Theo Hobson Speaks with John D. Zizioulas

Posted by Kendall Harmon

If you ask a British theologian to name a living Orthodox thinker, he or she is highly likely to name John D. Zizioulas - and indeed to have read his book of 1985, Being as Communion. This is partly because Zizioulas has spent most of his academic career in this country, and partly because his thought is so in tune with the dominant currents of Anglican and Catholic theology. He has now published another book, called Communion and Otherness, which Rowan Williams calls "a great book", and "a comprehensive model for the whole of Christian theology".

Zizioulas is Greek Orthodox and Metropolitan of Pergamon, which is in Turkey. When Turkey's Greek Orthodox population was expelled in the 1920s, it became a sort of ghost see, and remains so: he is only permitted to officiate in Pergamon's ruined church very occasionally. This may in part explain the rather forlorn look of the man, whom I meet at the London office of his publisher. Sitting in a boardroom overlooking Waterloo station, this gentle elderly man is a black-cassocked fish out of water. His gold-chained pendant cross is concealed, as if to display it in such a setting would be inappropriate. I have been told that he is shy of nosy questioners, and it is immediately apparent: he greets me warmly but warily.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesOrthodox Church* TheologyEcclesiology

3 Comments
Posted August 30, 2007 at 5:52 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Phil wrote:

“Orthodoxy has much in common with Anglicanism ...”

Good grief.

August 30, 9:40 am | [comment link]
2. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

I note the warm inclusiveness of the religion of peace which included the Orthodox in Turkey since the 1920s….......

August 30, 12:11 pm | [comment link]
3. Ad Orientem wrote:

I have read and am a fan of some Met. John’s works.  And to be honest I found this article horribly slanted and I seriously doubt it is an accurate representation of his broader views.  The length alone casts doubt.  This is not a man who can have any one of his opinions seriously discussed in such a short essay much less all the subjects dealt with a single sentence.  Then again the Tablet is well known as a a leftie Catholic publication.  All in all I don’t think this should be given too much attention.

August 30, 1:50 pm | [comment link]
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