Tag Archives: relational ontology

Book | Communion and Otherness by John D. Zizioulas

6a00e54ef86de9883400e55004fb418833-800wiZizioulas, Jean, and Paul McPartlan. Communion and Otherness: Further Studies in Personhood and the Church. New York: T & T Clark, 2006.


zizioulasJohn Zizioulas (Greek: Ιωάννης Ζηζιούλας; born 10 January 1931, Kozani) is the Eastern Orthodox metropolitan of Pergamon. He is the Chairman of the Academy of Athens and a noted theologian.[1]

My Thoughts on Communion and Otherness

I will be brief and to the point in this reflection. There is one thing that I glean from this book that is very beneficial for my research and the missional conversation. There is also one thing that I struggle with. The piece that I glean from Zizioulas is his definition of personhood. He moves away from the classical obsession with substantivist ideas about human ontology and defines personhood as relational ontology. The uniqueness of the individual person is not found in the substance of the individuum that possesses certain classifiable universal categories. Rather, the uniqueness of the individual is constituted by the relationship with the other. The person is other to the other first, and thus, by standing in contrast to the other, is differentiated as unique. Left to the individual self-as-substance, the self is isolated, in Hell, and ceases to exist. Personhood, therefore, is relationality. This is evident in the Trinitarian Personhood of God. God is not unified substance that possesses three modes of being. God is three persons-in-relationship. The church, and all of creation, is thus constituted in relationality, and the ministry of Jesus, the personhood of Son, is to reconcile all things into relationality by demonstrating the incapacity to be self-sufficient through death, and bringing all things into communion through the capacity of life-in-relation to God through resurrection. read more

Book | Leadership and the New Science by Margaret Wheatley

Leadership& New ScienceWheatley, Margaret J. Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World. 3rd ed. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler, 2006.

The Author

WheatleyMargaret Wheatley earned a Ed.D. From Harvard’s program in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy with a focus on organizational behavior and change. Her masters in from New York University in systems thinking. She began in education, both in teaching and administration, and now works as a consultant and speaker with all types of organizations and people. She is a co-founder and the president emerita of the The Berkana Institute, a global charitable foundation founded in 1991.[1] read more

Book | Rediscovering the Triune God by Stanley Grenz

Rediscovering-the-Triune-God-9780800636548Grenz, Stanley J. Rediscovering the Triune God: The Trinity in Contemporary Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004.

The Author

GrenzWhile in the pastorate (1979-1981), Grenz taught courses both at the University of Winnipeg and at Winnipeg Theological Seminary (now Providence Seminary). He served as Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ethics at the North American Baptist Seminary, Sioux Falls, South Dakota from 1981-1990. For twelve years (1990-2002), Grenz held the position of Pioneer McDonald Professor of Baptist Heritage, Theology and Ethics at Carey Theological College and at Regent College in Vancouver. After a one-year sojourn as Distinguished Professor of Theology at Baylor University and George W. Truett Theological Seminary in Waco, Texas (2002-2003), he returned to Carey in August 2003 to resume his duties as Pioneer McDonald Professor of Theology. In fall 2004, he assumed an additional appointment as Professor of Theological Studies at Mars Hill Graduate School, Seattle, Washington. From 1996 to 1999 he carried an additional appointment as Professor of Theology and Ethics (Affiliate) at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary, Lombard, Illinois. read more

Book | The Evolving Self by Robert Kegan

Evernote Camera Roll 20140222 142314Kegan, Robert. The Evolving Self: Problem and Process in Human Development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982.

The Author – Robert Kegan

My Thoughts

I read the Prologue to this book today. I have already read In Over Our Heads and Immunity to Change, so I am familiar with Kegan’s theory. Mary Hess suggested that I read this book, and include it in my bibliography, since it is the foundation to his theory.

Reading the prologue, in this context, reminds me again why I so resonate with Kegan. I believe his theories are the psychological language of relational ontology and demonstrate the image of the Trinity in human being. read more