God, Hierarchy, and Power: Orthodox Theologies of Authority from Byzantium by Ashley M. PurpuraGod, Hierarchy, and Power: Orthodox Theologies of Authority from Byzantium by Ashley M. Purpura

God, Hierarchy, and Power: Orthodox Theologies of Authority from Byzantium

byAshley M. Purpura

Hardcover | November 7, 2017

Pricing and Purchase Info

$80.45 online 
$84.50 list price
Earn 402 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


In the current age where democratic and egalitarian ideals have preeminence, Eastern Orthodox Christianity, among other hierarchically organized religious traditions, faces the challenging questions: "Why is hierarchy maintained as the model of organizing the church, and what are the theological justifications for its persistence?" These questions are especially significant for historically and contemporarily understanding how Orthodox Christians negotiate their spiritual ideals with the challenges of their social and ecclesiastical realities.

To critically address these questions, this book offers four case studies of historically disparate Byzantine theologians from the sixth to the fourteenth-centuries-Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, Niketas Stethatos, and Nicholas Cabasilas-who significantly reflect on the relationship between spiritual authority, power, and hierarchy in theoretical, liturgical, and practical contexts. Although Dionysius the Areopagite has been the subject of much scholarly interest in recent years, the applied theological legacy of his development of "hierarchy" in the Christian East has not before been explored.

Relying on a common Dionysian heritage, these Byzantine authors are brought into a common dialogue to reveal a tradition of constructing authentic ecclesiastical hierarchy as foremost that which communicates divinity.

Ashley Purpura is an Assistant Professor in Religious Studies at Purdue University.
Title:God, Hierarchy, and Power: Orthodox Theologies of Authority from ByzantiumFormat:HardcoverDimensions:240 pagesPublished:November 7, 2017Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823278379

ISBN - 13:9780823278374


Table of Contents

IntroductionChapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Conclusion

Editorial Reviews

How can we understand and work with the concept of hierarchy in an era of democratic values, concerns about abuse of power by those with authority, and empowerment for those who lack it? Purpura asks serious questions with skill, economy, clarity, and penetrating insight. A powerful new voice that will matter to theologians and historians alike, this is a rich, masterful entry into major Orthodox currents of thought, past and present.