NR. 2 – 2021



Rezumate Studii Teologice 2021.2

Pr. Conf. Dr. Lucian FARCAȘIU – Praznicul Bunei Vestiri. Teologia imnografiei sărbătorii

Summary: The Feast of the Annunciation. The Theology of the Feast’s Hymnography

The Annunciation is celebrated every year on March 25. This feast is celebra­ted in relation to the Feast of the Nativity (December 25), so nine months after the Annunciation event. The Annunciation marks the celebration of the day when the Holy Archangel Gabriel brought to the Holy Virgin Mary the news that she would give birth to the Savior of the world (Lk 1: 26-38). On this day, the divine Child was conceived in the womb of the Virgin, by the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why, in the West, this celebration is also called the Feast of the Lord’s Incarnation. The Feast of the Annunciation is considered by theologians to be both a Feast of the Savior Jesus Christ and a Feast of the Theotokos, since the entire teaching of our Church about the Mother of God is based on Christology and, therefore, the Mother of God is never treated separately from the economy of salvation, accomplished by the Incarnate Son of God. According to the opinion of most liturgists, the Feast of the Annunciation was celebrated in the Christian Church even before the Synod of Ephesus (431) proclaimed the Holy Virgin Mother of God – Theotokos because, since the beginning of the Christian life, there had been the tradition of honoring the Mother of God, based on the accounts offered by the Gospel of Saint Luke. The present study presents and develops the theological ideas of the hymnography of the Feast of the Annunciation. From the analysis of hymnographic texts, one can see that the texts of the celebration service are not limited to describing the unfolding of this event in the economy of the salvation of humanity. Still, they theologize about the deeply Christological and Mariological elements of this Feast, as well as their significance for the spiritual life of the faithful. The major ideas developed in the Annunciation hymnography are the following: the Annunciation as the deliverance of humanity from the ancestral curse and the beginning of the salvation of the world. Within this subchapter, two aspects are developed: The Theotokos as the second Eve and the value of the Virgin’s fiat for the salvation of the world. Another subchapter refers to the untying of the curse of the disobedience of Adam and Eve through the Incarnation of Christ and the calling of the world again to deification. Another aspect developed in the hymnography of the Feast refers to the eternity of the Incarnate Word in the womb of the Virgin. Likewise, the process of the Incarnation of the Son of God is presented by the holy hymnographers, which refers to His diminution or kenosis through the Incarnation and His humility. Also, the references of the hymnographic text have always in mind the virginity of the Theotokos. Other aspects treated in the liturgical service of the Feast refer to the prefiguration of the Holy Virgin Mary in the Old Testament. Another part of the study refers to the names/titles of the Theotokos in the hymnographic text, which can be classified as follows: names/titles given by the Archangel Gabriel; names/titles given by herself, and names/titles given by the holy hymnographers. The cosmic joy reflected in the hymnography of the Feast of the Annunciation represents another part of the present study, the following aspects being emphasized: the joy of heaven and earth, the joy of David, the joy of the Theotokos announced by the angel, the joy of the Virgin, as well as the joy of the faithful of the Church. At the end of the study, the theological ideas developed in Aposticha, Troparion, and Kathismata of the Feast of the Annunciation from March 25 are presented, summarizing the entire theological dimension of the holiday.


Pr. Conf. Dr. Marian VILD – Unitatea Duhului – premisă a ajungerii la unitatea credinței, potrivit textului din Efeseni 4, 1-16

Summary: The Unity of the Spirit as a Premise for the Achievement of the Unity of Faith According to Ephesian 4: 1-16

The Pauline expression “the unity of the faith” (τὴν ἑνότητα τῆς πίστεως – Eph 4:13) is very important. It has been used from the fourth century until today in the liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil the Great, which are celebrated in the Orthodox Church. It became the most known expression concerning the topic of ecclesial unity. Its translations into Romanian represent a challenge, because the most used Romanian translation, “unirea” (“unification”), can be understood as a simple union in faith with other Christian confessions in the detriment of the specificity of the orthodox doctrine. The other proposed translation is “unitatea” (unity). This is preferable because it underlines the result of the process and not the process itself. The section about the unity of faith in the fourth chapter of the Letter to the Ephesians must be understood in the context. St. Paul begins the moral part of his Letter to the Ephesians with the urge to keep the unity of the Spirit. He shows that there is only one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God (4, 4-5). The Church is the body of Christ, and the different spiritual gifts are concrete signs of its unity. In his Letter, St. Paul gives four lists of spiritual gifts. These lists can be found in 1 Corinthians, chapter 12 (where two lists are mentioned, namely in verses 8-10 – the first list, and in verses 28-30 – the second), in Romans 12:6-8, and in Ephesians 4:11. In addition, one has to take into consideration the idea that all the commandments can be kept only with the help of the Holy Spirit. Even to confess Christ as the Lord can be done only in the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). Anyway, the unity of the faith has to be a permanent preoccupation for all believers. That is why they have to do everything to keep it. Nevertheless, by using the expression “the unity of the Spirit” in the same context, and by mentioning the four lists of spiritual gifts, St Paul reveals the role of the Holy Spirit in the preservation of the unity of the Church. The charismata are gifts of the Holy Spirit, but these are given to those who are working to achieve unity. In this sense, it becomes very clear that the unity of the Church is something that can be realized only via a synergic work between believers and the Holy Spirit. Christian believers need to preserve the unity of the Spirit, while the Holy Spirit realizes the unity of the community. These two works are mutually conditioned, although it is a difference in the value between the two parts. Therefore, the Holy Spirit keeps the unity of the Church, but this is possible only with the cooperation of Christian believers. However, the unity is not a simple human achievement but a fruit of the presence of the Holy Spirit in those who are members of the body of Christ – the Pauline preferred image of the Church. Practically, the Holy Spirit is the one who integrates the believers in the Body of Christ, and only by remaining in this Body as its living embodiments, the unity of the faith can be preserved.


Lect. Phd. Alexandru PRELIPCEAN – Christianity in Cyprus in the 4th Century: The Position of Saint Epiphanius of Salamis in the Iconographic Dispute. The Case of the Epistle of Epiphanius, Bishop of the Cypriots, to Emperor Theodosius

Summary: Creștinătatea în Cipru în secolul al IV-lea: poziția Sfântului Epifanie al Salaminei în disputa cu iconografia. Cazul epistolei lui Epifanie, episcopul Ciprioților, către împăratul Teodosie

În corpusul operelor Sf. Epifanie al Salaminei cu tentă iconofobă, cercetarea contemporană atribuie un număr de cinci lucrări ce acoperă perioada diacronică 393-403, și anume: un Post-scriptum la epistola lui Epifanie către episcopul Ierusalimului, Tratatul lui Epifanie împotriva celor care, urmând o practică idolatră, fac imagini cu intenția de a reproduce chipul lui Hristos, al Maicii Domnului, Îngerilor și Profeților, Epistola dogmatică, (pseudo-?)Epistola lui Epifanie, episcopul ciprioților, către împăratul Teodosie și Testamentul lui Epifanie adresat membrilor Bisericii sale. Desigur, realitatea acestui corpus de lucrări iconofobe și implicațiile sale teologice au fost exploatate diacronic în cadrul controverselor iconofile bizantine din perioada cuprinsă între 676-828 [anii de viețuire ai Sf. Ioan Damaschin (cca 676 – 4 decembrie 749) și ai patriarhului Nichifor al Constantinopolului (758 – 5 aprilie 828)].

Din cuprinsul acestui corp de lucrări epifaniene vom extrage doar una singură, și anume (pseudo-?) Epistola lui Epifanie, episcopul ciprioților, către împăratul Teodosie (ἐπιστολὴ πρὸς Θεοδόσιον τὸν βασιλέα) despre care am amintit puțin mai sus. Ceea ce ne interesează în mod direct în cadrul prezentului studiu este următoarea analiză tripartită: cuprinsul și realitatea autenticității epistolei lui Epifanie, episcopul ciprioților, către împăratul Teodosie, modul în care această epistolă a fost receptată în cadrul disputelor bizantine (dacă este sau nu citată, sub ce aspecte, implicațiile sale etc.) și perspectiva contemporană a literaturii patristice și bizantine care au în prim decor această operă.

În primul segment al studiul am expus realitatea că, în această epistolă adresată împăratului Teodosie cel mai probabil în 394, Epifanie își creionează discursul său antiiconofil, pornind de la realitatea că diavolul a introdus în lume idolatria, prin prezența ereziilor și a idolilor. Problematica teologică a idolatriei este sinonimă pentru Epifanie cu reprezentarea iconografică (= zugrăvirea) lui Dumnezeu prin intermediul culorilor (ζωγραφητὸν διὰ χρωμάτων). Epifanie mărturisește textul Simbolului de credință al celor 318 Părinți de la Sinodul I Ecumenic pentru a exprima în mod cert că credința pe care o are este aceeași cu a Părinților niceeni. Revenind la problematica iconografică, episcopul ciprioților, face cunoscută realitatea teologică a imposibilității de a reprezenta pe Hristos sau pe Sfinții Săi pe perdele ușilor (probabil aluzie la evenimentul din satul Anablatha) sau pe pereți, ajungând să exprime cu multă emfază: „Oare nu vezi, o, iubitule de Dumnezeu împărate, că aceste lucrări nu sunt cuviincioase pentru Dumnezeu?”. Îndemnul Sfântului Epifanie pentru împăratul bizantin este să colecționeze toate aceste reprezentări iconografice de pe perdele din toate spațiile liturgice (biserici, baptisterii, case și capelele martirilor), „chiar dacă au pe ele zugrăvite imagini ale apostolilor, profeților, a Domnului Hristos Însuși”. Interesant este aspectul că episcopul de Salamina amintește de prezența mozaicurilor în spațiile creștine, pe care le dorește desigur îndepărtate, iar acolo unde nu este cu putință măcar să nu mai existe altele noi. Ultima parte a epistolei se ocupă în mod direct de reprezentările lui Hristos și a Ucenicilor Săi, care în opinia Sfântului Epifanie, sunt „plăsmuiri” sau „închipuiri” ale artiștilor, care oricum nu l-au întâlnit pe Hristos sau pe Ucenicii Săi niciodată. Argumentul logic pe care-l invocă Epifanie aici este momentul prinderii lui Iisus de către soldați. Se întreabă, deci, Epifanie, de ce mai era nevoie ca iudeii să-i plătească lui Iuda treizeci de arginți ca semn al recunoașterii, dacă Hristos – în comparație cu Ucenicii Săi – purta părul lung ca orice nazireu? Nu era oare vizibil că, într-o masă de Ucenici care purtau părul scurt, Hristos să se diferențieze de restul?

Partea a doua a studiului de față a încercat să sublinieze modul în care această epistolă a fost receptată în controversa bizantină, atunci când această epistolă către împăratul Teodosie nu apare citată de Sf. Ioan Damaschin, cum nici de actele Sinodului de la Hiereia (754). Pentru întâia oară epistola apare folosită de către Părinții din cadrul Sinodului al VII-lea Ecumenic de la Niceea (787), alături de alte opere epifaniene, dar fără a le indica titlul cu precizie. Cel mai mult face apel la această operă patriarhul Nichifor al Constantinopolului, în capitolele 14-23 din lucrarea Respingerea și nimicirea argumentelor lui Eusebiu și Epifanide, care au fost necugetat îndreptate împotriva Întrupării lui Hristos, Mântuitorul nostru. Este de menționat realitatea că patriarhul Nichifor subliniază de la începutul operei sale (cap. 3) că adevăratul autor al acestei epistole nu este Sf. Epifanie al Salaminei, ci un anume Epifanide.

Ultima parte a studiului este o pătrundere în istoria controversei contemporane cu privire la paternitatea acestei epistole, dispută care are drept initium perioada dintre anii 1916 1929 și având drept protagoniști pe Karl Holl și pe Georg(e) Ostrogorsky. Până la începutul sec. al XX-lea, lucrurile au fost acceptate sub prisma a ceea ce istoria ne-a oferit. Începutul sec. al XX-lea metamorfozează gândirea critică cu privire la întregul dosarul iconofob al episcopului de Salamina. Părerile au ajuns să fie divizate și acceptate uneori cu foarte mare ușurință, alteori tacit, alteori efectiv respinse a priori. Abia ultimele două studii, realizate în ultime două decenii, au reușit să convingă într-adevăr lumea științifică contemporană de realitatea că această epistolă – ca de altfel, aproape întregul dosar iconofob atribuit lui Epifanie – să fie considerată dubia. Credem că impactul acestei demonstrații contemporane este major: imaginea Sfântului Epifanie a rămas și va rămâne „nealterată” de acuze privind tendințe iconoclaste/iconofobe, iar locul episcopului de Salamina va rămâne mereu ancorat în lupta împotriva ereziilor.


Protos. Dr. Iachint VARDIANU – Organizarea vieții monahale în statutele pentru organizarea și funcționarea Bisericii Ortodoxe Române

Summary: Organization of Monastic Life in the Statutes for the Organization and Fuctioning of the Romanian Orthodox Church

The Statutes for the organization and functioning of the Romanian Orthodox Church of 1925, 1949, 2008, 2011 and 2020 have offered, progressively, provisions and roles for a better organization of the monastic life, based on scriptural, patristic and canonical norms. In this context, it is worth noting the interest of the higher ecclesiastical authority, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, to specify, as precisely as possible, the framework for the organization and functioning of the monasteries of the Romanian Patriarchate.

Whether we are talking about the monastery as part of the local organization of the Church, about its mission and organization, about the entry into monastic life, the monastery leadership, the monastic steps, the patrimony and property of the monks, or their courts of justice, we will be able to observe a harmonious connection not only with the ancient patristic monastic traditions, but even with the way monasticism is organized and functions in the other sister Orthodox Churches.

Of course, some of the provisions of these Statutes took into account the historical and political moment in which they were issued, knowing that they also had to be approved by state authority. If in the first Statute, that of 1925, we can observe a not exactly extensive – even unclear in some places – specification of the monastic organization, in the following Statute, that of 1949, the influence of the communist-atheist political regime can be fully felt in the organization of monastic life.

After the fall of the communist regime, the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church eliminated the provisions imposed by abuse in its official documents, especially those concerning its organization and functioning.

With regard to the organization of monastic life, we can therefore observe a progressive, even exhaustive, clarification of the provisions relating to it, if we refer to the Statutes in force. The Holy Synod has been constantly concerned with this, regulating, in the spirit and letter of the canonical tradition of the Ecumenical Orthodox Church, the frameworks for its organization and functioning.

From what has been presented so far, we can see that the organization of monastic life in the Romanian Orthodox Church has undergone some additions, clarifications and changes over time.

However, the canonical principles contained in Article 74, paragraph (1) of the Statute for the Organization and Functioning of the Romanian Orthodox Church are also applicable in this area because the Statute itself has the status of “fundamental law of the Church”, as the canonist Liviu Stan once specified. Therefore, its provisions remain binding “for the entire Romanian Orthodox Church in the country and abroad”, being extended by new “specific regulations approved by the Holy Synod” or by applying those in force “insofar as they do not contravene the present Statute” (Article 204, paragraphs 1-3 of the Statute for the Organization and Functioning of the Romanian Orthodox Church in force).

In conclusion, Romanian Orthodox monasticism, in spite of its theoretical contestation or ideological bias in the modern era, has preserved its canonical and spiritual links with the golden age of the early Christian centuries untouched in all ages, with an unparalleled zeal and a unique spirit of sacrifice. Indeed, monasticism has become aware, following its dramatic historical vicissitudes, that only the balance between ascetic asceticism and social witness authentically enriches the spiritual life of the faithful and is organically linked to the Church’s spiritual mission in the world. In this sense, monasticism has every opportunity to renew itself in the spirit of the authentic values of the Holy Gospel and to make its spiritual contribution to contemporary society, which is anguished by the passions of the world and modern diseases. The monastic vows encompass not only the consecrated ascetic explanation of man’s relationship with the world but, above all, the eschatological dynamism in which the whole of creation understands the meaning and purpose of its own exis­tence through the discovery of God’s love for it.


Drd. Ioan-Daniel MANOLACHE – Întâlnirea din Antiohia dintre Sf. Ap. Petru și Pavel. Premisele unui conflict între apostoli și rezolvarea lui, pornind de la Galateni 2, 11-21

Summary: The Meeting in Antioch between St. Apostles Peter and Paul. The Premises of a Conflict between Apostles and Its Resolution Based on Galatians 2:11-21

The present study analyses the Incident at Antioch between St. Apostles Peter and Paul (Gal 2:11-21) to understand the reasons behind a momentary disagreement between the apostles, but especially to observe the mechanism through which the early Christian community reacted to this challenge and resolved it.

The first part of the article schematically (i) presents some general information about the Incident at Antioch, briefly describes the dispute between St. Apostles Peter and Paul, (ii) mentions some interpretations of this passage throughout history, and finally (iii) accurately quotes the Bible passage where this conflict is reported, in order to be viewed directly.

Once the general data of the problem are established, the study presents the broad and close context of the Incident at Antioch. Regarding the distant context, the article shows that there was a historical conflict between the Christian community in Jerusalem and the Christian community in Antioch, which has always existed between Jews and other nations. Over time, this conflict was received by the Church, where misunderstandings arose between Christians of Jewish origin and Christians of pagan origin. While the former insisted on respecting all the laws of Moses and circumcision, the latter said that salvation only required faith in Christ. Thus, the argument in Antioch was not just a personal disagreement between the apostles, but rather the meeting of two opposing currents.

With regard to the close context of the Incident, the research shows that the Church in Antioch was focused on the mission and preaching of the Gospel to pagan nations, leaning towards a liberal trend, while the Church in Jerusalem was surrounded by zealots, ebionites and other such groups, naturally leaning towards a conservative trend. The exact moment when Peter arrived in Antioch is not known, but it is certain that at some point, while he was there and a delegation from Jerusalem arrived, he was caught in the middle of the two groups. Although he usually ate together with the uncircumcised, in that context, Peter pretended that he did not eat with them. For this reason, Paul called him a hypocrite in front of everyone and rebuked him.

The central part of the article aims to critically analyze this conflict and attempts to respond to four main questions: Who are the guests from Jerusalem who came during the meal in Antioch? What is the relationship between the Incident at Antioch and the Apostolic Synod in Jerusalem? What is the real stake of this conflict? And finally, how this Incident was resolved?

Regarding the delegation that came from Jerusalem to Antioch, some exegetes argue that this delegation was sent by James to resolve the disturbances in Antioch. This is why Peter avoided them because they came with the authority of the mother church. On the other hand, other exegetes believe that this delegation came without any official mandate, in their own name, driven by their zeal to correct the practices of the Church in Antioch. In this context, Peter pretended to be on their side to avoid creating unnecessary disturbance, but also because he hoped that this way, he would gradually bring them to the side of the locals, and they would eventually accept the opening towards other nations and the departure from Judaism. However, no one can give an exact answer about the identity of this delegation, but it remains certain that the apostles did not drive them away as if they were criminals, but they treated them with respect.

A key element to understand the whole situation is the relationship between the Apostolic Synod of Jerusalem and the Antioch Incident. In the specialized literature, the chronology of events is not very clear. On the one hand, some theologians believe that the Apostolic Synod took place before the conflict in Antioch, and for this reason, Paul had the courage to confront Peter because he represented the synod of the Church. On the other hand, there are theologians who argue that the Apostolic Synod of Jerusalem took place after the Antioch Incident, and they maintain that precisely because there was no synodal decision regarding the uncircumcised at the time of the conflict, this fact left room for discussions among Christians. There are arguments for both hypotheses, but analyzing in detail the facts that happened, the author suggests that most likely the Apostolic Synod took place after the Antioch Incident, and before that, there were several informal meetings between the apostles. However, the Synod was the final instance that clarified the case once and for all.

For St. Paul, the Incident at Antioch was more than a personal conflict with Peter. For him, the stake was Christ and the salvation of humanity, so his entire argumentation is built around the idea that the Sacrifice of Christ makes sense for Christians only if Christ is our Savior and not the law we already had. For this reason, circumcision must be contingent for Christians, and all that matters is the relationship with Christ. The Savior is the intersection point between all human beings and God, and for this reason, all other aspects of life (social, ethnic, historical, etc.) become secondary for human beings.

Last but not least, analyzing the Antioch Incident, this article shows that, despite the misunderstandings between the two sides, there was never a total rupture between them, on the contrary, there was always openness towards reconciliation. And the resolution came with the Apostolic Synod, where each side was heard, and in the end, it was decided that all the uncircumcised should be accepted into the Church without being obliged to respect all the Jewish formalities. Finally, this decision was officially transmitted, through a letter, to those in Antioch, so that peace and tranquility would return and reign among the Christian communities.

The conclusion of the article is that in the life of the Early Church, there was no disguised peace, but there were always various challenges and even small conflicts between its members. However, through various mechanisms – in this case, the Apostolic Synod – it managed each time to efficiently restore order within itself.