Talk:John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon

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*[[Talk:John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon/Archive 1|Archive 1]] - from article creation (2007) to end of March 2008.
 
*[[Talk:John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon/Archive 1|Archive 1]] - from article creation (2007) to end of March 2008.
*[[Talk:John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon/Archive 2|Archive 2]] - from April 1 to May 9, 2008.
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*[[Talk:John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon/Archive 2|Archive 2]] - from April 1 to May 16, 2008.
  
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== A new beginning ==
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Friends, I've gone through the archives for the talk page here and made some comments, and also adjusted the text of the article a little bit. I think we're at a pretty good point here -- the article gives a short summary of the Metropolitan's life and work, hits on the basics of his writings, and includes some of the back and forth and how it has been received. Of course, many points could be expanded, and a few things could be cleaned up, but overall I think the "neutrality" is pretty good -- it seems to me that the article as it currently stands neither denigrates Met. John and his work nor exalts him.
  
== Consensus straw poll ==
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I've received numerous requests to be more active in moderation here. I've wanted to give everyone some time to settle down a bit. I am pretty tired of all the personal invective, accusations, etc. Let me give a strong warning here: if those who have participated in these talk pages continue to deal disrespectfully with other sysops or members of the wiki and attack them personally rather than just their ideas, they will be banned. Because of the history of this article, I'm also asking that changes be discussed on this page first. Thank you. — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://orthodoxwiki.org/index.php?title=User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk]) 03:08, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
  
Who here believes that it can be clearly shown that the Mainstream Chalcedonian churches (the explicit bias of OrthodoxWiki) regard Metr. John as heterodox (i.e., a heretic)?  &mdash;[[User:ASDamick|<font size="3.5" color="green" face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">Fr. Andrew</font>]] <sup>[[User_talk:ASDamick|<font color="red">talk</font>]]</sup> <small>[[Special:Contributions/ASDamick|<font color="black">contribs</font>]] <font face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">('''[[User:ASDamick/Wiki-philosophy|THINK!]]''')</font></small> 21:11, May 9, 2008 (UTC)
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== Criticisms section ==
  
* You can place my vote firmly '''against''' such an idea. &mdash;[[User:ASDamick|<font size="3.5" color="green" face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">Fr. Andrew</font>]] <sup>[[User_talk:ASDamick|<font color="red">talk</font>]]</sup> <small>[[Special:Contributions/ASDamick|<font color="black">contribs</font>]] <font face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">('''[[User:ASDamick/Wiki-philosophy|THINK!]]''')</font></small> 21:11, May 9, 2008 (UTC)
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Mention of the '''Leithart article''' in the "Criticisms" section is problematic in that the article is not at all a criticism of Metropolitan John, nor does the author understand it as a criticism (personal communication). It can only be described as an "implicit criticism" if one buys the fallacious idea that to differ from V. Lossky is to depart from patristic theology. I also think it odd to elevate a reference in a '''letter by an Old Calendarist bishop''' to Metropolitan John and the late Fr John Meyendorff as "Westernized" theologians to the level of encyclpedic criticism. There is no argument made in the letter, no appeal to a text by either the Metropolitan or Meyendorff as evidence, simply the dismisal of two mainstream Orthodox theologians by a decidedly out of the mainstream bishop who is not in communion with the autocephalous Churches. The '''piece by Hieromonk Patapios''' has the same problem as the piece by Archbishop Chrysostomos -- an out of the mainstream opinion without any argument or appeal to a text by the Metropolitan. There is a reference to '''a 1971 article''' attacking dialogues with non-Chalcedonians that refers to Metropolitan John as a "muddled theologian." This is another example of an Old Calendarist criticism that I don't think belongs on a mainstream Orthodox encyclopedia. As to '''non-Orthodox influences''' on his thought (if this is to remain in the article) this sentence needs to be revised: "Some are concerned by his reliance of non-Orthodox sources on his thought ...." As the Metropolitan is quite specific that he does not rely on these non-Orthodox sources and points out how all of them cannot produce a true theology of personhood, it is wrong to refer to "his reliance" as if that is a fact. And, as it has been pointed out before, whether or not someone is "influenced" by a non-Orthodox writer should not be an issue -- V. Lossky was certainly influenced by non-Orthodox writers. The question is whether it can be shown that such influence has had the effect of determining a heterodox result in a theologian's position. Even Turcescu, who criticizes Metropolitan John on personhood and mentions the influence of non-Orthodox writers on the Metropolitan, does not make the claim that this influence results in heterodoxy. --[[User:Fr Lev|Fr Lev]] 14:45, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
  
* You can place my vote firmly '''against''' such an idea. --[[User:Fr Lev|Fr Lev]] 21:31, May 9, 2008 (UTC)
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: I'm in favor of removing references which are essentially just offhand remarks, especially those made by representatives of fringe groups. The "Criticisms" section should not essentially be "List of bad things anyone has ever said about Metr. John."  It has to include criticisms of substance that understand themselves as criticisms, with more weight being given to MCB writers than those of non-MCBs.  &mdash;[[User:ASDamick|<font size="3.5" color="green" face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">Fr. Andrew</font>]] <sup>[[User_talk:ASDamick|<font color="red">talk</font>]]</sup> <small>[[Special:Contributions/ASDamick|<font color="black">contribs</font>]] <font face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">('''[[User:ASDamick/Wiki-philosophy|THINK!]]''')</font></small> 14:54, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
  
* I must also resolutely vote '''against''' a notion so ridiculous. [[User:Seminarist|Seminarist]] 21:37, May 9, 2008 (UTC)
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::I've moved the Leithart reference to the "studies" section and marked the Old Calendarist schismatics as such. Not sure what to do with them, although I think we must admit that they are part of the larger conversation here, which is, of course, much larger than Met. John. — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://orthodoxwiki.org/index.php?title=User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk]) 18:09, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
  
* So far '''against''' that, IMHO, the question borders on being rhetorical (albeit a necessary question, given the circumstances). &mdash; by [[User:Pistevo|<font color="green">Pιs</font><font color="gold">τévο</font>]] <sup>''[[User talk:Pistevo|<font color="blue">talk</font>]]'' ''[[User talk:Pistevo/dev/null|<font color="red">complaints</font>]]''</sup> at 21:58, May 9, 2008 (UTC)
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:: I agree with Fr Andrew here. I think that, at the very least, a criticism has to consist of an ''argument'' against Metropolitan John's position, and not just a negative adjective or an unjustified assertion. The article shouldn't be a list of names Zizioulas has been called (or reportedly has been called).
  
:Friends, I'm not sure this is really necessary. It is often said that the Church is not a democracy. For our purposes (re: bias), I suspect it is enough to ask questions such as "Has such a person or such ideas been formally condemned by a local or ecumenical synod?"
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:: I suggest that we list thematically the studies and serious interactions with Metropolitan John's theology, giving short summaries of their conclusions. [[User:Seminarist|Seminarist]] 21:17, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
:Many theologians are (every theologian is?) controversial. The intensity of debate shows, in my mind, the deep sense of responsibility people have in the engagement and can be a useful tool for diagnosing the larger patterns of tension within the Orthodox world. OrthodoxWiki certainly should not (except perhaps in extreme circumstances) label any Orthodox bishop "heterodox" or a "heretic," but neither do we need to defend his theology against all critics. I would like to continue to push simply toward "objective" statements rather than evaluative statements  -- the who, what, where, when, and why which befits an encyclopedic undertaking. — [[User:FrJohn|<b>FrJohn</b>]] ([http://www.orthodoxwiki.org/User_talk:FrJohn&action=edit&section=new talk])
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Oh, Father, how we have tried! The point has been made ''ad nauseum'' that no synod has sugested, much less concluded, that Metropolitan John's teaching is heterodox. Since creating the article, I've tried to edit it with encylopedic neutrality. The trouble has been one person's irresistible urge to villify the Metropolitan, and to twist sources that are praising the Metropolitan (such as Leithart and Papanikolaou) into negative criticism. The choir appreciates the sermon, but I think only one chorister is flat! --[[User:Fr Lev|Fr Lev]] 23:52, May 9, 2008 (UTC)
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: The Church is of course not a democracy, but I do think that straw polls are useful in terms of trying to analyze and establish consensus on OrthodoxWiki articles.  I don't think anyone here is arguing that this article should be utterly free from mention of criticism, but I do think there's generally a consensus that the way one editor has been going about adding it has been 1) unacceptable in its approach to collaboration (i.e., essentially none), 2) reflecting a basic lack of understanding of Orthodox theology and terminology, and 3) reflecting a lack of willingness to respect the official OrthodoxWiki bias.  &mdash;[[User:ASDamick|<font size="3.5" color="green" face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">Fr. Andrew</font>]] <sup>[[User_talk:ASDamick|<font color="red">talk</font>]]</sup> <small>[[Special:Contributions/ASDamick|<font color="black">contribs</font>]] <font face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">('''[[User:ASDamick/Wiki-philosophy|THINK!]]''')</font></small> 00:01, May 10, 2008 (UTC)
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If I may add a point here: '''Just as the Church is not a democracy, neither is OrthodoxWiki an anarchy.''' Cebactokpatop is destroying the environment necessary for constructive and collaborative editing through his rude, ignorant and disruptive editing. I am shocked that a blind eye has been turned to the gravely insulting remarks Cebactokpatop has made to clergy contributing on OrthodoxWiki. He is an editor who has been repeatedly warned, yet shows absolutely no change in behaviour. Having a collaborative environment is not only about permitting a variety of viewpoints; it is also about protecting that environment from abuse. At present, Cebactokpatop has single-handedly destroyed the collaborative environment of OrthodoxWiki (at least as far as the John Zizioulas article is concerned): constructive edits are blocked and reverted, whilst the talk-page is filled up with incivil discourse, peppered with Cebactokpatop's beligerent theological illiteracy.
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Cebactokpatop has made it clear that he is not interested (or capable?) of constructive editing here. As such, there is only one way to restore the collaborative environment necessary for OrthodoxWiki to flourish, and that is to ban Cebactokpatop. [[User:Seminarist|Seminarist]] 00:19, May 10, 2008 (UTC)
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:Just to respond to a small point in that message - I don't think I would be terribly out of line by putting forward that a blind eye hasn't been turned to insulting remarks, whether against clergy or otherwise, particularly since at least half of those remarks have been made towards various sysops. &mdash; by [[User:Pistevo|<font color="green">Pιs</font><font color="gold">τévο</font>]] <sup>''[[User talk:Pistevo|<font color="blue">talk</font>]]'' ''[[User talk:Pistevo/dev/null|<font color="red">complaints</font>]]''</sup> at 03:11, May 10, 2008 (UTC)
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::Well, Cebactokpatop is a thug, and the sysops should be putting a stop to his thuggery, instead of continuing to allow him to disrupt constructive editing on OrthodoxWiki. [[User:Seminarist|Seminarist]] 14:39, May 10, 2008 (UTC)
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== Italia Ortodossa ==
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In a link to an article in the Italian journal being cited as a source of criticism, we find the following claim: "This explains why orthodox people cannot help defining western Christianity as 'Arian'." This does not represent mainstream Orthodox criticism of the West. There are many things to say about deficiencies in Western theology, but this wholesale condemnation of the West as "Arian" is an expression of a fringe belief. The same article claims, "The same concept of 'Church - Eucharist' is also found in the Russian theologian Afanasieff, but it is typically western." This betrays an almost complete ignorance of the history of Western ecclesiology, which in fact has ''not'' focused on the Eucharist. Moreover, the style of the magazine is polemical and vicious. An example from the same article: "we must state that Zizioulas’ s theological style and argumentation can be proven deceitful, as he often stands too far from the truth/" Calling the Metropolitan deceitful is not criticism, academic or otherwise. It is libelous. As such, it has no place in this encyclopedia article.  --[[User:Fr Lev|Fr Lev]] 17:04, May 13, 2008 (UTC)
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:I've addressed part of this in an archived part of this talk page: it is impossible to describe the West as being 'Arian' - the filioque clause alone forbids it!  As unsound as it may be for other reasons, it does ensure that arianism is entirely rejected. &mdash; by [[User:Pistevo|<font color="green">Pιs</font><font color="gold">τévο</font>]] <sup>''[[User talk:Pistevo|<font color="blue">talk</font>]]'' ''[[User talk:Pistevo/dev/null|<font color="red">complaints</font>]]''</sup> at 21:14, May 13, 2008 (UTC)
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: I've reverted the re-addition of the link&mdash;as noted multiple times elsewhere, it's essentially just polemical screed.  It doesn't qualify by our research standard for controversial issues, i.e., it is not a "reliable, third-party source."  &mdash;[[User:ASDamick|<font size="3.5" color="green" face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">Fr. Andrew</font>]] <sup>[[User_talk:ASDamick|<font color="red">talk</font>]]</sup> <small>[[Special:Contributions/ASDamick|<font color="black">contribs</font>]] <font face="Adobe Garamond Pro, Garamond, Georgia, Times New Roman">('''[[User:ASDamick/Wiki-philosophy|THINK!]]''')</font></small> 12:45, May 15, 2008 (UTC)
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Latest revision as of 13:17, May 21, 2008

  • Archive 1 - from article creation (2007) to end of March 2008.
  • Archive 2 - from April 1 to May 16, 2008.

A new beginning

Friends, I've gone through the archives for the talk page here and made some comments, and also adjusted the text of the article a little bit. I think we're at a pretty good point here -- the article gives a short summary of the Metropolitan's life and work, hits on the basics of his writings, and includes some of the back and forth and how it has been received. Of course, many points could be expanded, and a few things could be cleaned up, but overall I think the "neutrality" is pretty good -- it seems to me that the article as it currently stands neither denigrates Met. John and his work nor exalts him.

I've received numerous requests to be more active in moderation here. I've wanted to give everyone some time to settle down a bit. I am pretty tired of all the personal invective, accusations, etc. Let me give a strong warning here: if those who have participated in these talk pages continue to deal disrespectfully with other sysops or members of the wiki and attack them personally rather than just their ideas, they will be banned. Because of the history of this article, I'm also asking that changes be discussed on this page first. Thank you. — FrJohn (talk) 03:08, May 21, 2008 (UTC)

Criticisms section

Mention of the Leithart article in the "Criticisms" section is problematic in that the article is not at all a criticism of Metropolitan John, nor does the author understand it as a criticism (personal communication). It can only be described as an "implicit criticism" if one buys the fallacious idea that to differ from V. Lossky is to depart from patristic theology. I also think it odd to elevate a reference in a letter by an Old Calendarist bishop to Metropolitan John and the late Fr John Meyendorff as "Westernized" theologians to the level of encyclpedic criticism. There is no argument made in the letter, no appeal to a text by either the Metropolitan or Meyendorff as evidence, simply the dismisal of two mainstream Orthodox theologians by a decidedly out of the mainstream bishop who is not in communion with the autocephalous Churches. The piece by Hieromonk Patapios has the same problem as the piece by Archbishop Chrysostomos -- an out of the mainstream opinion without any argument or appeal to a text by the Metropolitan. There is a reference to a 1971 article attacking dialogues with non-Chalcedonians that refers to Metropolitan John as a "muddled theologian." This is another example of an Old Calendarist criticism that I don't think belongs on a mainstream Orthodox encyclopedia. As to non-Orthodox influences on his thought (if this is to remain in the article) this sentence needs to be revised: "Some are concerned by his reliance of non-Orthodox sources on his thought ...." As the Metropolitan is quite specific that he does not rely on these non-Orthodox sources and points out how all of them cannot produce a true theology of personhood, it is wrong to refer to "his reliance" as if that is a fact. And, as it has been pointed out before, whether or not someone is "influenced" by a non-Orthodox writer should not be an issue -- V. Lossky was certainly influenced by non-Orthodox writers. The question is whether it can be shown that such influence has had the effect of determining a heterodox result in a theologian's position. Even Turcescu, who criticizes Metropolitan John on personhood and mentions the influence of non-Orthodox writers on the Metropolitan, does not make the claim that this influence results in heterodoxy. --Fr Lev 14:45, May 21, 2008 (UTC)

I'm in favor of removing references which are essentially just offhand remarks, especially those made by representatives of fringe groups. The "Criticisms" section should not essentially be "List of bad things anyone has ever said about Metr. John." It has to include criticisms of substance that understand themselves as criticisms, with more weight being given to MCB writers than those of non-MCBs. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs (THINK!) 14:54, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
I've moved the Leithart reference to the "studies" section and marked the Old Calendarist schismatics as such. Not sure what to do with them, although I think we must admit that they are part of the larger conversation here, which is, of course, much larger than Met. John. — FrJohn (talk) 18:09, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Fr Andrew here. I think that, at the very least, a criticism has to consist of an argument against Metropolitan John's position, and not just a negative adjective or an unjustified assertion. The article shouldn't be a list of names Zizioulas has been called (or reportedly has been called).
I suggest that we list thematically the studies and serious interactions with Metropolitan John's theology, giving short summaries of their conclusions. Seminarist 21:17, May 21, 2008 (UTC)
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