Category: Personhood

  • Facing Up to God

    I have been asked to write further on the “theology of the face.” It is surprisingly neglected in many parts of the Christian world – and though it is not often discussed within Orthodoxy – it is nevertheless deeply at the heart of Orthodox devotion. Nothing in the Old Testament more clearly reveals the personhood…

  • Face to Face

    Nothing about the human body is as intimate as the face. We generally think of other aspects of our bodies when we say “intimate,” but it is our face that reveals the most about us. It is the face we seek to watch in order to see what others are thinking, or even who they…

  • It Is Not Good to be Alone

    One of the greatest tragedies of the modern world is the continuing collapse of social systems. The most prominent and important of these is the family itself – but many other social systems, including the Church, are equally in collapse. Our consumer culture seeks to maximize our individuality (individuals buy more than groups) and false…

  • Are We Connected?

    How connected are we? Do your actions, thoughts, feelings, have an effect on me even if I am unaware (or on the other side of the world)? Is my existence bound within the existence of other human beings, or are we simply sharing the same planet for a period of time? Connections between people, particularly…

  • What Would You Do?

    “To the extent that man does not use his freedom, he is not himself. In order to emerge from that indeterminate state, he must utilize his freedom in order to know and be known as himself.” – Fr. Dimitru Staniloae A popular bumper-sticker-level spirituality swept the pop-culture scene several years back asking, “What would Jesus…

  • An Unnecessary Existence

    In Dostoevsky’s The Demons, the character, Kirillov, is insanely fascinated with freedom. He cannot bear the fact that he did not choose his own existence. Life is a “given.” In what must be seen as a parable of the radical thought of the 19th century, Kirillov determines to kill himself, the only act of true…

  • Is This All There Is?

    It all depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. – President Bill Clinton Surely there are some things about which everyone can agree – or not. Either something exists or it doesn’t. Or is there more to the story? In the thought of the Fathers, existence has a number of qualities. That we…

  • In the Secret Place

    Following up on the previous article’s discussion of shame and envy – I offer this reprint of an early piece which looks at the right role of the “secret” and “hidden” things of the liturgy. Of all the places and spaces to which we should attend – this article names the most important. I suspect…

  • The Mystery of Christ’s Baptism

    This week, the Church moves from the feast of Christmas to the feast of Theophany – the celebration of the Baptism of Christ. The intent of this feast is not to celebrate a succession of historical events (the Baptism of Christ is at least 30 years later than His birth). Rather this feast takes us into the depths of…


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  1. Fr. Stephen, “The mystery of the Incarnation of the Word contains in itself the meaning of all the symbols and…

  2. Matthew, Given some of your own comments about the negative effects of certain Protestant theology you have experienced, I would…

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