Bishop of Diokleia, Kallistos Ware, The Orthodox Theology in the 21st Century, transl. N. Dodos – Anastasia Vasiliadou,ed. Indictos. Athens, 2005, 58 pages.
After an introduction by Pantelis Kalaitzidis, in the first chapter under the title “Gazing into the Past”, Kallistos Ware expounds on the reasons for which he thinks that ecclesiology has been the primary issue of the Orthodox theology in the 20th cent. In the next chapter, titled “The Challenge of the New Millennium”, there is an examination of the transformations on the political, social, technological and ecological level, which make the articulation of a theological anthropology imperative and also take over the leading role from the ecclesiology in the 21st century.
The third chapter of the book establishes that neither in the time of the patristic theology nor in more recent times has a fully articulated system of Christian anthropology been formulated and that the theology of the 21st century ought to be innovative and pioneering, complementing the apophatic theology with an apophatic anthropology. Man, created in the incomprehensible image of God, is incomprehensible himself.
Going into the theology of the human figure, as created in the image of God, the book stresses that our orientation towards God ought to be the starting point of Anthropology.
The concluding chapter of this concise essay by Kallistos Ware, suggests re-activating the Greek patristic idea of man as an intermediary of heaven and earth, a secular functionary and priest of the creation. Of course, he considers that this can only be achieved in Christ, with the Christianization of the human person. Thus, man will emerge as a “Eucharistic animal” that takes over the responsibility for the whole creation and offers it back to the Creator God. Kallistos stresses that the Eucharistic spirit is complemented with the ascetic one, the spirit of love, of sacrifice and kenosis. “I love, therefore, I am”, “I am loved, therefore, I am”; these are the mottos, with which the anthropology of the person will inseminate the testimony of the Christian theology in the 20th century.