CHURCH, PAPACY AND SCHISM: A THEOLOGICAL ENQUIRY
The union of the churches is one of the crucial isses of our time. Yet it is often forgotten that any discussion about it must begin with an understanding of what the Church itself is. Before one can talk of healing the schism, one must know what lies at its root. This book focuses on such central questions. It is a unique and unprecedented contribution to the understanding of the different developments of the two major sections of the Christian Church, the Catholic and the Orthodox.
Opening with a succinct, penetrating exposition of the essential reality and meaning of the Church and of the episcopate`s function within it, Philip Sherrard goes on to trace the emergence in the East and West of differing ecclesiologies, each in its turn determining a different form of church government. In particular, he shows how the theory and practice of the papacy are the product of a conception of the Church which became, and still is, dominant in the West. Yet his conception, and the corresponding conception in the Orthodox world, are themselves both rooted in deeper theological differences, christological and trinitarian. The book concludes with a brilliantly illuminating analysis of these differences which, because they lie behind the disunion of the churches, must consequently constitute the main focus of any fruitful ecumenical dialogue.
About the Author
Philip Sherrard was an English author and scholar educated at Cambridge. Among the works for which he is best known is his collaboration in the complete translation of the Philokalia. The combination of his interests in metaphysics, theology, art and aesthetics led to his participation in the review Temenos, of which he was one of the founders in 1980. He was also recognized as a leading voice in situating modern attitudes and behaviors regarding the environment within a Christian framework.
In all his works, Dr. Sherrard sought to express an all-embracing vision, in which the natural and the supernatural come together in a wholeness that bears witness to the numinous wonder of life. This vision is the leit-motif of his last three books: The Eclipse of Man and Nature: An Enquiry into the Origins and Consequences of Modern Science (1987), The Sacred in Life and Art (1990), and Human Image, World Image (1992). He reposed in 1995.