Category Archives: Theotokos

“All the angels and archangels rushed through the air to gather in a joyful visit to this world, sent from heaven by God to be the celebrants of her holy falling-asleep”

How amazing, my brothers and sisters in the love of Christ! Today she who gave birth to the life of all people has moved on to be a sharer in that life. The life which was begotten before the ages … Continue reading

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“The space delineated by Israel to accomodate the presence of God is finally reduced and expanded to Mary’s womb”

It is of course the heart of Christian faith that God’s presence in Israel is gathered up and concentrated in Immanuel, God with us, in this one Israelite’s presence in Israel: he is in person the Temple’s shekinah, and the … Continue reading

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“Nature has been defeated by grace and stands trembling, no longer ready to take the lead”

But why has the Virgin Mother been born from a sterile woman? For that which alone is new under the sun, the culmination of miracles, the way had to be prepared by means of mira­cles, and what was greater had … Continue reading

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The Immaculate and Predestined Mother of God

“Most holy, most pure, most blessed and glorious Lady, Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary.” Panagia, Achrantos, Theotokos, Aeiparthenos—the titles abound, not only in the private prayers of Eastern Orthodox Christians but in the public liturgies and offices. A prayer … Continue reading

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St Mark Eugenicus and the Immaculate Burning Bush

We jump from St Gregory the Theologian in the 4th century to two Byzantine theologians in the 15th century—Joseph Bryennius, a vigorous supporter of hesychastic theology, and St Mark Eugenicus, the resolute voice of Orthodoxy at the Council of Florence. … Continue reading

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Mary Prokathartheisa: A Patristic Antecedent to the Immaculate Conception

In his monograph Immaculate Conception, Fr Christiaan Kappes advances a controversial thesis: invoking prokathartheisa (prepurified) as a title for the Theotokos, “the Greek Fathers—in the line of the Nazianzen until the introduction of Byzantine Thomism in the 14th century—never vacillated … Continue reading

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St John the Wonderworker and the Heresy of the Immaculate Conception

The doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, solemnly defined by Pope Pius IX in 1854, is regularly cited by Orthodox theologians and apologists as an insuper­able barrier to the reunion of the Orthodox and Cath­olic Churches. According to St John of … Continue reading

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Scotism, Palamism, and Thomism

I commend this illuminating interview with Dr Jared Isaac Goff on the differences and commonalities of Scotism, Palamism, and Thomism. Dr Goff is a Byzantine Catholic who teaches theology at the SS. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Seminary. He clearly knows … Continue reading

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