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Religions 2017, 8(5), 95; doi:10.3390/rel8050095

Service and Pro-Existence in the Thought of the Romanian Theologian Dumitru Staniloae: A Path for the Orthodox Church Facing the Challenges of Globalization

School of Humanities, Department of Philosophy and Science, Wenke Building A, Jiulonghu Campus, Southeast University, Nanjing 211189, China
Academic Editor: John A. Jillions
Received: 3 April 2017 / Revised: 6 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 16 May 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [242 KB, uploaded 16 May 2017]

Abstract

“Pro-existence” is a concept developed by 20th century western Christian theologians to describe the service of the Church facing contemporary challenges. The leading Romanian theologian Dumitru Staniloae (1903–1993) took this further by expressing his Orthodox understanding of the relationship between service and pro-existence. The article explores Staniloae’s call for Orthodox Christians to serve not only people from other denominations, but those from other religions, as well as atheists. He depicted human pro-existence as an “existential impetus” towards serving the one in need, an impetus that the Orthodox Church should more visibly exercise. In a gentle, non-critical approach, Staniloae argues that the Orthodox Churches concentrated on liturgical service to God, while leaving service to people underdeveloped. The path ahead for the Orthodox Church will be the development of a harmonious multi-level understanding of pro-existence to hear and respond, as a “Serving” Church, to the needs of any human being. View Full-Text
Keywords: pro-existence; co-existence; Christian service; Orthodox Church; Christology; ecclesiology pro-existence; co-existence; Christian service; Orthodox Church; Christology; ecclesiology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Untea, I. Service and Pro-Existence in the Thought of the Romanian Theologian Dumitru Staniloae: A Path for the Orthodox Church Facing the Challenges of Globalization. Religions 2017, 8, 95.

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