Savvas Agouridis (ed), Orthodox Spirituality. Chistianity – Marxism, Thessaloniki Theologians’ Seminar no. 2, Thessaloniki 1968, 244 pages.
The 2nd volume of the “Thessaloniki Theologians’ Seminar” is divided in two parts. The first includes 5 presentations regarding the topic “Orthodox Spirituality” and the second 4 on the topic “Christianity and Marxism”.
1st part: Fr. Symeon Kragiopoulos presents the general lines on which the original Christian spirituality found its expression in the Church in the 4th century. In this framework he comparatively examines the teaching for spiritual life of Evagrios Pontikos and Makarios of Egypt, which constituted the two basic spiritual movements of the 4th century.
Georgios Matzaridis presents Orthodox spirituality and theology according to the teaching of St. Gregorios Palamas. In the first part of the presentation he examines briefly the teaching of St. Gregorios on hesychasm and the theory about the glory of God and in the second he describes his teaching on the meaning and the content of the true theology.
Nikolaos Zacharopoulos deals with the issue of spiritual life as described in the writings of St. Nikodimos of Mount Athos, but also from witnesses of his era. In this framework he registers the saint’s views on the knowledge of God and the capability of humans to possess it, while he traces his theology on the Kollyvadic dispute.
Antonios – Aimilios Tachiaos examines the spiritual movements in Slavic Orthodoxy of the 18th and the 19th centuries. In sequence he offers the movements that developed in Serbia, Bulgaria and Russia, which came about from the meeting of two trends, the Orthodox spiritual tradition and the new ideas of the French Enlightenment, which prevailed in this particular era.
The last presentation of the 1st part is by Nikolaos Matsoukas. Here he refers to the content of Orthodox spirituality and the characteristics of modern humans. In the first part he analyses the fundamental points of Orthodox spirituality and in the second the elements and trends in modern spiritual life, as well as the position of Orthodoxy in the modern world.
2nd part: Savvas Agouridis negotiates the issue of Marxist theorising of History and its meaning. He briefly presents basic points of Marxist thought on the engagement, the understanding and the scope of History and juxtaposes it with the Christian theorizing of History.
Nikolaos Matsoukas examines from the theological point of view certain fundamental views of Marxist theory about the origin and the nature of religion, such as those expressed in the work of I. Kordatos Ancient Religions and Christianity.
Vasilios Stogiannos expounds and offers a theological critique of Marxist views about the origin of Christianity. In the first part of the presentation he summarises the problem in general, in the second he systematically presents views and his critique and in the third an interpretation of Marxist positions together with his conclusions.
The last text of the 2nd part is authored by Georgios A. Tsananas, who examines critically the work of A.F. Sishkin on Marxist Ethics. The first part of the study presents the basic points of Ethics and in the second, the critique of some fundamental points and their examination from the point of view of Christian Ethics.