NR. 2 – 2016

Rezumate Studii Teologice 2016.2

Pr. Prof. Dr. Ștefan BUCHIU — Dimensiunea hristologică a eshatologiei și importanța sa pentru teologia ortodoxă contemporană

Summary: The Christological dimension of eschatology and its importance in today’s Orthodox theology

The Creator Divine Logos confers from the very outset a unifying power to the creation, through the Holy Spirit, so that the people, recapitulating in themselves the logoi of the created things and communicating them among themselves, can attain unity by their will and actions, as a reflection – albeit imperfect – of the perfect unity of the Persons of the Holy Trinity, Who eternally communicate among themselves the divine essence proceeding from the Father, and all its eternal and infinite contents. The eschatological dimension is thus etched into the divine image within man and due to it, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the human beings are mystically called to elevate themselves dynamically in order to assume divine likeness.

In becoming incarnate, out of love for the Father and for the sake of people, the divine Logos retains his capacity as Creator and also freely assumes the capacity as Saviour, both in order to make people aware that they are created by God and called to acquire the spiritual filiation – as children of the Father in the Holy Spirit, and in order to restore the image of Himself and of the Holy Trinity within them, so that they may become deified.

The eschatological dimension of his work is much more easily perceived by many in His activity as a teacher and archpriest, than it is His activity as Creator; this is mainly due to the hypostatic union, by which the incarnate Divine Logos reveals fully and unequivocally the goal of man’s creation by God: his free-willed union with God through grace, faith and love. Moreover, this eschatological dimension is not only revealed, but also inaugurated through His action, or dignity, as a King and master, confirmed by His miracles and culminating in His descent into Hades with His soul, His resurrection and His Ascension to the right hand of the Father with His fully deified nature.

Progressing as Church towards its ultimate goal – union through knowledge, love and grace with God-the Holy Trinity, humankind is simultaneously led by the Holy Spirit and by Saviour Jesus Christ, throughout history, towards the eschatological horizon and fulfillment. This stage in the history of salvation highlights another attribute of the Son of God – that as the Provider and sustainer Divine Logos, acting together with the Father and the Holy Spirit. Bringing the world to existence and redeeming mankind through Christ are two crucial moments, two landmarks along the path towards the third crucial moment – the judgment of the world at the end of times; but the span of time between these three moments is not devoid of the presence of God in history and in the life of the world. This is why the work of the Divine Logos as Provider and Sustainer fills these two intervals, before and after the Incarnation, confirming the permanent presence of the Most Holy Trinity during the time created with a view to eternity, through the Divine Logos and the Holy Spirit, creator and giver of life, and co-creator and co-provider together with the Incarnate Son.

The unfolding in time of the work of the Divine Logos as Provider and Sustainer is, according to St Maximus the Confessor, inseparable from the work – distinct but not separate – of the same Divine Logos in his capacity as Judge, to be fully exercised on the Parousia, following which some of the rational creatures will enter – and others will fail to enter – the Kingdom of Heaven.

Contemporary Orthodox theology needs to abide by the correct teaching about our Saviour Jesus Christ, understood in a personalist and spiritual-pnevmatic way, with a permanent Trinitarian interrelatedness, in His manifold capacity revealed to the mankind: the Divine Logos as Creator, Saviour, Provider and Judge.

Pr. Prof. Dr. Constantin PREDA Opera Sfântului Luca (Evanghelia a treia și Faptele Apostolilor) – prima parte – Identitatea autorului Luca: iudeu sau grec?

Summary: The writings authored by St Luke (the third Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles) – part I. The identity of Luke the writer: Jewish or Greek?

The present summary aims to outline the main aspects of our research into the author’s identity, in light of the latest debates. Regarding the issue of the author’s identity, it seems to be a fact – ascertained by examination of the language, style, and theological concerns – that Luke was of Jewish origin, thus a Jewish-Christian scholar, who had been one of the Pharisees, as indicate his erudition as well as and his predilection for the temple and for the Levite-priests; he might have been like Barnabas, a Levite or a Levite priest. Born in Antioch and educated about the Greek culture and the medical sciences, he had the opportunity to go to Jerusalem, as had done Saul of Tarsus, or Barnabas of Salaminas in Cyprus, in order to become an expert in the Torah, studying at the school of the famous rabbis in the Holy City (among them Gamaliel) – where, in the same synagogue attended by the Hellenists (cf. Acts 6, 9) he might have also met Saul, Barnabas, Stephen, etc. Reinterpreting the prologue of the Gospel (Lk 1, 1 – 3) alongside Eusebius of Caesarea, it can be posited that Luke declares himself to be not only a disciple of the Gospel’s preachers, but also to have a direct relation with the „eyewitnesses” to the deeds of Jesus and with the Church established on the Pentecost, and even seems to include himself among the „eyewitnesses”.

With an open-minded attitude towards this position, one can attempt to reconstruct the connections between various actual data, scattered throughout the New Testament. Also as a working hypothesis, it can be assumed that at Jerusalem Luke met the Apostles and the Holy Virgin Mary, maybe even Jesus Himself, becoming His disciple and joining Stephen’s group. He then returned to Antioch where he became one of the pillars of the community. Such hypothesis allows us more easily to identify him with „Loukios”, „a relative or fellow national of St Paul”, mentioned in Rm 16, 21 or even with „Loukios” of Cyrene (cf. Acts 13, 1), one of the important members of the Church in Antioch. It is possible that he dedicated his writings, between 60-67 A.D., to the former Jewish archpriest Theophilus (37-41 A.D.) – whom he had very likely met personally in Jerusalem, and who was still a very influential person there – a defender of the Jewish-Christian community, headed by St James, a persecuted community, indirectly pleading in favour of the Pauline communities. Such hypothesis succeeds in providing a more coherent decoding of Luke’s writings in their social-cultural context, unlike the hypothesis according to which Luke was an obscure gentile Christian physician of Antioch, of the second or third Christian generation, of whom nothing is known and in whose case all these correlations become impossible or at least problematic.

Arhim. Dr. Policarp CHIȚULESCU Catalogul manuscriselor românești din Biblioteca Sfântului Sinod (II)

Summary: The Catalogue of the Romanian Manuscripts in the Holy Synod Library (II)

The manuscripts we are here describing continue the series of the ones that contain philokalic, hesychast texts, Romanian monks becoming more interested in them from the second half of the 18th century onwards. They were translated in Romanian monasteries and disseminated through numerous copies, whose folios show marks of heavy wear. Unfortunately, these works are not mentioned by the historians of old Romanian literature, maybe because every reference to mysticism was forbidden during the almost 50 years of communism in Romania.

Among these works, there are a few anthologies and miscellanies. First, we mention “The Lilies of the Field” (ms. II 186), an anthology of texts with various patristic advice for monks, small excerpts from the lives of the saints, many from Pecerska and from Russia, which shows that the compiler was familiar with the Slavic monastic area. The realization of the florilegium was attributed to Saint Paisie Velicicovschi, so this is not an original work of his. It seems that the first Romanian translation of the anthology was done in 1769 at the Dragomirna monastery. The work was much in demand in the Romanian monastic environment. The Romanian Academy Library holds 20 copies of the work, and the Holy Synod Library has 3 copies. Our manuscript has belonged to the Țigănești monastery, near Bucharest and was held for a while by the library of the Romanian skete Prodromu at Mount Athos, from where it was brought back to Romania by the hieromonk Daniil Sandu Tudor, the one who would become the soul of the hesychast renewal movement The Burning Bush at Antim monastery (the first half of the 20th century).

Another important work with an intense circulation in our territory, also not mentioned in Romanian literature history, is the “Hieropolitical ethics”, an anthology dedicated mostly to youngsters for their improvement and progress. Its author is unknown, but the work was printed at Kiev in 1712 and judging from this Slavic printed book, it seems the first who translated it in Romanian, in the year 1747, was archimandrite Ghenadie, former abbot of Cozia. Our manuscript is bound together with “The Flower of the Gifts”, the famous anthology compiled by an Italian author in the 14th century from biblical fragments, lives of saints, cogitations by authors from the Antiquity etc. The Holy Hierarch Martyr Antim Ivireanul [Anthimus of Iberia] was the one who translated it into Romanian and published in 1700 at Snagov. Also from the library of the hieromonk Daniil Sandu Tudor come two more anthologies (miscellanies) of hesychast texts, the manuscripts II 178 and II 17. Although transcribed in Romania, they seem to have been brought from Mount Athos by their last owner, who had travelled there seeking guidance for the practice of the Jesus Prayer. One of the oldest Romanian manuscript in the Holy Synod Library is a volume copied in 1772 (ms. II 188) comprising works by St. Gregory the Sinaite, the teacher who was much sought for his precise directions concerning the Jesus Prayer or the Prayer of the Mind (Heart). It comes from the library of the priest academician Nicolae M. Popescu, the one who enriched by thousands of rarities the collections of the Holy Synod Library. The manuscripts collated under a single shelf mark, II 93, reveal details about the activity of a prolific copyist from Wallachia, the hieromonk Ioachim schevofilax from Bistrița monastery (Vâlcea county) who also wrote an original foreword to the “Hieropolitical ethics”, a work copied after an older manuscript that he probably found in the monastery. We sadly acknowledge the fact that neither the treatises of Old Romanian literature history, nor the specialized dictionaries printed before 2018 mention any detail regarding these works which exist by the tens of copies in our country, and the authors of the translations or the copyists are not mentioned either, despite the fact that the work of these scholars of the hesychast current, initiated by St. Vasile from Poiana Mărului and St. Paisie from Neamț, besides its spiritual impact, influenced decisively the development of the Romanian language and literature.

Pr. Lect. Dr. Vasile CREȚU Domnitorul Constantin Brâncoveanu și dimensiunea pedagogică a istoriei noastre

Summary: Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu and the pedagogical dimension of our history

Holiness has nothing to do with spectacular gestures, hands raised pathetically to the sky, carefully combed shoulders or broad, enveloping fears, like the imperial robes of other times. Sanctity, as the Holy Fathers say, is not a wide road, paved with praise and honors, but it is the narrow path taken by those concerned with the image of God in them and not their own image. One of the most iconic persons who walked along this narrow path was Constantin Brancoveanu. Because in 2014 was celebrated the 300th anniversary of the martyrdom of Brancoveanu Saints, the author aims to present a few important aspects in the life of the Holy Prince Constantin Brancoveanu, based on the belief that history is not a mere sequence of names, years and battles, it is not a visit to a museum of the past, but a cyclical unfolding of events which have an important educational and therapeutic role for us, who try to get to know our national and spiritual identity. Holiness is the path of the true faith and deeds, to which is added, in most cases, the courage and dignity to confess the one Living and True God. Constantin Brancoveanu was born on August 15, 1654, in Brancoveni, in the former Romanați (today in Olt county), to his parents Matei, a boyar from the family of Matei Basarab, and Stanca, the sister of prince Serban Cantacuzino. He became acquainted with the love for the country, for books and for God, qualities which he seems to have inherited from his paternal grandfather, Preda Brancoveanu, possessor of an immense wealth and great founder of churches, known as a godly man and merciful to those who needed his help. The Wallachian prince inherited the interest in culture from his uncle Serban Cantacuzino, the person who helped him to learn many languages of international circulation, such as Greek, Latin, Italian and German. Young Constantin was raised and educated in the intellectual environment of his maternal family, Cantacuzino, where he had the opportunity to develop and to acquire the most important skills that would eventually help him lead his country. His mother had to raise him and his brothers alone, due to the premature loss of their father shortly after Constantin was born. Besides his good upbringing, the future ruler received from his uncles the access to the art of ruling. His maternal family also helped him to ascend rapidly into the political hierarchy of the time. Prince Constantin Brancoveanu acceded to the throne at the age of 34, at a moment when not only Wallachia, but the entire region was involved in great political tensions generated by the three major empires: Ottoman, Habsburg-Austrian and Russian. He understood that it was God’s will that he should lead his country and he tried to defend as best he could the Christian religion and the Christian values of the country. He led his country for 25 years (during this time there were 4 sultans in Istanbul, 10 Ecumenical Patriarchs and 12 rulers in Moldavia), which was of the longest reigns in the country, outlasted only by the one of Mircea the Elder. Using diplomacy, generosity and wisdom, he tried not to start any war, by keeping the balance with this three antagonistic powers. The context in which he ruled was extremely complicated, dominated by uncertainty, during a period when the country was divided by the conflicts between the boyar groups, and in Europe there were important and constant geopolitical transformations. At the end of his reign, he became one of the richest people in south-eastern Europe, being surnamed by the Turks „Altan-Bey”, which means the prince of gold. Throughout his reign, Constantin Brâncoveanu had to pay increasingly large amounts of money to remove the suspicion of the Ottoman Porte towards him, since in Istanbul many contenders for the Wallachian throne had conspired against him. His throne was targeted many times, but he managed to keep it by using wisdom and diplomacy. His involvement in the social and cultural life is proven on the one hand by the reform measures he undertook which led to the abolishment of serfdom and complete liberation of peasants, and on the other hand by the printing of Romanian books which were an important contribution to the formation of the literary language. The name of Brâncoveanu is especially related to the printing in 1688 of the first edition of the full translation of the Bible into Romanian, a work of great proportions for that time. In the typography in Bucharest, established in 1691 under the leadership of hieromonk Antim Ivireanul [Anthimus of Iberia], several books of service or teaching appeared, among them a beautiful Greek-Romanian Gospel Book (1693). In the typography at the monastery Snagov, also led by Antim, a Greek-Arabic Liturgikon was printed in 1701, the first book in the world printed in Arabic script, at the request of Patriarch Athanasius Dabas of Antioch. He also built an important number of churches, and his architectural style remains one of reference in Romanian cultural space. The most accomplished and the best preserved example of Brancoveanu’s architectural style is Hurezi monastery, inscribed by UNESCO on its list of World Heritage Sites, where Brancoveanu intended to have his tomb. As peace can live only with justice, Constantin Brancoveanu was also known for by the impartiality with which he judged the social problems of that time, being appreciated for his honesty and spirit of justice. He tried to choose only trustworthy advisors, especially from monasteries or from the ecclesial space, people who would help him defend the religious values of the country. The conspiracy of those close to him had him dethroned by Sultan Ahmed III, brought under escort to Istanbul, where he was imprisoned in 1714 at the fortress Yedikule, and beheaded along with his four sons and his faithful friend, great treasurer Enache Vacarescu. Those who fought against Constantin Brancoveanu, especially his uncle, the elder Constantin Cantacuzino and his son, Stephen, who succeeded the martyr ruler to the throne, bitterly paid for their betrayal. On January 21, 1716, less than a year and ten months since the beginning of his reign, Stephen Cantacuzino was as well overthrown, and five days later he was taken with his father and his wife to Istanbul. Although, immediately after the death of the Brancoveanus, many people were impressed by the sacrifice made by the six men, the canonization or recognition of their holiness was not officially proclaimed until 1991. However, the Romanian people always knew how to honor their heroes in history, so that the desire to canonize the Holy Brancoveanu Martyrs has been stated since the beginning of the twentieth century. The canonisation of the Brancoveanu Saints was an important objective of Patriarch Justinian, but had to be delayed due to the communist threats or even obstacles raised by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. After many external and internal obstacles, the canonisation of the Brancoveanu Saints took place in 1992, on 20th of June. The Brancoveanus knew the real values and treasures and tasted of all the joys and earthly goodness. When they had money, they invested in lasting things, strengthening and modernizing the country, enlightening the people by education, glorifying God through the building of churches or honoring their ancestors. When the their money was taken away from them, when it seemed that everything had been destroyed or taken away, including life, they kept their faith. We have much to learn from the Brancoveanu Saints, since at least some of the rise and falls and intrigues of that time are comparable, not infrequently, with our contemporary mentalities, morals and bad habits.

Diac. Lect. Dr. Nicolae PREDA Prescura (prosfora): dar de jertfă cu destinație specială, eminamente liturgică

Summary: The prosphora: an offering with eminently liturgical purpose

Specifications related to the prosphora as an offering gift with a special purpose, i.e. liturgical, can be already found in the earliest important Christian liturgical documents (those of the 4th-5th centuries). The Holy Fathers saw the prosphora as a fruit of a long and complex process of preparation before being brought to the altar as an offering gift, a transformation with a well-defined symbolism, associated with the whole endeavor of instructing catechumens in receiving the so-called Initiation Mysteries. At first, the offering bread did not differ in its form from the one used within the household, but with time the first ones will acquire a special status, that is to say, an eminently liturgical destination, beginning quite early (the 2nd and 3rd centuries) to be stamped with the sign of the Holy Cross (“a cutting in the shape of a cross, before baking”) or of the Greek letter X , a practice that announced the appearance of the later so-called seal (ἡ σφραγίς). The practice of stamping the sign of the Holy Cross on the “Eucharistic bread” is a very old one and was apparently introduced by Saint Basil the Great († 379). The custom of bringing the bread and wine for the Eucharist, as well as other gifts, by the believers, was very old in the East, and it fulfilled in “material terms”, it seems, the main purpose of the Eucharistic sacrifice, the latreutic-Eucharistic one. We also mention that for the Divine Liturgy in the early Christian centuries whole bread was brought and consecrated, but, starting with the eighth century, perhaps even the end of the seventh century, there are testimonies according to which during the Holy Eucharist no longer used usual bread, but prosphora (προσφορά), that is, bread “with the official inscription”. The seal was made up of a square divided into four equal parts by the arms of a cross inscribed within it, of which the two above comprise the first two initials of the name “Jesus” (the one on the left) and the name “Christ” (the one on the right), and the ones below divide the syllables of the Greek verb “NIKA”. The prosphora, that is, the bread that is brought to the altar to be used for the Holy Eucharist, has always been regarded as a “prefiguration” of the “Body of Christ” and has been understood, from the beginning, from the time of the Holy Apostles, as a symbol of ecclesial unity: “The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread” (1 Cor 10, 16-17). We note that the practice of using hot prosohora in the Proskomedia and implicitly in the Holy Liturgy, even for a not very long period of time, is a local practice with special significance and grounded, on the one hand, in the practice of some of the Old Oriental Churches, and on the other, in some liturgical texts (prayers and troparia) within the eucharistic rite (preparatory prayers), but not only. Of particular importance are the details related, on the one hand, to the shape of the prosphora (round, cross-shaped or five-pointed), and on the other, to the structure of the prosphora itself (in two layers or in one layer only), aspects which will be defining and of profound theological significance. Moreover, the theological conceptions of the “Eucharistic bread” are old in the Church and date back to the second century; the image of the Holy Eucharist that already represents two realities: the divine (heavenly/ celestial) and the earthly one, is found with Saint Irenaeus of Lyon († 202). Regarding the current practice, we point out that during the Proskomedia, five prosphora are necessary, but until this number was set in the “Constitution” of the Patriarch Philotheus from the 14th century, the practices differed and most of them were recorded in various documents, especially in liturgical manuscripts. However, the fundamental idea behind our current liturgical practice of the Church is that Proskomedia (ἡ προσκομιδή, ἡ πρόθεσις), as an act of pro-bringing or offering the gifts for the Eucharistic sacrifice, has always been an integral part of the Christian Liturgy. The Savior Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, when He instituted the Holy Eucharist, first “set forth” on the dinner table the bread and wine he would offer and chose to serve for His bloodless sacrifice in His Church. Since the approach of Proskomedia is a complex and lasting topic, we have decided to present in this study only a few things related to the first prosphora of the Proskomedia, called “holy bread” or “first bread”. This first prosphora, known since ancient times as “mastery”, because out of it the Lamb is removed, is a special one, and this fact results primarily from today’s liturgical practice, when this prosphora is first raised up in front of the forehead (that is, it is chosen from the others), while saying the troparion: Redeeming us… and then the Proskomedia is celebrated. The purpose of the special preparation of the prosphora (the Eucharistic bread), of the consecration, more precisely, of a certain part of it, that is, the Lamb, is undoubtedly the transformation into the Holy Body at the time of the Eucharistic Epiclesis; understood as a symbol of ecclesiastical unity, the “Eucharistic bread” already prepared during Proskomedia (the first “putting forth” or “pro-bringing”), therefore, finds its meaning and purpose only in the Epiclesis, where both the “present” unity of the Church, as well as the “eschatological” one are invoked at once. We think that the impressive testimony of Archimandrite Iuliu Scriban, regarding the manner of celebrating the Proskomedia and the number of prosphora used, but not only, illustrates at the same time the greatness of the act of pro-bringing in all its complexity and simplicity: “Proskomedia involves a service of great clarity and should not be obscured by the poverty of doing its celebration with only one prosphora. Christians bring enough prosphora to the church”.

Asist. Dr. Stelian PAȘCA-TUȘA Reprezentarea artistică a jertfei lui Avraam în creștinism și iudaism (sec. III-VI d.Hr.) – prototipuri și direcții de interpretare

Summary: The artistic representation of Abraham’s sacrifice in Christianity and Judaism (3rd-4th centuries A.D.) – prototypes and directions of interpretation

The sacrifice of patriarch Abraham is one of the important Old Testament accounts that have deep theological implications. The obedience that the first of patriarchs showed when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son, had a tremendous impact both on Judaism and Christianity. The posterity embraced the redemptive act of patriarch Abraham and made it a paradigm of unwavering faith in God. Therefore, both Christians and Jews depicted this sacrifice on certain monuments and edifices (churches and synagogues), on manuscripts or carved Abraham and Isaac’s face on sarcophagi, burial mounds and liturgical vessels. As time passed, these depictions, painted or sculpted acquired a unitary form. The differences between them became less obvious and, depending on the regions they came from, they gradually shaped certain prototypes which contributed to the consolidation of the Byzantine model that became frequent both in Eastern and Western Europe to this day. The present study aims to present the main prototypes of the sacrifice’s depiction with their defining elements, for a better understanding of the model among artists. The Byzantine prototype comprises a profound theological message and conveys through its artistic details, the patriarch’s drama and unwavering faith in God’s salvation that only comes from Him. Prior to presenting the six iconographic models (the one characteristic to catacombs, the Hellenistic, the Asian-Hellenistic, the Alexandrine-Coptic, the Palestinian-Coptic and the Byzantine model), this study presents the most important depictions dating from the third-fourth centuries, both in Jewish and Christian areas. The first depictions of the sacrifice are found in Christian catacombs. The images that depict the biblical account of Abraham’s sacrifice are not compelling through their artistic details, but through the precise theological message they convey: the patriarch’s obedience (Via Anapo, the Catacomb of Peter and Marcellinus) or the praise to God for His salvation (the Catacomb of Priscilla). In Judaism, the images of Dura Europos synagogue depict the biblical account in the Book of Genesis in detail. The next stage of development in the history of this depiction is marked by the sarcophagus carvings. Considering the fact that these funerary monuments had limited space, artists chose to depict this biblical event of sacrifice with fewer details. Their purpose was to emphasize that this episode represents the faith in the almighty power of God, Who can deliver all souls from death (Mas d’Aire Sarcophagus, the Sarcophagus in Pio Cristiano Museum at the Vatican, the Sarcophagus of Arles). The same principle guided than the artists who manufactured liturgical vessels (the Eucharistic vessels in Museo delle Terme or in Berlin). A new step in the depiction of sacrifice is marked by mosaic representations that appear both in synagogues and Christian churches. The mosaic found on Beth Alpha synagogue’s pavement, located in the South of Galilee, depicts the scene of the sacrifice in a narrative perspective. The depiction represents multiple characters (the two servants of patriarch Abraham), the donkey, the ram, a tree and the hand of God that emerges from the divine cloud. The Synagogue in Sepphoris (Israel) has a depiction of the scene in which the artist assimilates Abraham’s sacrifice with the biblical account of Moses who sat near the burning bush of Sinai and took his sandals off because he was standing on holy ground. The Christian mosaics emphasize various types of interpretation of the sacrifice on Mount Moriah, and create profound theological associations. In the Church of San Vitale, a certain pattern is gradually shaped, a pattern that would spread in the Byzantine culture. Abraham puts his hand on Isaac head, who sits with his hands bound on an altar. His other hand raises the knife, and his sight is elevated to the heavens where the hand of God appears. The ram that was eventually sacrificed by the two of them is near the altar. It is rather admirable that the artists connected this scene with the theophany at Mamre, where the Lord announced to patriarch Abraham the birth of his son. The artist corroborated the two events in order to highlight the fact that life and the gift of life are both in the hands of God. If God made possible the birth of a son out of the old and infertile bodies of Abraham and Sarah, then He is also capable of restoring the breath of life in a dead body and bring it back to life. The scene in San Apollinaire Church in Classe is marked by typological elements that converge towards He Who sacrifices Himself on the Cross and offers Himself to mankind through the Eucharist. The sacrifice is mystically represented by Isaac being brought to towards an altar with the Eucharistic offerings. The minister of the mystical ritual of sacrifice is the king and priest Melchizedek, another character with ample typological connotations. On the other side of the altar sits Abel who, through his offering (a lamb) foreshadows Lord Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. A special depiction is found on the walls of the Jewish necropolis in Upper Egypt: The Chapel of Peace of El Bagawat. The artist introduces Sarah in the scene. According to a Jewish tradition, the mother of Isaac herself participated in the sacrifice on Mount Moriah. Her attitude evinces the same faith as patriarch Abraham. Her face does not convey fear, but the hope that God can bring back to life her son, who shall be sacrificed by the patriarch. Another emblematic depiction for the classic paradigm of sacrifice is found in a manuscript belonging to monk Cosmas Indicopleustes. He shows all the elements that compose the scene of the sacrifice: the two servants and the donkey that accompanied patriarch Abraham in his quest for faith; Isaac is portrayed as an adolescent who carries the woods on his back; the ram is tied to a tree; and the sacrifice itself: Abraham prepares to stab his knelt son, looking to the sky at the hand of God that blesses from the heavens. This scene has a deep Christological dimension regarding the fact that Isaac carries the woods for his sacrifice. In the sixth century, this interpretation was already widespread among patristic writings. The prototypes presented so far have a wide geographical spread. Thus, the geographic and cultural background of these prototypes had a visible influence on the way the artist chose to represent patriarch Abraham’s sacrifice. The community they were part of and whom they addressed contributed to the creation of a certain prototype. In addition, the interpretative paradigm the artist chose had a tremendous impact on the outcome of the artistic act. In this respect, we recall the mosaic from San Apollinaire in Classe church, which has a typological view on the depiction. All these elements have influenced the way artists from different regions of both Christian and Jewish world chose to represent the sacrifice of Abraham. The six prototypes identified which portray the sacrifice, convey the way biblical interpretation was artistically represented and created a theological statement that the artists wished to convey to the communities they belonged to. Firm obedience, living faith in the salvation that only comes from God, belief in the eternal life, belief in the resurrection, the mystical foreshadowing of the redemptive sacrifice, are the main theological tenets that the artistic depictions of Isaac’s sacrifice convey. This analytic endeavour is meant to be a starting point for further research that is naturally bound to observe the evolution of the Byzantine prototype in Christianity. Therefore, we refer to the prototypes of the Macedonian and Cretan iconographical schools. Thus, the frescoes of medieval Serbian monasteries, such as the ones of Gračanica, or those that can be seen today in the Athonite monasteries Stavronikita and Saint Dyonisius are a source for further research that could analyse the new iconographical prototypes regarding today’s representations of the scene of sacrifice.

Dr. Alexandru MĂLUREANU Father Dumitru Stăniloae’s Anthropological Theology in the perspective of personal Relationship between Human Being and God

Summary: Teologia antropologică a Părintelui Dumitru Stăniloae în perspectiva relației personale dintre om și Dumnezeu

Trăim astăzi o adevărată dramă a comunicării fără comuniune, o însingurare în comunicare. Putem vorbi, așadar, de o adevărată criză a comunicării în societatea contemporană. Una dintre cele mai mari probleme existențiale ale omului contemporan este lipsa comuniunii, problemă apărută ca urmare a lipsei de comunicare interpersonală. Comunicarea a devenit impersonală, promovat este individul, și nu persoana (pierzându-se caracterul de persoană al ființei umane, în comuniune), individualismul, egoismul și auto-suficiența sunt încurajate cu insistență, în defavoarea vieții în comuniune și solidaritate.

Omul modern este atras spre comuniune, chiar dacă nu o înțelege în adevăratul ei sens. Astfel, el preferă să se afilieze la organizații și asociații, să fie membru al grupurilor de socializare, să facă parte dintr-un grup de prieteni sau dintr-un colectiv de indivizi cu preocupări și interese comune. Comuniunea nu înseamnă colectivism la nivelul relațiilor sociale, nici socializare în cadrul unei comunități. Adevărata comuniune nu se limitează nici la anturaje, ci implică sentimente profunde de unire sufletească între oameni, presupunând o comuniune în duh de rugăciune cu Dumnezeu și cu semenii.

În acest sens, am cercetat și analizat viziunea Părintelui Dumitru Stăniloae asupra dimensiunii antropologice a comunicării și a comuniunii, încercând să prezint posibilele soluții pentru problemele existențiale ale omului contemporan. Gândirea Părintelui Stăniloae referitoare la dimensiunea antropologică a comunicării și a comuniunii este remarcabilă deoarece marele nostru teolog a prezentat această temă într-o perspectivă personalistă, evidențiind faptul că omul devine persoană ca urmare a intrării într-o relație de comunicare și comuniune cu Dumnezeu și cu semenii săi. Părintele Profesor subliniază relația unică dintre persoană și comuniune, prezentând importanța și rolul „chipului lui Dumnezeu” din om, care îl conduce pe acesta la împlinirea sa ca persoană, în comuniune. „Chipul” are un caracter comunitar, după modelul trinitar, reflectând comuniunea intertrinitară și fiind model pentru comuniunea interpersonală.

Comunicarea îl definește pe om ca fiind o ființă personală și socială. Omul este structurat ontologic spre comunicare, având o vocație comunitară. Cuvântul cheamă persoana la dialog, iar dialogul la comuniune. Omul este o ființă dialogică, ce poate fi împlinită doar prin comunicarea și comuniunea cu Dumnezeu și cu oamenii, în Biserică. El este persoană cuvântătoare, creată după chipul Cuvântului lui Dumnezeu. „Chipul lui Dumnezeu” din om este temeiul căutării permanente a comunicării și a comuniunii interpersonale, spre dobândirea „asemănării cu Dumnezeu”. Căutând să înțeleagă sensul vieții sale și al lumii în care trăiește, omul este destinat pentru a fi în comuniune.

În lume, omul poate vedea un adevărat mijloc de comunicare cu Dumnezeu și cu semenii. Există o interdependență între relația oamenilor cu Dumnezeu, dar și cu natura, pe care omul este dator să o transfigureze în mediu prielnic pentru viețuirea în comuniune desăvârșită. Creștinul are vocația transfigurării lumii într-un spațiu sacru al comunicării și comuniunii cu Dumnezeu. Dar prin comunicarea noastră cu Dumnezeu-Cuvântul creștem și în comuniunea cu semenii noștri. Astfel, trupul omului este privit de către Părintele Stăniloae ca „punte spre Dumnezeu” și „mijloc transparent de comunicare”. Omul are o mare responsabilitate față de trupul său, anume aceea de a-l transforma în mijloc de ajutorare și de comunicare frățească. Din acest motiv, Părintele Stăniloae folosește termenul de „frățietate” pentru a exprima caracteristicile comuniunii interpersonale.

Omul este „chipul nemuritor al lui Dumnezeu”, restabilit și desăvârșit în Hristos-Cuvântul. „Chipul lui Dumnezeu” din om este astfel valorificat în dialogul dintre om și Persoana Supremă – Dumnezeu, în perspectiva dăruirii personale, în comuniunea iubirii. Comuniunea cu Dumnezeu ne atrage, așadar, atât spre cunoașterea Lui, cât și spre dialogul veșnic de iubire cu Sine. Prin urmare, soluția pentru toate problemele existențiale ale omului contemporan este Hristos, Fiul Omului și Cuvântul Domnului, Care îl poate ajuta pe om să devină o persoană în dialog cu Dumnezeu și în comuniune cu ceilalți oameni.

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