Mustard Seeds in the Public Square

Between and Beyond Theology, Philosophy, and Society

Sotiris Mitralexis (Ed.)

by Sotiris Mitralexis (City University of Istanbul & University of Cambridge), Jonathan Cole (Charles Sturt University, Australia), Marc W. Cole (University of Leeds), Chris Durante (Manhattan College), Angelos Gounopoulos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece), Raffaele Guerra (University of Salerno, Italy ; Institut Catholique de Paris, France), Daniel Isai (Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Romania), Dylan Pahman (Acton Institute), Dionysios Skliris (University of Paris (Sorbonne-Paris IV), France), Chrysostom Gr. Tympas (University of Essex )

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This volume seeks to explore the intersection of theology, philosophy and the public sphere not by referring the social and political to ethics and deontology as is often the case, but rather to ontology itself, to the very nature of beings. The meaning of history and historicity is most pertinent to this enquiry and is approached here both from the perspective of social reality and from the perspective of ontology. Joining together contributions focusing on theory of the public sphere and metaphysics, chapters explore subjects as diverse as the political implications of the Incarnation, the paradox between ontology and history, politically left and right appropriations of Christianity, the fecundity of Maximus the Confessor’s insights for a contemporary political philosophy, modern Orthodox political theology focusing on Christos Yannaras and numerous thematic areas that together form the mosaic of the enquiry in question.

Chapter One
Understanding the “Real” through consciousness and history: Maximus the Confessor’s vision of the One Logos in many logoi and Hegel’s progressive consciousness
Chrysostom Gr. Tympas

Chapter Two
Elements of a postmodern political philosophy à propos Maximus the Confessor’s ontology of mode
Dionysios Skliris

Chapter Three
The communo-centric political theology of Christos Yannaras in conversation with Oliver O’Donovan
Jonathan Cole

Chapter Four
An ontology of the historico-social: Christos Yannaras’ reading of European history
Sotiris Mitralexis

Chapter Five
Symphonia as a social ethic: toward an Orthodox Christian multiculturalism
Chris Durante

Chapter Six
Asceticism and creative destruction: on ontology and economic history
Dylan Pahman

Chapter Seven
The common path of ontology and history: Orthodoxy and theology of liberation in dialogue
Angelos Gounopoulos

Chapter Eighth
Mustard seeds and the eschaton: how an Aristotelian metaphysics solves the paradox between history and eschatology
Marc W. Cole

Chapter Nine
The Incarnation a saturated phenomenon: between ontology, phenomenology and theology
Daniel Isai

Chapter Ten
Potency of God: hypostaticity and living being in Gregory Palamas
Raffaele Guerra

Jonathan Cole is a research member of the Centre for Public and Contextual Theology, Charles Sturt University (CSU), Canberra, Australia, and a doctoral candidate in Political Theology at the School of Theology CSU. He has an MA specializing in Middle Eastern politics and Islamic theology from the Australian National University. He also has a BA Honors in Modern Greek language and history.

Marc W. Cole is a doctoral candidate at the University of Leeds. He is working on hylomorphic solutions to mind/body problems.

Chris Durante is Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Religious Studies, Manhattan College. He holds a doctorate from the Faculty of Religious Studies of McGill University

Angelos Gounopoulos is a PhD candidate at the School of Political Science of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki specializing in Political Theory and Philosophy. His PhD research focuses on political theology, and more specifically the historical experience of the Latin-American Liberation Theology.

Raffaele Guerra is a doctoral candidate at the University of Salerno (Italy) and at the Institut Catholique de Paris (France). His research deals with the concept of hypostasis in the doctrine of Gregory Palamas in the three domains of Triadology, Anthropology and Economy. His publications include book reviews on Byzantinoslavica and Byzantinische Zeitschrift and the Italian translation of John Panteleimon Manoussakis’ For the Unity of All (Bose: Qiqajon 2016).

Fr Daniel Isai holds a doctorate from the Faculty of Theology “Dumitru Stăniloae” at the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi. His research deals with the dialogue between theology and phenomenology, with a focus on the theological dimension of Jean-Luc Marion's phenomenology.

Sotiris Mitralexis is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the City University of Istanbul and Visiting Fellow at the University of Cambridge, as well as Visiting Senior Research Associate at Peterhouse, Cambridge (January–April 2017). He received his doctorate in Philosophy from the Freie Universität Berlin (2014) and his degree in Classics from the University of Athens. His publications include Ludwig Wittgenstein Between Analytic Philosophy and Apophaticism (2015) and Ever-Moving Repose: A Contemporary Reading of Maximus the Confessor's Theory of Time (2017).

Dylan Pahman is a research fellow at the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion & Liberty, where he serves as managing editor of the Journal of Markets & Morality. He is also a fellow of the Sophia Institute: International Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture.

Dionysios Skliris received a doctorate from the Faculté des Lettres et Sciences Humaines of the University of Paris (Sorbonne-Paris IV). He studied Classics and Theology at the University of Athens and completed a Master’s degree in Late Antique Philosophy at the University of London (King’s College) and a Master’s degree in Byzantine Literature at the University of Paris (Sorbonne—Paris IV).

Fr Chrysostom Gr. Tympas has degrees in medicine and theology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and a PhD from the University of Essex Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies. Recent publication: Carl Jung and Maximus the Confessor on Psychic Development, Routledge 2014.

Dr. Sotiris Mitralexis is an ardent reader of philosophy and theology and a prolific author. His recent publications primarily focus on ontology. Mustard Seeds in the Public Square follows the same path and looks into the origins of ontology and political theology. It builds on Mitralexis’ earlier exposition of Maximus the Confessor’s and Eastern Christian ontology, to explain the ontological dimensions of political societies and states. The volume spans ten chapters, which attempt to cover key issues concerning the convergence of political theology and ontology. The contributors present fresh and innovative insights so as to encourage a broader dialogue with experts and the questioning audience. As usual, Mitralexis undoubtedly delivers a work of accomplished scholarship. While the book is very interesting and definitely a worthy addition to modern scholarship (especially the theoretical discussion of the relation between deep and political ontology), this reader does have a reservation regarding the thematic extent of the volume. The editor would have sought and incorporated additional contributions, from other religious traditions (Muslim, Jewish, Marxist, etc.) in order to widen the spectrum of the volume. To sum up, Mustard Seeds in the Public Square is a key book for scholars seeking to critique the mainstream paradigms of the interplay between philosophy and political theology and create alternative approaches.

Prof. George Steiris,
University of Athens, Greece

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Mustard Seeds in the Public Square
Book Subtitle
Between and Beyond Theology, Philosophy, and Society
ISBN
978-1-62273-169-5
Edition
1st
Number of pages
265
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
Publication date
April 2017
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