Christ, Our Way and Our Life

A Presentation of the Theology of Archimandrite Sophrony

In the book “Christ our Way and our Life”, Archimandrite Zacharias presents with simplicity the richness of the empirical theology of his Elder, Saint Sophrony Sakharov.

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FOREWORD

This book “Christ, our Way and our Life” is based on my doctoral thesis, entitled The Actualisation of the Hypostatic[1] Principle in the Theology of Archimandrite Sophrony, which was submitted at the Faculty of Theology of the University of Thessalonica in 1998. I have wanted since then to proceed to a more complete presentation of Fr Sophrony’s teaching. Perhaps even now I have not succeeded fully in this aim, but I have tried at least to set out the basic themes of his theology.
I alone am responsible for any imperfections or omissions apparent in this book. For whatever good it may contain, the praise belongs to my ever-memorable Staretz, who is my life’s greatest benefactor. Above all, it is to our Lord Jesus Christ, who manifested to us in its perfection the Pattern, the Model, the Length, and Depth, and Height, of the Person of the Father, that glory is due unto all ages.

Note on the English edition

The English translation of my book has provided an opportunity, for which I am grateful, to amplify my text by the addition of phrases and notes which further explain the meaning and thus render it accessible even for those without a theological background. The same purpose lies behind the re-ordering of a few paragraphs.

[1] The theological term ‘hypostasis’ from which this word is derived is more fully explained throughout the book. See especially Chapter 1.


CONTENTS

Foreword
Introduction

1. THE HYPOSTATIC PRINCIPLE AND ITS REALIZATION IN HUMAN LIFE
a. The meaning of ‘hypostasis’
b. The primordial glory of man
c. The delusion of an impersonal absolute
2. THE KENOSIS OF THE LORD AND THE SALVATION OF MAN
a. The kenosis of the Word of God
b. The way of thy commandments
c. Love – to the point of self-hatred
3. SEPARATION AND RESTORATION
a. The greatness and the nullity of man
b. Death
c. The grace of mindfulness of death
d. Spiritual mourning and tears
e. The despair which is pleasing to God
4. THE MYSTERY OF THE WAYS OF SALVATION
a. The grace of our call
b. When grace is withdrawn
c. Grace is regained
d. Knowing the way
5. MONASTICISM AND SPIRITUAL FATHERHOOD
a. Monasticism as a gift of the Holy Spirit
b. Fidelity to the monastic vows heals the estrangement brought about by original sin
c. Spiritual fatherhood as a ministry of between man and God
6. THE PATH OF HESYCHASM
a. The Jesus Prayer
b. The practice of the Jesus Prayer
c. Inner prayer
d. The struggle against the imagination
7. FROM THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TO THE ONTOLOGICAL LEVEL
a. Repentance
b. Ontological regeneration
c. The vision of uncreated Light
d. ‘Ontological’ repentance inspires a twofold vision
e. Ascetic humility and divine humility
f. The ontological content of the person: freedom for self-determination
8. PRAYER AS THE FULFILMENT OF CREATION
a. Prayer as personal communion
b. Pure prayer
c. Prayer for the whole world as the manifestation of the hypostatic principle
d. Love for one’s enemies as a criterion of truth
Epilogue
Index of Scriptural References
Index of Names and Subjects

Weight 0.560 kg
Dimensions 21.5 × 15 × 2.5 cm
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