On the very idea of an ontology of communion: Being, relation and freedom in zizioulas and Levinas

Heythrop Journal 52 (4):672-683 (2011)
The present article examines the theology of John Zizioulas with a view to understanding its coherence and viability for ecclesiology. Instead of treating his trinitarian theology, or his historical claims, I focus upon the basic themes of his personalistic ontology, especially the relationship between the ‘hypostasis’ and its ‘nature.’ I argue that Zizioulas's central concept of freedom rests upon an equivocation: he affirms both that freedom and being are identical, and that they are mutually exclusive. In conversation with the philosophy of Levinas, I further argue that Zizioulas's proposal, as an ontology of communion, falls prey to the same reduction of being to thought that forms the central tenet of Western conceptions of subjectivity. In conclusion, I argue that both of these problems trade on a basic inability to account for grace as the fundamental reality of communion. Throughout my basic concern is to inquire into just what function the category of ‘being’ has in Zizioulas's theology, and to point out its surprising obscurity
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-2265.2010.00630.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,470
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Emmanuel Lévinas (2003). On Escape =. Stanford University Press.
Sarah Sorial (2006). Heidegger and the Ontology of Freedom. International Philosophical Quarterly 46 (2):205-218.
Nicholas H. Smith (2008). Levinas, Habermas and Modernity. Philosophy and Social Criticism 34 (6):643-664.
Richard R. Roach (1977). A New Sense of Faith. Journal of Religious Ethics 5 (1):135 - 154.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

36 ( #133,734 of 1,925,584 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #308,518 of 1,925,584 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.