Monday, November 22, 2010

Eastern Versus Western Understandings of Anthropological Brokenness

As this blog attests, I'm an Augustinian. Yet I've been challenged in this assertion by an Eastern Orthodox friend and the writings of some EO writers such as Hart, etc. Each has asserted in eloquent and convincing ways for the deep brokenness of humanity, but from very different starting points. What would be some good critical texts available in English that address the division and vision of each side? I know that we (I) are deeply shaped by our cultural confluence, and that affects our perception of every issue, even our basic identity.

I certainly affirm, in my deep uncertainty, my Christian convictions, doubtful as they are. Primarily because I see myself so clearly in the gospel. A Saviour saving those so clearly needing to be saved rings true to me. I seem myself in the Publican and the Sinner. I see myself in the Brother who ran away and in the one who stayed. Every parabolic expression of this spiritual reality tells my story. Scripture is brutally honest. That's what spoke to me even as a child. When I read Job and Ecclesiates I recognized the words.

But how do we understand our brokenness? What was it that "broke" us?

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