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God, Hierarchy, and PowerOrthodox Theologies of Authority from Byzantium$
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Ashley M. Purpura

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823278374

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823278374.001.0001

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Niketas Stethatos’s Hierarchic Re-Imaging

Niketas Stethatos’s Hierarchic Re-Imaging

(p.79) Chapter 3 Niketas Stethatos’s Hierarchic Re-Imaging
God, Hierarchy, and Power

Ashley M. Purpura

Fordham University Press

Stethatos takes the Dionysian hierarchic ideal of determining hierarchy based on divine communication to its fullest conclusion. Drawing on his own relationship with the mystical Symeon the New Theologian, he asserts that there may be authentic hierarchs without ordination based on unmediated divine experience. Through this positioning, Stethatos develops his hierarchical discourse to treat key intersections of ecclesiastical tension and pragmatic hierarchical questions in a way that maintains the sacramental efficacy of the Byzantine churc, and acknowledges corruption within it. Stethatos continues in the Dionysian lineage of pressing forward the earthly conception of hierarchy by adopting divine reality as the fundamental determiner of legitimate ecclesiastical hierarchy. Stethatos provides a hierarchical case study for the concretization of hierarchy in the clerical ranks while emphasizing charisma as indicative of the image and presence of God.

Keywords:   Dionysius, hierarchy, mystical, Niketas Stethatos, Symeon the New Theologian

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