In this magisterial and highly dense study, Zizioulas examines how the fathers and Orthodox theology approach questions of identity ( of individuals and of the church) and the nature of God. Instead of starting with philosophical premises for the existence of God to which Christian doctrine is then bolted on almost as an after thought, Zizioulas argues that person and love form the key categories for exploring the nature of God, rather than essence or existence. The result is a tour-de-force in which the Trinity and Christology become the keys t engaging with cosmology and and identity. Highly recommended for those who wish to look at Orthodox theology and are critical of the way in which much contemporary Western theology seems to be driven by the claims of contemporary secular philosophical agendas.
Yes, definitely, this book desrves five stars. For several years,I have delved into this book and tried to suck the marrow of Father Zizioulas's understanding of God and the Church. Most of all, Fr. Zizioulas's critically reexmines and projects the unique Christian conceptual framework, expecially on the Trinity and the Church. Moreover, the word he introduced in the book, "the relation reality" helps us to understand what we are in the Church in relation to the being of God. Definitely, as I talked to Fr.Zizioulas at the research seminar for systematic theolgy at King's College London, in his book, "After Our Likeness," Professor M. Volf misread the essential point that Fr. Zizioulas wants to make in "Being as Communion." In the light of Fr. Zizoulas, person does not come to exist out of relationship. So thus, the Church. However, Professor Volf from the beginning did not grasp this point which caused him to make a fatal mistake in his book, "After Our Likeness," in explaining Fr. Zizioulas's theology in Being as Communion. As one reads Being as Communion, he or she must keep in mind the point Fr. Zizioulas wants to make which is "person" comes to be only in relationship, in communion. In addition, the definition of "person" in Being as Communion," is essentially different from the word, "individual." I wish you can find the differnece as you read this book that will bring you up to a new dimension of understanding of God, the Church, and the very being of youself! Thank you for giving your attention on my comment. P.S.O