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St John Damascene: Tradition and Originality in Byzantine Theology (Oxford Early Christian Studies) [Kindle Edition]

Andrew Louth
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

John Damascene, a monk near Jerusalem in the early 700s, never set foot in the Byzantine Empire, yet he had a great influence on Byzantine theology. This book, the first to present an overall account of John's life and work, sets him in the context of the early synods of the Church that took place in the Palestinian monasteries during the first century of Arab rule.

Editorial Reviews


"This is a genuinely groundbreaking book...Andrew Louth is eminently qualified for this task...That this book raises such issues demonstrates how much it has to offer contemporary theologians...This book is a model of theologically aware historical scholarship, and is sure to remain the definitive work on St John of Damascus for some time to come."--St Vladimir's Theological Quarterly

About the Author

Andrew Louth is Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, University of Durham, and General Editor (with Gillian Clark) of Oxford Early Christian Studies

Product Details

  • File Size: 3840 KB
  • Print Length: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (August 13, 2002)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002E19I88
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,318,440 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars St John Damascene April 3, 2004
By A Customer
THis book is the culmination of Louth's many years of research on St John.

St. John avoided speculation, but rather understood his task to be that of a fatihful transmitter of the faith once delivered.

St John is shown here to be a Cyrilline-Chalcedonian, trying to bring together those factions who were so devoted to Cyril's formula: "one incarnate nature of God the Word."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good monograph on Damascene November 17, 2006
By Greg
John Damascene was one of the last great church fathers to live before the great schism which separated Christianity between its Orthodox and Catholic branches. In both churches Damascene is revered as a great saint and theologian, and is a doctor of the Catholic Church.

Damascene wrote several works, including anti-heresy treatises, philosophical works, and the classical exposition of Christan theology called 'On Orthodox Theology', which outlines the Christian understanding of God. Damascene also defended the use of icons in Churches, against iconoclasts who desired to implement the Old Testament commandment about the destruction of images of the divine. The centrality of icons to the theology and faith of the Orthodox Church today is due in large part to Damascene's famous defence.

Like most Easterns, Damascene emphasizes the incomprehensibility of God's nature (the only thing we can know about God is his infinity and incomprehensibility) and his faith is deeply mystical at times. However, he remains essential reading for the student of church history and theology.

Louth (who has also written works on Dionysius and Christian mysticism) writes a readable introduction to this great Father's thought.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Respectable Introduction April 25, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
John of Damascus is one of the most valuable of fathers given that his works, especially "The Orthodox Faith," serve as a compilation of what the Eastern Fathers believed, as if John were summarizing Eastern thought for the ages in his works.

As far as it goes this is a fine introduction to the Damascene, but Louth does not tell you much that you could not glean from reading John of Damascus's own writings yourself. The material is presented in a scholarly fashion but I was disappointed by the lack of real theological insight into the Damascene's thought.

Only recommended for Beginners.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pleased but not what I was looking for April 19, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was very informative but I was actually looking for the original translation and the debates rather than a discussion of them.
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