy Fathers, there can be no theology and theologians outside the Church, seen as presence of the Heavenly Kingdom, and outside complete (liturgical) integration. A true theologian, bearing witness to Christ, to the Church and epitomizing genuine Christian living, is only the one who becomes a living Church whereby God’s work, or God’s collaboration with man, as grounds for all liturgical processes that take place within him and in the world, constituting a concrete, permanent reality. It is only this condition, which in Church History was par excellence the state of Holy Fathers, that can settle all problems, from theological and ecclesiastical ones to mundane ones.

Father D. Stăniloae was very prolific theologically, not only in terms of quantity but also as far as quality is concerned. His theological thinking and expression are not easily accessible even to the most experienced of contemporary theologians. His theology is extremely dense and concentrated, usually expounded in a language that most readers perceive as philosophical, but actually governed by his musings on the most difficult and hardly explainable questions and searchings of man; its elements belong to both theology and philosophy: the fundament and the deepest aspects of existence in general and human existence in particular, essence, nature, person, relationships between existences, the origin and goal of existing, etc. We mention that his theological contribution has caused an impressive theological phenomenon, proving extremely creative not only in itself but also through the many books, articles, conferences, radio and TV programs it has engendered. This phenomenon is singular, not only for the 20th century and early 21st century. It occured only with the most important Holy Fathers of the Church, such as St Athanasius the Great, St Gregory the Theologian, St Maximus the Confessor, St Symeon the New Theologian, St Gregory Palamas etc. whose life, activity and theology gave rise to a secondary literature that was largely a theological development carrying further the thought of the respective Fathers. This happened, in the case of Father D. Stăniloae also, beyond the Orthodox milieu, as this thinking has universal value.

Following the example of the Cappadocian Fathers, Father D. Stăniloae knew only three places where he created his theology and which he valued above anything else: his academic chair, the church, and his study room. He valued the three of them because they brought him into contact with the people dearest to him: family, students and faithful. The fellow clergymen may have disappointed him, out of envy, meanness or self-sufficiency, or may have attempted to discredit him. His family, students and the ordinary faithful people were always loyal to him and stood by him, with their strengthening and invigorating support. He also valued them inasmuch as in them and in the dialogue with them and himself, he was able to know God and become closer to Him, because in their company he found in the highest degree the love of God revealed in His intimate, fruitful and transfiguring dialogue with the people. To them he dedicated and he owes his theology, stemming from their and his own inquiries, questions and thoughts.

The attempt to systematize Father D. Stăniloae’s theology, summarizing the most important ideas he puts forth in his works and revisiting them, leaves the vivid impression of a true, complex, touching hymn of praise to God and His action in the world. It is a theology firmly anchored in the patristic teachings but also perpetuating the glory they bring to God. Father Stăniloae’s deeply patristic theologizing is a true liturgical chant, in which the voice of the Fathers sounds very clearly. It can be termed so not only because it is ecclesiastical or theological, but because it is active, living and dynamic. If we juxtapose Father Stăniloae’s chanting to that of the Church Fathers, we find no dissonance, but harmony and symphony. Father Stăniloae’s theology harmonizes the voices of Holy Fathers for the benefit of contemporary man so that they are not merely perceived, but are merged in a new, ample and overwhelming chanting. This chant is not grasped only by ear and reason, but it reaches the heart and pervades the entire human being. Father D. Stăniloae brings the Church Fathers and himself in harmony, and most importantly, he also brings us in the same harmony. Gradually we start chanting together with them, we become part of their chant and they become part of our own chant. This is, in fact, the natural state of all creatures, to bring glory and bring themselves to God.

At a closer examination of this theological contribution, it seems to belong less to Father Stăniloae, and more to the Church he studied, knew and served faithfully and devotedly, so that Christ, the „head of the Church” might speak in him according to the Apostle’s words. More precisely, this theologizing is a gift (χάρισμα) which the Father returns to Christ’s Church, still bearing fruit in the thought of contemporary man, like the talent entrusted by God.

Orthodox theology has always aimed to prove itself authentic and relevant for contemporary man, and defined itself as concrete merging of Church doctrine, Holy Fathers’ contributions and liturgical life. St Gregory Palamas pointed out, in the introduction to the Hagioritic Tome, that to him three elements had been of paramount importance: the Holy Scripture, the Father’s teachings, and his own experience. Man’s need for God is today increasingly felt by the entire society. At the same time, a theological crisis persists, especially within academic circles that every time are expected to provide solutions. The present study, centered on the most important, influent and prestigious contemporary Orthodox theologian, stresses the fact that today’s Orthodox theology, at least the Romanian one and its dogmatic realm, has largely lost contact with patristic thought and theology as well as Church liturgical practice and experience, which are in fact its perennial, fundamental criteria. It has actually lost its bond with God, the sole criterion of truth and salvation. The only valid solution is retrieving these values and investing in them. The Holy Fathers have passed down to us a method and a model of theological approach, briefly expounded here.

Pr. Gabriel HEREA Iconic și eclesiologic în teologia părintelui Dumitru Stăniloae

Summary: From creation to the prophetic symbol

The theological writings of Father Professor Dumitru Stăniloae provide an outstanding synthesis of patristic texts undertaken by the author. The results of research carried out by Father Stăniloae in the 20th century is living proof of the dynamic character of the Church Tradition. The books written during the early Christian centuries evince a coherent theological view on the world and its Creator, as well as the fact that those centuries’ Christians employed effective practical methods to reach out to God. Father Dumitru Stăniloae translated into Romanian and gave a modern interpretation to many of the early Christian texts.

We begin our analysis of the iconological stance taken by Father Stăniloae in his writings, by mentioning that it belongs to a well-defined theological corpus intended to prepare the people for reaching the Kingdom of Heaven, by activating the unifying potentiality contained by matter, and by building up the Church. The text hereby summarized follows the way in which icons are part of this process and stresses their instrumentality in sustaining it.

The material employed in the icon makes the matter relevant to it. The created matter, sensible by its nature, is organized by God by way of His rationalities. Father Dumitru Stăniloae terms the organizing principles of matter „plasticized rationalities” and sees them as „symbolic images”. But God has not only given order to the material world, He has also provided man with the ability to grasp the rationalities offered by Him to the world. Thus, the symbol emerges at the boundary between the visible and the unseen world, and by its spiritual understanding man’s universal priesthood is exerted. Father Stăniloae identifies a „special symbol of transcendent reality”, playing a constant role throughout its material existence, and a „prophetic symbol”, respectively, concerning the Old Testament messianic prophecy that maintained people’s hope in the incarnation of Christ. Prophetic symbols, however, were „a wall of too little transparency between man and God, rather a divide which only the Incarnation of the Word brought down.”

The revealed image plays an essential role in the icon’s ontology. Father Dumitru Stăniloae says that the „revealed image” appears at the boundary between the spiritual and the material worlds. Thus man, made of body and soul, dwells in the cosmic space appropriate for the revealed image. The Incarnation of Christ God perfectly activates this human quality, as „in Christ, God actually makes human nature into the most adequate image”. No image employed in the Old Testament worship had the quality of an icon, but only that of a prophetic symbol. The icon appeared upon the Incarnation of our Saviour. Father Stăniloae speaks of the „natural icon” of Christ, an icon that becomes the prototype of „man-made icon”. There is an ontological difference between the two types of „icon”, as the natural icon „although it is a different hypostasis from its prototype, it is united by nature with the prototype”, while „the man-made icon, although it represents the hypostasis of the prototype, is ontologically different from the prototype, and is merely like the prototype but not united with it”.

Christ’s icon „joins historical and eschatological dimensions, the earthly life and the glorious heavenly one. The icon renders the historical life transfigured and imbued with eternity.” The interaction between viewer and icon engenders a complex phenomenon with both cataphatic-anamnetic dimensions, and apophatic symbols that provide the viewer with insights into a „space of a different category”, which Father Stăniloae terms a „superdefined space”. The aim is to „experience” God and „establish a bond” with the Holy Virgin and all the saints, mediated by the icon and prayer.

The possibilities opened to man by prayer, in the presence of icons, are perfectly actualized in the Church as a place of worship. Here the icon belongs to an extensive iconographic program that interacts with the iconostasis, with the symbolic significance of worship items, with the iconic quality of liturgical gestures and the message of hymnographic texts. At the core of this interaction is Jesus Christ who is actually present in the Mystery of the Eucharist. Father Stăniloae wrote about the place of worship: „to the faithful, the Church as liturgical space is a different world or a transfigured created world, or undergoing transfiguration, it is a world that abolishes the separation between past, present and the eschatological future, between heaven and earth, between the created and the uncreated. The icons greatly contribute to this perception of the character of the Church.” The quality as a transfigured universe of the Church- place of worship is generated by the actual presence of Jesus Christ – God. This state becomes permanent due to the presence of God through the Body and Blood of Christ in the chalice on the Holy Table.

The iconographic program inside the church building provides iconic support to the reality of Christocentric unification. „…the icons of saints render not only what was human in them, but also the dwelling of Christ within them while they are still living on earth, a present state increasingly united with Christ”. The joining of immanence and transcendence, a state achieved by saints during their lives, is expressed by icons and thus brought into the life of Church community. The communion achieved by saints in their relationship with Christ is thus proposed to the faithful contemplating the icon. „…this communion reaches its climax in receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist, although the faithful prepare for it through the prayers of the entire Holy Liturgy. This is why it has been said that the icons surrounding the worshippers in the church have a liturgical character and purpose, or their contents serves their preparation for the Eucharistic communion. The entire cosmos is centered upon the Eucharist.”

The conclusion of our analysis is that Father Dumitru Stăniloae is concerned with the practical utility of the icon. Revealing the topicality of patristic theology regarding man’s journey from the sensible to the intelligible world, Father Stăniloae integrates the icon as worship item into the liturgical effort that aims at the cosmic unification of the created world, around the Creator. According to the contemporary theologian whose writings are a fruitful tree deeply rooted into the ground of patristic theology, the icon and liturgy can only be considered in the perspective of ecclesial unification.

Eugen MAFTEI Părintele Stăniloae și receptarea lui în spațiul francofon. Scurt expozeu

Summary: French-language works dedicated to Father Stăniloae: an overview

Awareness of the inestimable worth of Father Stăniloae’s works and the necessity to have it translated into the most widely-circulating languages, has entailed the need to update the record of his works published in the West. This has prompted the present study which lists the French-language works dedicated to the Romanian theologian so far.

Surprisingly, most of Father Stăniloae’s works were translated into French during his lifetime: four titles which even though are not the author’s most important ones, are still milestones in the effort to disseminate his writings and make them known. The first one is the is the translation of a Dogmatic Theology course with a view to a doctoral thesis, carried out in 1980 by D. Neeser, and entitled Dieu est amour. It attempts to present the „local theology”, so scarcely known in the West, by dwelling mostly on divine love, seen in the light of other divine attributes: God’s infinity, eternity, omnipresence and omnipotence. A second translation: Prière de Jésus et expérience du Saint-Esprit belongs to Olivier Clément. Beside the contents itself, the work is interesting due to the translator’s commentaries on Father Stăniloae, which emphasize the value of Orthodox theology by describing him as a personality preserving the Byzantine roots while also experimenting the challenge of the Western world. In 1983, Father Marc-Antoine Costa de Beauregard issued a collection of yet unpublished theological and missionary texts compiled under the title: Ose comprendre que Je t’aime. A result of interviews with Father Stăniloae, this work impressively portrays the Romanian theologian as both a man of great theological, philosophical and scientific culture, and a man of prayer and devotion. This first stage ends with the publication of the Introduction to Father Stăniloae’s most important work, his Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. The translation was carried out by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel under the title Le Génie de l’orthodoxie. The book maintains the original structure, addressing three main issues: creation as token of the divine lovingkindness, Christian faith as fulfillment, and the revelation seen as a Church mystery.

The second stage in the dissemination of Father Stăniloae’s works followed his death and was less productive in terms of the number of works published. It included the publication of his commentaries to St Maximus the Confessor’s Ambigua. The French translation of these commentaries, with the footnotes of the Romanian original in the Church Fathers and Writers collection, was carried out by rev. A. Grigoraș.

The same stage included the doctoral theses dedicated to Father Stăniloae’s works and defended in various French universities. The first such work: La déification de l’homme d’après la pensée du Père Dumitru Stăniloae is authored by P.S. Giosanu, defended at Saint Serge Institute in Paris, and supervised by professors Boris Bobrinskoy and Olivier Clément. As its title states, this thesis dwells on Father Stăniloae’s view of deification, seen as a complex process of advancement towards perfection, in communion through love, leading to union with God according to His grace. Then followed the thesis drafted under the joint supervision of professors Michel Meslin (Paris IV Sorbonne) and Jean Greisch (Institut Catholic de Paris) by F. Pop, who entitled his work La „Prière de Jésus” dans la pensée de Dumitru Stăniloae: recherche sur une „théologie” de l’inconnaissance et du paradoxe. It is a remarkable approach to the knowledge of God from a twofold theological and philosophical standpoint. The same topic is tackled from a different angle by rev. I. N. Florea in his thesis La Philocalie et ses versions: son influence sur la spiritualité orthodoxe roumaine et dans la théologie du Père Dumitru Staniloae, supervised by professors Boris Bobrinskoy (Institut Saint Serge) and Yves-Marie Blanchard (Institut Catholic de Paris). Strasbourg University also recently hosted the public defense of a thesis dedicated to Father Stăniloae, dwelling on ecclesiological aspects of his theology. It is the work of Sorin-Constantin Șelaru, L’Eglise, image du mystère de la Trinité: les accents ecclésiologiques de la théologie de Dumitru Staniloae. The series of French-language doctoral theses concludes with the 2009 work of professor Ștefan Stroia, defended at Ecole Pratique de Hautes Etudes, and investigating the attitude of the Romanian theologian towards the Holy Mysteries: Dumitru Stăniloae (1903-1993) et le renouveau de la théologie orthodoxe de langue roumaine: la doctrine sacramentale.

Finally, the third part of this study is dedicated to the translation of Father Stăniloae’s complete works, insisting on the first volume of this series, namely Théologie ascétique et mystique de l’Eglise orthodoxe. The translation, carried out by rev. Jean Boboc and Roman Otal, was published in 2011 by Cerf publishing house in Paris. Based mainly on the 2002 Romanian edition, it is a practically literal translation of Ascetical and Mystical Theology, attempting to render as faithfully as possible Father Stăniloae’s view on the various aspects of the human path to perfection. Maintaining the structure of the Romanian-language original, the book describes the three stages of Orthodox ascetical practice: purification (part I), illumination (part II) and deification (part III), following step by step a Christian’s spiritual progress until achieving his final goal: union with God according to His grace.

The study dwells not on the contents of Father Stăniloae’s works, familiar to Romanian readership, but focuses mainly on the perception of Father Stăniloae, as show its preface and foreword. It is not a mere Ascetical Theology treatise, but an insistent call for metanoia addressed to all those wishing to reach God. Admitting that this understanding of spiritual experience, alien to historical-rational criticism, might challenge Western theologians, the translator highlights precisely the importance of experiencing God’s presence in man’s life. According to father Boboc, the originality of this book lies in what he terms a „spiral thinking”, namely constantly if at times repetitively reiterating the same points, in order to offer an ever deeper interpretation, according to the reader’s new capacity of understanding, entailed by the subtlety and skill in leading him that far. We also note the relationship established by Father Stăniloae between theology, philokalia and philosophy, allowing the author to employ Patristic theology without ignoring the philosophical perspective. Originally this work was intended as a Moral Theology course delivered by Father Stăniloae at the Faculty of Theology, which accounts for the obviously homiletic tone. We deem that Théologie ascétique, alongside the other works to be traslated under this comprehensive project, will make the great theologian’s thought better known abroad.

Pr. Pavel (Călin-Mirel) ROTARU Η προσαγωγη προς τον Πατέρα. Experiența paulină a comuniunii cu Sfânta Treime, în perspectiva triadologiei iconomice a părintelui Dumitru Stăniloae

Summary: Ἡ προσαγωγὴ πρὸς τὸν Πατέρα. The Pauline experience of the communion with the Holy Trinity, in the perspective of the iconomical Triadology of Father Dumitru Stăniloae

The present theological and exegetical study certainly constitutes a challenge to a manner of making theology and biblical exegesis that is dominant in the Western, non-Orthodox, scholarship. The Greek language text of the title represents an allusion to Ephesians 2,18, the concept, as such, of “Holy Trinity” does not appear in the Pauline corpus or in the New Testament, “iconomical Triadology” is a dogmatic theology issue that refers to the out-going saving work of the Trinity in the world, and Fr. Stăniloae is the author of a well-defined and modern theology reflecting and continuing twenty centuries of Christian theology. The present study could definitely be labeled as “eisegetical”. And yet, it attempts to read Ephesians 2, 18 (and other representative Pauline texts) as expressing the communion of the believers of the Primitive Church with the Holy Trinity, and to suggest the legitimacy and necessity of employment of the Triadologic theological perspective of Fr. Stăniloae for an in-depth understanding of that communion. This study does acknowledge the fact that the theology of Fr. Stăniloae represents (as compared to the theology of the Pauline corpus) an advanced level of complex theological development; it tries to argue, however, for the highly consistent continuity between St. Paul the Apostle and Fr. Stăniloae, continuity that is to be found in the crucial point of the believers’ access to God the Father through Christ in the Holy Spirit. It should be noted that celebrating twenty years from the great Romanian theologian’s departure from this life “to be with Christ” (cf. Philippians 1,23) is an appropriate occasion for such a paper. The fact that Fr. Stăniloae is so well known and beloved in the modern Christian world (both inside and outside Orthodoxy) is no accident. His theology is genuine, profound, true to the Bible and deeply connected with the Christian life.

The necessity of such an approach is obvious at the present time, taking into account the current status of the international biblical scholarship. Much of this modern biblical studies science (cf., e.g., the famous James D.G. Dunn’s work The Theology of Paul the Apostle, but many other examples could be offered) gives enough signals that justify the verdict of neo-Arianism pronounced by St. Justin Popovici on the modern theological scholarship. All too often, many Western scholars – adepts of the historical-critical ideology (for this method has become an ideology) propose an understanding of the Bible that is dissociated from the patristic doctrine of the Trinity. Such an “emancipated” pattern not only produces a theologically dubious exegesis of the Bible, but also presents one major hermeneutical drawback. Without attempting to do so, it nevertheless severs the biblical text from the reality of God. Differently, in the patristic theology and in the theology of Fr. Stăniloae the biblical text is not viewed as an independent object of study but as an expression of the living relationship between God and humankind. The patristic theology (e.g., St. Gregory of Nazianz) affirms that there was a progression of the Holy Trinity’s revelation in the human history, and we can also accept that there was a development of the theological discourse and terminology over the centuries. The experience, however, of the Holy Trinity – experience which the believers (or the saints) have had along the centuries – is really one and the same, both in the New Testament period and later on in the history of the Church. Therefore, integrating the theology of Fr. Stăniloae into our understanding of the Pauline corpus (and of the entire Bible) is not only legitimate, but decisive for us, if we want to remain articulated in our scholarship to the real spiritual life of communion with God. Otherwise, the unwise application of the historical-critical approach will bring us into a situation characterized by a very serious lack of perspective and realism.

Within the Orthodox hermeneutical framework suggested above, the second section of the present study focuses on the Triadology developed by Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae. In terms of “theology”, the life in itself of the Holy Trinity, the Romanian thinker places the greatest possible emphasis on the interpersonal, dialogical and loving communion between the three divine Persons. Fr. Stăniloae’s quite extensive, yet profound, intense and creative meditations on the issue constitute a unique piece of modern Orthodox scholarship that proves to be a considerable aid to our understanding of the dynamics of the divine life. The integration by Fr. Stăniloae into a unitary, coherent and personal perspective of the biblical and patristic data about the ἐκπόρευσις, the ἀνάπαυσις and the ἔκλαμψις of the Holy Spirit is highly significant. In these acts (the procession of the Spirit from the Father towards the Son, the rest of the Spirit in the Son and the shining of the Spirit from the Son towards the Father) Fr. Stăniloae perceives the perfectness of the Holy Trinity’s existence. The final loving unity between the Father and the Son is realized through the Spirit. Together with the Spirit the Father loves the Son and together with the same Spirit the Son responds to the love of the Father. In terms of “iconomy”, the salvation and deification of the human beings is viewed by Fr. Stăniloae as a communion with God and, more exactly, as “the extending of the affectionate relationships between the divine Persons to” the humans. Thus, the objective of the incarnation of the Son of God is to bring us into relationship with God the Father as adopted children. The sacrifice of Christ opens up the perspective of our eternal communion with the Father. As regards Pnevmatology, our communion with the Father is sustained by the Spirit, because the Spirit sustains from eternity the communion between the Father and the Son. However, this theological and spiritual experience is the experience of the primitive Church, and the nucleus of this theological perspective is to be found in the Pauline corpus.

The second section of the present study naturally focuses on the writings of St. Paul the Apostle (including the Epistles which the modern historical-critical scholarship calls “Deutero-Pauline”). The modern debate about the “key” of the Pauline theology is taken into consideration, and the “christocentric soteriology” (proposed by Joseph Fitzmyer) is viewed as a good entering point into the universe of St. Paul’s theology. However, when the Pauline texts are read carefully, it will be observed that the “Christ event” (together with its soteriological effects) represents the precondition of our communion with the Father. This communion of the believers with God the Father – as adopted children associated with the Son and led by the Holy Spirit – is the essence of St. Paul’s spiritual experience and theology. In Jesus Christ the believers are ζῶντες τῷ Θεῷ, just as he Son lives to the Father. In Christ, the believers are συγκληρονόμοι Χριστοῦ and σύμμορφοι τῆς εἰκόνος τοῦ Υἱοῦ. Just as Christ used to do (as it is attested by the Gospels) they also address God the Father as Αββα ὁ Πατήρ. Υἱοθεσία stands, indeed, at the center of Pauline theology. This entire experience is, for St. Paul the Apostle, permeated by the Holy Spirit. The believers experience the love of God the Father διὰ Πνεῦματος Ἁγίου τοῦ δοθέντος ἡμῖν, all the things of the new life are revealed to the believers through the same Spirit. The prayer addressed to the Father by the believers is sustained by the Spirit. As St. Paul notes, αὐτὸ τὸ Πνεῦμα συμμαρτυρεῖ τῷ πνεύματι ἡμῶν ὅτι ἐσμὲν τέκνα Θεοῦ. To conclude, Ephesians 2, 18 concentrates the essence of the entire Pauline theology.

It is, thus, my conviction that the theology of Fr. Stăniloae represents a great (maybe the greatest) commentary on the Pauline theology, in spite of the fact that he himself was not, technically speaking, a biblical theology scholar.

Nicolae DRĂGUȘIN Teodiceea hristologică la Părintele Dumitru Stăniloae

Summary: Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae’s Christological theodicy

The present study explores Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae’s proposed „solution” to the problem of evil. It starts from the Christological character of his works and, more specifically, Christ’s resurrection lying at the core of this Christology. Therefore Fr. Stăniloae’s approach to the matter of evil is essentially Christological. His tenet is that the close relationship between death on the Cross and the resurrection on the third day of the incarnate God provide a key to the problem of evil. Thus, Fr. Stăniloae’s works may be read as a Christological theodicy, too. All definitions given to theodicy share the topic and the query, which means that theodicy merges faith and the results of reasoning. In other words, theodicy expresses an interest in both theology (religious truth) and philosophy (rational truth). The topic denotes a postulate of divinity as a primary reality, while the query, conversely, starts from the phenomenology of evil in order to arrive at the notion of divinity. This is why a balanced stance must be achieved. Considering theodicy from a Christological perspective strikes such a balance as Christology predicates the simultaneity and fullness of the natural (human) order and the super-natural (divine) one, both united in one person.

The study defends this tenet by following three lines of reasoning. The first one („Western theodicy”) reviews the main developments of Western theodicy. According to Paul Ricoeur, in this context there are five „discourse levels” in the matter of evil. The first level is that of the myth, centered on the question „Why?”. The second level is that of wisdom, whose question is „Why me?”. The third level is that of „gnosis and anti-gnostic gnosis”, which raises questions concerning the origins of evil. The fourth level is that of theodicy proper. Finally, the fifth level is Karl Barth’s „«disjoint» dialectics”. Passage from one level to the next occurred gradually, most often by means of criticism. As criticism presupposes a method, this succession entailed progress and accumulation, so that previous elements were passed down.

The Western theological-philosopical models of the problem of evil outlined above influenced Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae for both methodological and personal reasons, because during his academic education he found the West in full effervescence of the „«disjoint» dialectics”, as Ricoeur terms it. Thus the present study reaches its second part: „From Barth to Stăniloae. The Eastern view on the problem of evil”. This part focuses on the perception of evil acording to the Eastern Christian tradition. Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae therefore positions himself at the intersection between the theology of Karl Barth and that of St. Gregory Palamas, the climax of Orthodox Christian doctrine (also discovered in the West). In Karl Barth’s theology, Fr. Dumitru Stăniloae found not only an encapsulation of Western theology, but also Soren Kierkegaard’s exitentialist criticism of the philosophy of absolute idealism. All these intellectual „legacies” are at work in Jesus Christ or the restoration of man, published at Sibiu in 1943 (republished at Bucharest, in 1993). This book reflects its author’s theological maturity. Fr. Stăniloae wrote two other books on our Saviour: The Evangelic Image of Jesus Christ (Sibiu, 1991) and Jesus Christ, Light of the World (Bucharest, 1993). His entire theology is centered around these three Christology books. Moreover, his musings on evil are subsumed under his Trinitarian and Christological theology, addressing the relationships among the Persons of the Holy Trinity and the doctrine on Jesus Christ, our Creator and Saviour.

These musings are the object of the third part of the present study. We note (as a key to the synthetic character of the Christological theodicy) that the approach to the problem of evil is /is not a dialectic one. At the core of Fr. Stăniloae’s Christological approach lies the indissoluble bond between Cross and Resurrection: the former prepares the latter, while the latter (as fulfillment of the divine-human existence) contains the former. The Cross, as an expression of death, and the resurrection are opposites. Since they led to the Ascension, hence to transfiguration through the Holy Spirit on the Pentecost, they may be deemed as part of a dialectic scheme. The death-resurrection relationship differs from a thesis-antithesis relationship because „their unity is succession, as well as simultaneity” („the presence of one within the other”). In other words, „although they are opposed, they succeed each other and are mutually contained” in a sort of „mutual interiority of opposites”. The paradoxical relationship between the death on the Cross and the Resurrection is best reflected in his first Christological contribution (1943), while his second one (1993) dwells on the light imparted by theosis, as a result of the Resurrection.

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