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Behind each of the phases of this quest one can discern the classic problem of Western Christianity: In both the texts of political theology and in the concrete activities of its representatives, it jaanras easy to see that this oscillation, in arousing a certain inferiority of the faith, in the secularized milieu of western societies, is psychologically at the base of the entire problematic.

In a world where political action permits man to forge his historical destiny and future with his own hands, the Christian faith is useless and inefficient. It seems, therefore, that for contemporary Christians in the West, political theology is psychologically counterbalancing this apparent inferiority of the faith.

Political theology seeks the roots of revolutionary socio-political movements in the Bible itself. The Bible is seen as a text of political morality, a theory of revolution, which has as its goal a paradise-like society — a society without classes.

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Therefore, being a Christian today means above all else to engage in an active opposition to social injustice and political oppression. Yet, one could, very naively, pose the question: Why is it necessary that I be, in addition, also Christian? I fear it is precisely this question which reveals the psychological motivations of political theology.

I mean by this a political theory and action not limited merely to social utility or janras the conventional hrisot of human relations — even if these we more efficient — but which has as its goal the truth of man and the authenticity of his existence. The politics which serve social utility and the rational regulation of rights and desires, or the relations between work and capital, has nothing to do with theology. In other words, politics, to the measure to which it is the theory of true relationships and ascetic action in the service janarad the social needs and goals of humanity, is tied to the truth of theology.


The truth of theology has nothing in common with the abstract ideology of a conceptual metaphysics. Rather, it signifies the concrete experience of the Church.

The Church recognizes the truth of man in his trinitarian mode of being. The experience of the personal revelation of the triune God leads to the recognition of man as the image of God. This experience alone can manifest that the truth of the communion of persons is an ontological reality, or the natural mode of existence.

Христо Јанарас

The political theory of the Church is the truth of the Holy Trinity, Fedorov used to say. And this truth is not a metaphysical principle, bristo is it given as an intellectual idea. It is an incarnation in history; it is the person of the incarnate Word, who by the energies of the Spirit is the sign of the Father.

It is the body of the Word, the Church herself, the body of Christ, totally in history and totally in the ultimate, the eschaton.

The Church hriisto the historical measure of the htisto and the eschatological manifestation of the meaning of history. But this truth is a certitude only if one lives it and experiences it. One does not approach the truth with the intellect alone.

A Note on Political Theology

One has to know how the saints assume humanity’s failure and sin, without any juridical or rationalist criterion. They assume human failure in the love of the ecclesial Trinitarian communion, and they re-establish the authenticity of existence in spite of it. To this truth of the trinitarian mode of human existence, to this action which assumes and transfigures failure in communion, politics will again return when it will try to reach further than the conventions governing the claims of the individual and whenever its goal will be the existential authenticity of humanity’s social nature.

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It goes without saying that the concrete search for such political action is connected to a living theological thought which nourishes political action in a creative manner. Political theology may then play the part played by prophecy — to incarnate the critical and radical irruption of truth in actual periods of historical life the essence of prophecy not being to announce events which are supposed to happen, but rather the comprehension of the march of history and the historical obligations attached to each moment.

The most radical critique is the existence of the truth: By nature he creates, anticipates and judges what has been made by him. This is why the language of political theology cannot be critical, in the sense that it would simply contradict other points of view.

Hristo Janaras – Metafizika Tela – [PDF Document]

The more that prophecy is critical, the more directly it manifests the truth, transfiguring human failure to the measure of the revelation of the authenticity of human existence.

I think this is pretty nearly the way we ought to define an Orthodox theory of political theology. This definition would be the great obligation in theology incumbent upon the present generation of Orthodox.

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