Christos Yannaras (born 1935 in Athens, Greece) has been proclaimed “without doubt the most important living Greek Orthodox theologian” (Andrew Louth), “contemporary Greece’s greatest thinker” (Olivier Clément), “one of the most significant Christian philosophers in Europe” (Rowan Williams).
However, until recently the English-speaking scholar did not have first-hand access to the main bulk of his work: in spite of the relatively early English translation of his The Freedom of Morality (1984), most of his books appeared in English fairly recently – such as Person and Eros (2007), Orthodoxy and the West (2006), Relational Ontology (2011) or The Schism in Philosophy (2015). In this volume, chapters shall examine numerous aspects of Yannaras’ contributions to Orthodox theology, philosophy and political thought, based on his relational ontology of the person, later popularised in the Anglophone sphere by John Zizioulas. From political theology to Heidegger and the philosophy of language, from Yannaras’ critique of religion to the patristic grounding of the theology of the person and from Orthodoxy to the West, this volume comprises a panorama of Christos Yannaras’ transdisciplinary contributions.
About the Author
Sotiris Mitralexis is Seeger Fellow at Princeton University, Assistant Professor of philosophy at the City University of Istanbul and Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Winchester. He holds a doctorate in Philosophy from the Freie Universitat Berlin, a doctorate in Theology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and a degree in Classics from the University of Athens. He has taught philosophy in Istanbul, Athens and Berlin
List of Contributors
Preface: Hellenism in Motion
Part I: Polis
1. Christos Yannaras’ Political Ontology: An Introductory Sketch
2. The Problematic of Greek Identity and Christos Yannaras’ Quest for a Politics of Authentic Existence
3. The Freedom of Relationship as the Ontological Foundation in Christos Yannaras’ Political Theology
4. Freedom and Necessity: Yannaras and the Global Struggle for Life
Part II: Philosophy
5. Loving in Relation to Nothing: On Alterity and Relationality
6. Relation, Activity and Otherness in Christos Yannaras’ Propositions for a Critical Ontology
7. As for God, so for Sound: Engaging with Yannaras’ Philosophy of Language
Marcello La Matina
8. Yannaras’ and Marion’s Overcoming Onto-Theology: On the Way of St Dionysius the Areopagite
9. Education as Freedom: An Attempt to Explore the Role of Education through Christos Yannaras’ Thought
Part III: Ecclesia
10. In Conversation with Christos Yannaras: A Critical View of the Council of Crete
11. Orthodoxy and the West: The Problem of Orthodox Self-Criticism in Christos Yannaras
12. The Theology of Personhood: A Study of the Thought of Christos Yannaras
Endorsements and Reviews
Long before Jean-Luc Marion’s God without Being, Christos Yannaras was arguing for a retrieval of Dionysian apophaticism as a corrective to the onto-theological trajectory of philosophical thought. For this reason and more, Yannaras is one of the most important Orthodox thinkers of the twentieth century, and perhaps the most understudied, in spite of the fact that his work is now available in Norman Russell’s excellent English translations. This collection of essays offers critically appreciative engagement with Yannaras’s unique insights into contemporary discussions on political, theological, and philosophical questions. For students and scholars looking for a perspective on a variety of themes that disrupts the status quo, this is a must-read book.
Aristotle Papanikolaou, Professor of Theology, Fordham University, Archbishop Demetrios Chair in Orthodox Theology and Culture, Co-founding Director, Orthodox Christian Studies Center
Although Christos Yannaras has been one of the most important contemporary Orthodox thinkers for many decades, systematic engagement with his work outside Greece has only recently begun through the increasing availability of his books in translation. The publication of this brilliant collection of essays analysing his thinking in the fields of political theory, philosophy and theology is most opportune – a landmark in the reception of Yannaras’ thinking.
Norman Russell, Honorary Research Fellow, St Stephen’s House, Oxford
This symposium, put together by Sotiris Mitralexis, is the first comprehensive attempt to discuss the wide-ranging work of Christos Yannaras, embracing the philosophical, epistemological, ethical, and political aspects of his work, all undergirded by his relational ontology of persons. It is by no means uncritical, but in a positive vein, and should lead to a wider engagement with Yannaras’ thought in the English-speaking world.
Andrew Louth FBA, Emeritus Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University
Yannaras needs to be discovered in the English-speaking world and this volume will help.
Andrew Louth, in Theology, No 123, Vol 2, 2020