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Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch Bartholomew I [Paperback]

By John Chryssavgis (A01)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   408
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 1"
Weight:   1.3 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2009
Publisher   Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
ISBN  0802862616  
EAN  9780802862617  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer presents for the first time the powerful ecological vision of Patriarch Bartholomew, drawing together a comprehensive collection of his church statements and occasional addresses, some available in English only here. Editor John Chryssavgis has organized these pieces chronologically and thematically, highlighting particular points of interest and importance. In addition, he provides a substantial historical and theological introduction to the initiatives and writings of Patriarch Bartholomew that also invites readers into the unparalleled environmental perspective of the Orthodox Church. At a time of deepening ecological concern, Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer is a living testimony and remarkable witness to what one leader and one church have done - and what all Christians can do - to foster faithful stewardship of our God-given world.

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More About John Chryssavgis

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Father John Chryssavgis is an award-winning author of books for children and adults, a translator, an educator, and a Greek Orthodox priest. Fr. John s books include The World My Church (co-authored with Sophie Chryssavgis) and In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Chryssavgis serves as theological adviser to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of the world s 300 million Orthodox Christians. Born in Australia, Fr. John now lives in Harpswell, ME. Marilyn Rouvelas is an author of several books for children. With Jeanette Aydlette, Marilyn has authored Peter Clashes with Anger, Eleni Looks at Jealousy, and The Truth about Lying, which are aimed at helping children understand when their feelings get out-of-control ("passions") and drawing on the power of being quiet and still to calm themselves. A mother of two grown children and a grandmother of four, Marilyn lives with her husband in Arlington, Virginia, across the river from Washington, D.C. and the Lincoln Memorial. Isabelle Brent is an internationally known artist who has illustrated more than two dozen children s books. She is also well known for her work as an illustrator and designer of greeting cards, gift wrap, and gift bags. Isabelle s paintings have been exhibited at the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts in London. Her art has also been exhibited in Paris, Tokyo, New York, and many other places worldwide. Her books include The Christmas Story from the King James Version and All Creatures Great and Small. Originally from England, Isabelle now lives in France."

John Chryssavgis currently resides in the state of Massachusetts. John Chryssavgis was born in 1958 and has an academic affiliation as follows - Greek Orthodox Church in America Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

John Chryssavgis has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Traditions of Christian Spirituality
  2. Treasures of the World's Religions

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Ethics & Morality   [3234  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Environment > Ecology   [975  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Outdoors & Nature > Reference   [5579  similar products]
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Eye Opening Social Conscience  Aug 9, 2007
Who knew that this Patriarch has been fighting for ecological balance for the last 30 years. This book is enlightening in that the encyclicals give a larger more vital context for the message of "gospel" - It includes ecological considerations and a real concern for the balance and survival of all life on earth. The Patriarch is way ahead of his time. Other religions like my own Lutheran faith should take note.
A call to prayer and stewardship  Oct 4, 2005
It is often the case in the West that the Orthodox Church is seen as otherworldly, detached from the concerns of the contemporary world. However, as this interesting book on the works of Patriarch Bartholomew I shows, this could not be further from the truth. Patriarch Bartholomew I, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople (one of the key positions of honour and spiritual authority in the Eastern Church) is often called the 'Green Patriarch'. Since the 1980s, he has been speaking out on various issues of concern for stewardship and ecological justice on a global scale. The issues of poverty, pollution, overconsumption, inappropriate resource management and ecological abuse are global concerns.

Part of this concern stems from the recognition that the whole world is of God's creation, a creation that was declared good. 'The knowledge of the truth about creation, as well as of the purpose of the world and humanity, contributes to the correct response toward the ecological problem. The Church reveals the truth, and in this way contributes toward the solution of every problem, including the environmental one.' The proper way of addressing environmental issues, according to Patriarch Bartholomew, involves theological, ethical and practical considerations.

The theological issues are fundamental. The Patriarch said, 'The classical thinkers of the Orthodox Church, such as the Cappodocian Fathers, never ignored the fundamentally Eucharistic dimension of creation, which is returned to God in an act of thanksgiving and glorification.' From the story of creation to the book of the Revelation to John, there are indications of the responsibility we as humanity bear for tending the earth. Patriarch Bartholomew introduces interpretations of scripture rather different from many typically Western views; for example, he sees the book of Revelation not as an apocalyptic vision of destruction, but rather draws upon the Greek meaning of the word apokalypsis as 'unveiling', showing that this work unveils possibilities for 'a new heaven and new earth, for a better environment and world to leave to future generations.'

Human responsibility is at the heart of this. 'The root of the problems of hunger and poverty is human lifestyle, not the insufficiency of material goods to support human needs.' While we cannot stop every hurricane, tsunami and volcano, we can share our resources rightly and responsibly in ways that recognise and promote the dignity of all people.

Patriarch Bartholomew calls upon people to deal with each other and with the world in a spirit of humility and deference. Bartholomew himself is very deferential - recognising he is part of a world larger and older than himself, and also part of a church structure with an unbroken chain of tradition extending back thousands of years and forward into an uncharted future, he is always looking toward others in all directions for signs, guidance and inspiration. 'Patriarch Bartholomew considers his prayer for and protection of the environment as an obligation, not as a way of submitting to contemporary fashions or political statements.'

Fr. John Chryssavgis, in his introductory essay, relates the Orthodox vision of theology and the environment to iconography in important ways. 'The icon restores; it reconciles.' He also explores the liturgy, the work of the people both inside formal worship structures as well as beyond this in the world. 'By liturgical, I do not imply ritual. I mean movement, dynamism and creativity.' Chryssavgis also looks in more depth at the Eucharistic element, that the world and our relationship to it reflects our relationship with each other and with God.

This collection of texts includes encyclical letters, annual addresses and statements, as well as interviews and short commentary by Patriarch Bartholomew I. Chryssavgis admits that some of the language sounds 'ecclesiastical' and a bit more ponderous than Western readers on ecological issues may be accustomed to, but there is a richness in the depth of the statements that makes reading through these texts worthwhile. There are insights for those who are outside the Orthodox Church, or even outside of the broader Christian culture - Patriarch Bartholomew has been recognised by governments and international organisations as a world leader in ecological matters.

Echoing William Blake, he sees that all that lives is holy; drawing on Gregory Palamas, he has a deep sense of the interconnectedness, the community aspect of humanity. Drawing from the Desert Fathers, he recognises that prayer and simple stewardship are valuable practices with regard to the earth and all creation.


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