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The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church Unknown Binding – 1957


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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 252 pages
  • Publisher: J.Clarke (1957)
  • ASIN: B001P4AXCA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Dan E. Nicholas on 6 Dec. 2010
Format: Paperback
One of my all time favorite books. Bought my first copy at a flea market for a dollar. Have purchased more since and sent to friends and family.

He tells how true Christianity is always mystical, always experiential...and at the same time cannot be without roots in theology. Gotta have both. You can't just have what your head believes...anymore than you can have just what your heart holds true.

A dear friend who was raised in the Anglican Church read this book and because of it converted to Eastern Orthodoxy and later became a monk and founded a wonderful monastery near Redding, CA in Manton with some 20 monks. He now heads the Orthodox Church in America as Metropolitan. Be careful. This book may change your life!

This author basically lived a powerful life as a lay leader in the Orthodox church, wrote this book, died way too young. I don't know that we have any other major work by Lossky. I think sometimes you produce a classic or do something incredible and wonderful and God says, "...hey, Good job! Can't top that. Come on home." This book is that good.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ashtar Command on 7 Jan. 2013
Format: Paperback
Vladimir Lossky was the son of Russian philosopher N.O. Lossky. Both father and son were extradited from the Soviet Union in 1922, together with Nikolai Berdyaev, Sergius Bulgakov and other non-Communist intellectuals. During World War II, Lossky joined the French Gaullist resistance. Despite his status as an expellee, Lossky had contacts with the Soviet-approved patriarch of Moscow, and was allowed to visit the USSR in 1956.

Otherwise, Lossky junior is most known as an Orthodox theologian. He studied the writings of Meister Eckhart, Thomas Aquinas and Etienne Gilson, and is said to have influenced quite a few people within the Church of England. His work "The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church", however, shows no Thomist or Eckhartian influences whatsoever.

"The Mystical Theology" is an extremely difficult work, as several other reviewers have already pointed out. It's not an introductory text, but rather a very advanced theological treatise. Lossky attempts to unite two strands of thought many would consider to be irreconcilable: apophatic mysticism and traditional Christian dogma. Indeed, his dependence on the latter might be one of the reasons why the work is so complex. You need a proper grounding in theology to appreciate Lossky's book, especially when it tackles issues outsiders would consider hopelessly abstruse, such as the filioque.

In the tradition of Pseudo-Dionysius and other apophatic mystics, Lossky considers God to be fundamentally incomprehensible. In a certain sense, we can't really say anything about God at all. Indeed, Lossky believes that the Christian god is unfathomable in a more radical sense than The One of Neo-Platonist mysticism.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read Markides’ beautiful ‘The mountain of silence’, and then Louth’s ‘Theology of the Orthodox church’ which is as easily accessible as the former, I then found myself moving on to Lossky, who Louth, along with other commentators reiterated the sense not only Lossky’s mastery of his subject, but also his love for it born from experience. Lossky is not something to read from beginning to end. I could not put down Markides’s ‘Mountain’, but Lossky is quite different. It demands reflection, especially from those with a Catholic perspective. It has changed my whole view of Christianity, imbibed in my neo-Catholic upbringing. It challenged so many misinformed ideas, and put them in a context much simpler than Catholic dogma, and put my somewhat idealistic or romantic idea of monasticism in a totally different light. Henry VIII had no idea of the spiritual deprivation which followed as a consequence of the dissolution of the monasteries. The recent situation of a refugee camp outside of Rome, where people have worked, and was blessed by the Pope in 2012, but has now been demolished by the local authorities because of the problem of car parking for a forthcoming celebration. Communication does not seem to have been a problem with the Eastern Church in its very long history from the early Greek Fathers.

There is no Pope in the Eastern Church, but there has been enquiry, and despite the apparent multiplicity of the Eastern Churches, there is unanimity of purpose and theology, and it has been consistent, free from any apparent schisms. This is a far remove from Aquinas’s ‘Summa’ which was supposed to answer all questions, in the same way that the almost contemporary Al Ghazali’s equivalent, was to lay the foundation stones for the teaching for the Islamic world.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A rational crtic of mystic qualties in orthdox christianity that covers old and new aspects of the subject dealt with in a gentle way
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