In their writings on Islam, John Damascene and Theodore Abu Qurrah, both authoritative patristic saints of the Orthodox Church, took an apologetic and polemic stand in defence of the Christian truth. In the modern interreligious discourse, however, the approach to Islam is rather diplomatic, concentrating on universal human values and common aspects of religions. How does the document For the Life of the World operate in this tension? In general, it aims to build on patristic argumentation, but the approach to Islam is most positive and all-embracing, welcoming the “beauty and truths” of Islam and stressing the “common roots,” while the patristic views on Islam are silenced. The discrepancy may arouse questions on the sincerity and coherence of the modern approach in relation to the patristic tradition. This reflects wider challenges in the modern theology of the Church: how to find a discursive position in the tension between the defence of truth, characteristic for the patristic thought, and the “diplomatic” language of the modern interreligious encounters.
- Orthodox Church
- interreligious encounter
- John Damascene
- Theodore Abu Qurrah
Pentru viaţa lumii: Către un etos social al Bisericii Ortodoxe[For the Life of the World: Toward a Social Ethos of the Orthodox Church], Revelatio. Theologia socialis, introd. David Bentley Hart and John Chryssavgis, trans. Viorel Coman and Petre Maican, Oradea, Ratio et Revelatio Publishing House 2020, 140 p., ISBN: 978-606-9659-07-6