Beyond the Shattered Image: Orthodox Insights into the Environment
Beyond the Shattered Image, authored by Greek Orthodox theologian, teacher, and deacon John Chryssavgis, aims to present the full ecological significance of the Orthodox Christian worldview in its deepest, widest, and highest sense. The heart of an Orthodox ecological worldview, according to the author, consists of the vision, the conception, and, above all, the experience of the world as sacrament. The sacred, the sacrament, and the symbol: for Chryssavgis, these three elements form the basis of the sacramental ecology of the Orthodox tradition. The deformation of the earth’s countenance calls for an involvement in the reconstruction of the world’s authentic vision and goal . . . desacralization must be the first step leading towards transfiguration; division must lead us back to reconciliation of all; consumerism demands a corresponding asceticism. The titles of the chapters are revealing: “The World as Sacrament”; “Divine Immanence and Divine Transcendence”; “The Sacredness of Creation”; “The World of the Icon”; etc. Chryssavgis is fully in line with the Orthodox tradition in prescribing ascetic practice as the key to transforming the effects of human activity upon the environment from estrangement to atonement, from disfiguration to transfiguration, from desecration and destruction to consecration and (in the best and most spiritual sense of the term) conservation.
Chryssavgis, John. Beyond the Shattered Image: Orthodox Insights into the Environment. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Light & Life Publishing, 1999. 192 pp. ISBN: 18-8097-142-9.