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Monthly Archives: September 2008

The Trinity as Entelechy?

In the last post I noted Bulgakov’s suggestive idea that the church be understood as an entelechy, a reality that carries its end within itself and as such never “achieves” its end in a static sense, since perpetual “becoming” towards this end is part of its own definition. This notion also seems a fruitful description […]

The Church as Entelechy

In The Bride of The Lamb, Sergius Bulgakov argues that the church itself should be undestood as the fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation, but in a particular sense. The church is an entelechy, a term that takes its derivation from Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Therein Aristotle defines an entelechy (from en+telos) as a reality that has […]

Eucharist, Eschatology, and World in the Ecclesiology of Bulgakov

My own installment of the 2008 Bulgakov Blog Conference has just been posted over at Land of Unlikeness. I have re-posted it here, but please direct all comments to TOU to support the discussion over there. My thanks to Dan for all his hard work of organizing and patience with us contributors. Here is my […]

The Beatific Vision as Meta-History

Against notions of the final state as a sort of timeless tranquility, or contemplative stillness, Sergius Bulgakov portrays the final reconciliation as the beginning of a new journey, an endlessly energetic pilgrimage deeper into the mystery of God. History does not cease but transcends itself as it is transfigured into “meta-history.” The life of humanity […]

One Realm of Christ-Reality: Bonhoeffer and Bulgakov

Bonhoeffer and Bulgakov offer two similarly Christological construals of the world as the tabernacle of God’s presence and action. What I find alluring about both of them is that they portray the way in which God’s action is “at home” in the world, bringing it to completion and perfection without positing some sort of “natural” […]

The 2008 Bulgakov Blog Conference

Readers should head over to The Land of Unlikeness where the much-awaited Bulgakov Blog Conference has kicked off today with Cynthia Nielson’s supremely helpful introduction to Bulgakov. My own contribution will be coming up tomorrow and there are a large selection of other great contributors and topics to come. Make sure to check it out.

Cynicism and Hope

Yet another forthcoming book from Wipf and Stock that I think is worthy of mention is Cynicism and Hope: Reclaiming Democracy in a Postdemocratic Society. It is collection of essays dealing with the dynamics of a properly tempered cynicism in relation to the current political culture. Some of the particularly notable essays come from Peter […]

On Taking Liturgy Seriously

Sergius Bulgakov delivers an exhortation that most Christians probably need to hear, especially those of us in the West whose only experiences of culture and sociality, ecclesial or otherwise bear deep vestiges of artificiality and triviality. Too few of us even know how to think about our participation in gathered worship as an event actually […]

Out of the Last Adam’s Side

In his essay, “The Holy Grail,” Sergius Bulgakov makes a fascinating observation about John 19:34 about the blood and water flowing out of Jesus’ side when pierced by the spear of Longinus on the cross. Bulgakov notes that what flows out of the wound in Jesus’ side are the sacramental gifts of God to the […]

Perichoresis and Hospitality

Clearly the trinitarian concept of perichoresis is often misunderstood, misused, and misapplied. In line with what I’ve suggested before, I would argue that perichoresis as best understood as a quality that inheres in the inter-trinitarian relations and which we know on the basis of the shape of divine action in the world. In other words, […]

Stanley Hauerwas as Johannine Theologian

The Johannine corpus is centered on two key theological themes: radical adherence and allegiance to Christ and mutual love within the community of God’s followers (“And this is his commandment, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another” (1 John 3:23). For John radical Christocentrism and radical […]

Against Being Holistic

Some of my favorite theologians to read are grand synthesizers who are capable of building conceptual systems of theology that are very beautiful things indeed to explore, linger, and wander about in. Two that come immediately to mind are Hans Urs von Balthasar and Thomas Torrance. Balthasar in particular is one of the greatest examples […]

The Perichoretic Church

Regarding the proper use of perichoresis to describe the unity of the church, Miroslav Volf strike just the right balance (against those who would paint him as a simplistic social trinitarian). He claims that “It is not the mutual perichoriesis of human beings, but the indwelling of the Spirit common to everyone that makes the […]

A Further Note on Perichoresis

Many of the advocates for social trinitarianism point to its ethical and political implications. If human relationality is supposed to image divine trinitarian relationality, then clearly there are a great many ethical implications from this about community, social justice, etc. Moltmann in particular typifies this sort of claim. Moreover, the claim for the robustness of […]

Revisiting Perichoresis

The language of perichoresis, bearing a long pedigree in trinitarian theology, has fallen on hard times of late. Part of this is certainly due to the way in which the concept has been over-used in many recent works in trinitarian theology. Colin Gunton has offered perhaps the most sophisticated use of perichoresis in attempting to […]

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