Towards an Active <i>Metanoia<i>
Chapter 6 The consubstantial humanity
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The consubstantial humanity
Reflections on the paradigms that inform a new ecumenical vision
Theological reflection may attempt to describe what Orthodoxy is, what ecumenism is, or what Church unity is, but it succeeds far better at pointing to what all these realities could be, or, better, what they must become. It directs people towards what things ought to look like, as things in human actuality are quite often far from perfect. It functions as the projection of potentiality – as aspiration. The Orthodox in particular insist – even in the most ‘hands-on’, practical, concrete situations – on a constant return to theological reflection, to philosophical thought, often to the exasperation of their Protestant peers in ecumenical encounters. The present theological exploration up to this point mirrors to a degree this aspirational character of theology, as well as the Orthodox obstinate insistence on holistic theology as the core of reference for all concrete action within the Church. It might appear that an approach that constantly presents an ideal reality against the very difficult and complex situations in the real world may not always be the best course of action.
This is, however, an undeniable tendency of the Orthodox theologians, who tend to focus on an eschatological vision of theology, of a constantly improving or deified reality, firmly setting their sights on the final fulfilment and full revelation in the transcendent reality that is to come, in the eschata – the last things....
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