One person gave me a book entitled; The One and the Three: Nature, Person and Triadic Monarchy in the Greek and Irish Patristic Tradition
. It is written by Chrysostom Koutloumousianos, who is a senior elder at the Koutloumous monastery, Mount Athos. (Forwarded by Andrew Louth). I've been reading it.
One thing I realized was that the author assumes that the readers are already familiar with the main thesis and arguments of John Zizioulas on Trinity, the Monarchy of the Father, Personhood etc...and because, unfortunately, I have never read any of his books nor been familiar with his thoughts, it is difficult for me to understand what the author is trying to argue against John Zizioulas.
John Behr, Dean and Professor of Patristics at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary says; "calling into question the claim that 'person transcends nature', and the authoritarian approach to ecclesiology this has fostered, the author opens up a much more expansive and balanced understanding of the 'monarchy' within the Trinity, and correspondingly, the relation between person, nature, and communion, with all the implications this has for ecclesial structure and functioning and the spiritual life."
Along the way, I was struck by the discovery that there seems to be a correlation between Monarchy of the Father and Filioque clause;
"If Zizioulas is correct in his analysis, perhaps we can better understand now why Orthodoxy is so emphatic on the decisive significance of the divine monarchy: it guarantees the freedom of God over the necessities of nature and establishes his trinitarian unity in infinite and eternal love. Hence Orthodoxy’s firm refusal to compromise on the filioque. There can only be one cause of the Godhead—God the Father. It is insufficient to simply affirm that the Father is the source of the Son and Spirit. It is also necessary to declare that he is the one and only initiating cause: “The term cause, when applied to the Father, indicates a free, willing and personal agent, whereas the language of source or principle can convey a more natural and thus impersonal imagery” (Zizioulas, “One Single Source“). In whatever ways we might want to develop the Church’s formulation of the Trinity, we cannot abandon, compromise, or slight the monarchy of the Father."
--Fr. Aidan Kimel, The Importance of the Monarchy of the Father according to John Zizioulas
*If you are familiar with these issues;
--Would you please explain to me the main points of objection which the author (=Chrysostom Koutloumousianos) raises against Zizioulas?
--Do you think Zizioulas is reading back into the Fathers, and into the Church’s doctrine of the Trinity, a modern existentialist understanding of personhood?