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Ambivalence, Subjectivity and Spiritual Life

Clapsis, Emmanuel
June 4, 2015

Source: (2007) In Emmanuel Clapsis, ed., Violence and Christian Spirituality An Ecumenical Conversation. Geneva, Switzerland: World Council of Churches. Pp. 255-267.

“It is my intention in this paper to advocate an Orthodox spiritual life that recognizes the dignity of all human beings, generates human solidarity, and embraces others in their irreducible differences. In response to the “massive turn to subjectivity” that characterizes the culture of modernity and its Orthodox communal critique, I suggest that Orthodox theologians need to differentiate authentic subjectivity that enables people to be more conscious and responsible for what they choose to be from a debased manifestation of it. Authentic Christian spiritual life is at the same time sustaning and transformative, personal and communal and under no circumstances should be reduced to a religious legitimation of atomistic or collective individualism. Faithfulness to the Christian gospel leads to a life of intimacy with God and active participation in his love for the world. This kind of spiritual life is at the same time mystical and prophetic. There is a need to move beyond the old dichotomy of contemplation and activism.” (abstract)


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