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The Experience of God: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, Volume 5: The Sanctifying Mysteries

Dumitru Staniloae
Translated and Edited by Ioan Ionita and Robert Barringer
Foreword by Alkiviadis C. Calivas

Volume 5 of The Experience of God: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology

“Fr. Staniloae’s comprehensive three-volume work Teologia dogmatică ortodoxă [Orthodox dogmatic theology], published in 1978, has been translated into English as the six-volume series The Experience of God: Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. Through this series the English-speaking world has been introduced to Fr. Staniloae’s dynamic and liberating approach to doing theology. The freshness and dynamism of his thought, rooted deeply in the biblical, patristic, and liturgical tradition of the Orthodox Church, is discernible in all his works—and especially in the present volume, The Sanctifying Mysteries, which contains his theological reflections on the seven mysteries or sacraments of the Church: baptism, chrismation, the Divine Eucharist, repentance, priesthood, marriage, and holy unction. The sacraments are founded on the words and actions of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. They perpetuate His redemptive activity in the world and communicate His saving grace through the sacred rites of the Church. Or, as Fr. Staniloae puts it, ‘Christ Himself...has instituted [the mysteries] because He practiced them from the beginning and continues to be their invisible celebrant...Christ Himself extends and develops the life of the Church by means of all the sacraments. It is only visibly that these are celebrated by the priest as the representative of the Church [and of Christ]; invisibly, Christ Himself is their celebrant.’”


         Alkiviadis C. Calivas
1. Christ’s Saving Mysteries: Creation Unified and Made New in the Church
   A. The Sacraments and Creation
   B. The Christological and Ecclesiological Basis of the Mysteries
      i. Visible and Invisible Operations: The Body, Soul, and Grace of Christ
      ii. Christ, the Unseen Celebrant of the Mysteries
      iii. The Christological and Ecclesial Character of the Mysteries
      iv. The Priest as Visible Celebrant of the Mysteries
2. Baptism: The Mystery of Rebirth through Water and the Spirit
   A. The Unity between Water and the Holy Spirit as Womb of the New Man
   B.The Multiple Efficacy of the Act of Baptism and of the Priest’s Declaration
      i. Baptism as the Death of the Old Man and as Rebirth
      ii. Baptism as the Power of Continuous Spiritual Growth
      iii. Baptism as the Restoration of Christ’s Image in Man
      iv. Baptism as the Gate of Entrance into the Church
   C. The Absolute Necessity of Baptism for Salvation
3. Chrismation: “The Seal of the Gift of the Holy Spirit”
   A. The Link between Baptism and Chrismation
   B. The Special Activity of the Holy Spirit in the Mystery of Chrismation
   C. The Meaning of the Visible Act of Chrismation
4. The Divine Eucharist: The Mystery of the Lord’s Body and Blood
   A. The Relationship between the Three Mysteries of Initiation
   B. The Real Presence of the Lord’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist
   C. The Presence of the Lord’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist and the Transformation of the Bread and Wine
   D. The Eucharist as Sacrifice and Mystery
   E. The Priest as Celebrant of the Eucharist
5. Repentance: The Mystery of Forgiveness
   A. The Institution of the Mystery and Its Practice from the Beginning of the Church
   B. The Constitutive Elements or Stages of the Mystery
      i. The Confession of Sins and Its Spiritual Value
      ii. The Epitimia (Penances) Recommended by the Priest
      iii. The Absolution Given by the Priest to the Penitent
6. Ordination: Priesthood as the Living Image of Christ
   A. The Distinction between Ordination and the Other Mysteries
   B. The Invisible Priesthood of Christ, Source of the Visible Priesthood of the Church
   C. Priesthood and the Unity of the Church
   D. The Institution of the Priesthood; The Three Ranks of Priesthood from the Beginning of the Church
   E. The Spiritual Character of the Christian Liturgical Priesthood and the Priesthood of the Faithful
   F. Apostolic Succession
   G. The Visible Aspects of Ordination and the Invisible Power It Bestows
7. Marriage: The Mystery of Human Love Crowned in Glory and Honor
   A. The Place of Marriage among the Other Mysteries
   B. Marriage as a Natural, Lifelong Bond between a Man and a Woman
   C. The Strengthening and Ennobling of Marriage by Christ
   D. The Mystery’s Constitutive Aspects and Their Significance for the Spiritual Power Bestowed by the Mystery
8. Holy Unction: The Mystery of Divine Healing
   A. Definition and Main Purpose
   B. Secondary Purpose

Item Number: BKHCB055
Publication Data: Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2012
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: xii + 219
Dimensions (l × w × h): 22.9 cm × 15.2 cm × 1.4 cm
ISBN: 978‒1‒935317‒29‒6

$26.95 (USD)


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