Talk:John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon

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This article has been reverted and protected. Please place all suggested changes on this Talk page, where sysops can incorporate them into the article. — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 13:32, March 6, 2008 (PST)

You reverting before protection reveal your siding with one side in the dispute. Such a behavior is inappropriate for a sysop. Current version of the article is not acceptable for the following reasons:
  1. No valid academic reasons for denouncing the article of the Italian magazine were provided. All reasoning mentioned were private in nature, and do not represent valid academic basis for removal.
  2. Article of Mr. Leithart appears to be twofold:
    1. Study of the work of J.Z.
    2. Implied criticism as it points to differences between theologies of Prof. Lossky and J.Z. Both aspects of the article should be mentioned on the page. How? I am open to suggestions. I have tried two approaches, and both were rejected by the other party. I will let the other party propose the way of mentioning the second aspect...
  3. There is a need for minor change on the sentence that is trying to minimize the criticisms with inappropriate wording that is POV in nature.

Cebactokpatop 05:29, March 7, 2008 (PST)

Just as a note: What behavior is "inappropriate for a sysop" will be determined by the administration, ultimately headed up by FrJohn. In general, though, Pistevo's long-standing reputation on OrthodoxWiki is, as yet, unimpeachable. You would be wise not to cast yourself in an adversarial light regarding him or the other sysops. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 07:17, March 14, 2008 (PDT)

There is no implied criticism in Pastor Leithart's article. There are not two "aspects." Lossky is not the standard for evaluating all other work. There have been a number of important 20th century Orthodox theologians, and they disagreed on some matters -- Lossky is different from Staniloae, who is different from Florovsky, who is different from Romanides, etc. All of these men were fully Orthodox and well-regarded. The kind of bizarre logic being used by Cebactokpatop would rate a flunking grade in my introduction to logic class, and it wouldn't pass muster for a peer-reviewed, academic journal. I'm thinking of both his attempt to spin a favorable article into a critical one (see my analogy about a book promoting Nicene orthodoxy) and his simplistic syllogistic reasoning -- 1. Lossky is THE synthesis of Orthodox patristic theology. 2. Zizioulas disagrees with Lossky about something. Therefore, 3. Zizioulas is heterodox. I can't decide which is worse -- the specious logic or the attempt to dress it up as somehow "academic." --Fr Lev 05:41, March 7, 2008 (PST)

Your attitude does not comply with academic attire. Your rhetoric either. Your focus on how to discredit my unworthy individual (person), instead on the subject of our dispute, reveals weakness in your argument. Your analogy you keep repeating is good for laughter only. My simplistic reasoning goes hand in hand with the reasoning Savior used in order to make his teaching so simple that even uneducated fishermen could understand him. And I do not have to pass muster for any academic journal. Simplicism I chose to use can not be accepted by Pharisees. They were always “too high” for simple fishermen. One thing I will teach you here... Florovsky made his mistakes. Staniloae too. Lossky too. All man made mistakes, but One. The difference between acceptance and rejection in the Church is not in the mistakes they have made, but in the overall harm those mistakes made in the Church. When mistakes amount to the level where man in question starts braking Church' canons, we know that he had went ashtray, without need to read any of his writings.
I would propose you to start putting down valid academic reasons for your arguments rather than your personal opinion on what grade certain logic would have in your introductory classes.
Cebactokpatop 11:34, March 7, 2008 (PST)

Just a reminder that we are each approaching Forgiveness Sunday. Another difference from Wikipedia is that users of OrthodoxWiki are definitely urged to pray for one another, especially in difficult and frustrating circumstances. Rather than attempt to delve into theology myself, or into the discussion of this page, in looking through some of the articles related to Metr. John's writings, I found some links which do not seem to be currently included in the article. I will include them here so that they may be considered for appropriate inclusion at a later time.

Additionally, I suggest that involved parties either take a break from editing on OrthodoxWiki, or focus their attentions on improving other articles. —magda (talk) 12:23, March 7, 2008 (PST)

Let's see...
1. Anglican
2. Orthodox?
3. Lutheran
4. Buddy who reports to the same chief - well known braker of the Church canons.
5. Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
From this list we can see who praises his work. :)
Cebactokpatop 11:42, March 13, 2008 (PDT)

Fr Andrew Louth, in addition to being a distinguished patristics scholar, is a Russian Orthodox priest. When moderators are ready to modify the article, I wish to recommend adding a reply to the Turcescu article. It is Aristotle Papanikolaou, "Is John Zizioulas an Existentialist in Disguise? Response to Lucian Turcescu" in Modern Theology 20:4 (October 2004), 601-607. It argues that Metropolitan John's theology is consistent with that of the Fathers, and that Turescu has missed the mark by attacking Metrop. John on how to read St Gregory of Nyssa, whom the latter rarely cites. Instead, Metrop. John has relied more clearly on St Gregory the Theologian. --Fr Lev 14:41, March 13, 2008 (PDT)

Vote for INCLUSION. These are academic sources - I know that Frs Andrew Louth and John Chryssavgis are both highly qualified to speak academically (Fr Andrew, if memory recalls, is an Oxford professor; Fr John, an Oxford grad., lectures/ed at Holy Cross, and was the Sub-Dean at St Andrew's, Sydney). I would do it myself if I weren't, much to my distaste, named as being one of the 'parties' in this discussion... — by Pιsτévο talk complaints at 14:47, March 13, 2008 (PDT)

Fr Andrew is currently a professor at Durham, but did teach at London and Oxford. --Fr Lev 19:32, March 13, 2008 (PDT)

Oh sure... you will find here and there some Orthodox who fell into the pit, dug up by the man in question. Let’s add to the above list Mr. Leithart, yet another Protestant, who, you said, is praising his work...

One question for you folks... I was trying to find biography of J.Z. with the details like when he became monk, in which monastery has he served, when ordained to deaconate, priesthood and finally to episcopate... and failed. Do you know where that information can be found?

Cebactokpatop 05:54, March 14, 2008 (PDT)

A word of caution to Cebactokpatop: It seems pretty clear that you have an agenda to push with regard to Metr. John. In our experience on OrthodoxWiki, agendas are bad for the encyclopedia. The tone of your language, particularly the sarcasm and the seeming need that you have to discredit Metr. John, all seem to point in the agenda direction.
The facts are that Metr. John is not generally regarded in Orthodox circles as holding heretical views. (Indeed, he is very highly regarded.) Now, whether he is a heretic or not is subject to the appropriate authorities (which OrthodoxWiki and its editors, including you, are not). In any event, if criticism of him is to be mentioned, it should only be as an ancillary portion of this article, since it really is only a minority, non-mainstream opinion.
Cebactokpatop, if you persist in the approach you've taken thus far on OrthodoxWiki to this article, I am afraid you will find yourself frustrated, since the management simply isn't going to give it free rein. I hope that's clear. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 06:38, March 14, 2008 (PDT)
Agenda? Here you can read about the agenda of the man you are defending: Metropolitan John of Pergamon is responsible for derailing Orthodox-Roman Catholic dialogue
And here: We respect the Patriarch of Constantinople as the first in honor, but we are against viewing him as ‘Pope of the East’
Looks like you do not know where can be found real biography of the J.Z. Let's wait. Someone else may be able to help finding it.
Cebactokpatop 06:49, March 14, 2008 (PDT)
That you think any of us are "defending" him is telling. That you cite the usual barbs from the Moscow Patriarchate (in its ongoing rivalry with Constantinople) is also telling (and hardly encyclopedic for this article). I also wonder why it is you insist on calling him "J.Z."
In any event, I'm not sure what we're "waiting" for. Biographical information would certainly be welcome in this article, since it's decidedly short on it. And, yes, I do not know offhand where such information may be found. I hardly have a reference library handy in my office.
In any event, consider yourself cautioned. Please take a different approach with this article. It may actually be of benefit if you were to work on some other articles instead, ones about which you may not have such strong personal feelings. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 07:13, March 14, 2008 (PDT)
Barbs? Heheheh... Moscow Patriarchate where Orthodoxy flourishes has to "barb", while Constantinople Patriarchate where Orthodoxy steadily keeps shrinking, has to go and seek help from US against Turkish authorities... I often wonder who finances their affairs and frequent travels around the globe when they have close to none any flock in that see. Cebactokpatop 12:15, March 14, 2008 (PDT)

Revising the bibliography

Suggested additions to bibliography:

  • Lectures in Christian Dogmatics. T&T Clark, 2009. ISBN 978-0567033154.
  • Remembering the Future: An Eschatological Ontology. T&T Clark, 2008. ISBN 978-0567032355.

--Fr Lev 18:41, April 15, 2008 (UTC)

Recommeded changes on Turcescu reference

The title of the article by Turcescu should be in quotation marks, rather than italics, as the latter suggests a book instead of an article. The summary of his aricle is not informative. I'd suggest, using Turcescu's own words, the following re-write:

Lucian Turcescu argues in "'Person' versus 'Individual' and Other Modern Misreadings of Gregory of Nyssa" that "Zizioulas is ... in error when he contends that the Cappadocians did not understand a person as an individual or when he credits them with having had the same concerns we moderns have when combating individualism today" (Turcescu, 537). These criticisms have been answered by Aristotle Papanikolaou in the same journal ("Is John Zizioulas an Existentialist in Disguise? Response to Lucian Turcescu," Modern Theology 20:4, October 2004, pp. 601-607), and by Metropolitan John himself in Communion and Otherness, pp. 171-177. --Fr Lev 20:07, April 16, 2008 (UTC)

Objection to entry under heading of academic criticism

The text cites, under the heading of "Academic and Theological" criticism: "In a letter, Archbishop Chrysostomos of Etna states that Fr John Meyendorff and Metr. John (Zizioulas) were Westernized theologians, in contrast with Fr Georges Florovsky (a teacher of Metr. John's)."

I object and request that the entire reference be stricken. First, in the entire letter, it is the only sentence that mentions Metropolitan John. Second, it offers no argument, academic or theological, as to why the Archbishop would consider Metropolitan John to be "Westernized." --Fr Lev 20:33, April 16, 2008 (UTC)

Objection to entry under "Regarding Ecumenical Relations"

I object to and request the removal of the entry under “Regarding Ecumenical Relations” to a polemical article by Hieromonk Patapios. The article mentions Metropolitan John only twice – once to express the author’s personal opinion (“the lamentable Metropolitan John”) and once in a reference to a polemical article in Greek by an Archimandrite Cyprian. The latter reference, however, is not to any informative content about the Metropolitan but to a caption of a photograph of a Protestant baptism: “According to John of Pergamon, the ‘baptism’ performed by this woman minister brings a child into the ‘domain’ of the Church!” There is no text referenced to support this interpretation of the Metropolitan’s theology. Unsubstantiated opining isn't in keeping with an encyclopedia. --Fr Lev 20:49, April 16, 2008 (UTC)

Request to remove Leithart reference

Under "Studies," we read: "Peter J. Leithart's article, Divine Energies and Orthodox Soteriology, cites this work, noting Papanikolaou points out where Vladimir Lossky and Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) differ on the issue of divine energies." I recommend deleting this reference. First, it is a brief article and not a real study of Metropolitan John. Second, while Leithart does mention that Metropolitan John and Vladimir Lossky have different views on the divine energies, this is no more informative than saying Lossky's views on the energies are different than Staniloae's, Yannaras', Romanides', etc. --Fr Lev 20:58, April 16, 2008 (UTC)

Recommended addition to "Studies"

Under "Studies," I would recommend strongly the addition of Paul McPartlan, The Eucharist Makes the Church: Henri du Lubac and John Zizioulas in Dialogue. Eastern Christian Publications, 2006. ISBN 978-1892278616.

Recommended Addition to Section on Metr. John's Books

John Zizioulas, L'Être ecclésial (Paris: Labor et Fides, 1981). ISBN 978-2830901801. Seminarist 02:38, April 18, 2008 (UTC)

Lazic, 'Innovatory Theology' - not a book, surely?

I'd like to suggest a change to the description of the Lazic's 'Innovatory Theology'. If the link in the article is to a complete version of the work, then it is surely not long enough to be described as a 'book'. Would it be possible to change the description to 'booklet' or 'pamphlet'? Seminarist 23:24, April 18, 2008 (UTC)

I am checking with some folks who speak Serbian to determine what I can about the format. --Fr Lev 00:11, April 19, 2008 (UTC)

Please let me know what you find out. I'm presuming from the bibliographical reference that it's an independent publication. If so, it must be similar in size to, e.g. those pamphlets of Motovilov's conversation with St Seraphim of Sarov (although possibly somewhat less edifying). Seminarist 00:49, April 19, 2008 (UTC)


I've rolled back Cebactokpatop's recent major changes (essentially for reasons detailed throughout this Talk page)—perhaps it was a mistake to unprotect the article again so soon. I'll leave it unprotected for now, hoping that Agenda-driven edits won't take over again. If they do, and especially if they're from Cebactokpatop, it may be necessary to introduce a ban on that editor for a time. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 18:07, April 30, 2008 (UTC)

Your revert without even reading the changes I put in is another proof that this website has no interest in expressing the reality that exists in The Church, but rather fictitious visions of several individuals claiming to be "fr". Cebactokpatop 18:30, April 30, 2008 (UTC)
Oh, trust me—I read them. Anyway, w:Talk:John Zizioulas, along with your Agenda here, demonstrate that you're not interested in pursuing the editing of an encyclopedia in a calm manner. Indeed, your above condemnation of our many thousands of editors en masse is a pretty clear indication that you're not interested in good faith editing. As noted on your Talk page, your account has been banned. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 18:33, April 30, 2008 (UTC)


This is an Orthodox Website which for many people is a valuable source of knowledge. The attacks against His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon, or any other hierarch of the Holy Orthodox Church, are not necessary on this forum. Whilst I don't share the same ecclesiological opinions as His Eminence, I have no right as a member of the Church to criticise him. Please, for the sake of those young people who use this website for edification, cease these attacks on the hierachy of the One, Holy Orthodox Church. - Peter Mav

I also agree Peter, it would be a good idea if the discussion around this Father of the church is put on hold and indeed perhaps we should pray for the poor dear's soul as the amount of negativity emitted towards him is very unfair! I say, lets all work towards continuing to build Orthodox articles not critical defences to be used in a court of law. I dont even know why he is controversial :-) Like Mother Molania said in her talk from Ancient Faith Radio, Insane people associating with insane people can not become sane ...only the Saints are "sane"! Chit chatting, keeps US in INSANITY! Vasiliki 09:32, May 1, 2008 (UTC)
That is precisely why all over the article of Metropolitan John and other contemporary Orthodox theologians we should print in big bold letters: “DO NOT BASE YOUR UNDERSTANDING OF THE ORTHODOXY ON WIRITINGS OF THIS CONTEMPORARIES WHOSE THEOLOGY IS NOT VERIFIED BY THE HISTORY YET. USE THEOLOGY OF THE HOLY FATHERS INSTEAD.”
We do not want to educate young people with the thought of the potentially problematic theologians like m. John (and fr. Schmmemmann, fr. Mayendorff, fr. Afanasiev, etc. – students of the “Paris school of Orthodoxy”). If you want to discuss it further, and you know more appropriate place (e.g. private forum), we can go there and continue.
Cebactokpatop 14:59, May 1, 2008 (UTC)
This is an encyclopedia, not a catechism. We're not in the business of putting big warning labels on articles about modern writers, especially those who are generally quite well-regarded throughout the Orthodox world, such as nearly everyone you mention.
That they are criticized by certain minority sectors of Orthodoxy is certainly a viable element for their respective articles, but that criticism should not be the dominant theme of the article, which would be undue weight. The impression a reader should get ought to be based on how the writer is regarded throughout the Orthodox Church, not on the idiosyncratic criticisms of a few, especially not regarding someone who's never even been accused by the proper authorities (much less condemned by them).
In any event, any general overview of Orthodoxy makes it plain that our theological emphasis is on the Scriptures and the Holy Fathers, not on any modern writer. If someone gets his entire impression of Orthodoxy or education in the faith from a single article on OrthodoxWiki, well, he's going about it wrong. One would hope that common sense would make that clear. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 18:31, May 1, 2008 (UTC)