Embodying the New Society: The Byzantine Christian Instinct of Philanthropy

McGuckin, John A.

There is philanthropy in Classical Greek thought. The Byzantines stand, in their usage of that key and plastic concept of Philanthropy, on the shoulders of a long and venerable tradition of the word’s use and its ethical significance in the classical antiquity. As with so much else in the foundations of Eastern Christian thought, what we rightly see as a distinctly new Byzantine use of the term Philanthropy to designate the appropriate Christian response to human need, the divinely inspired human movement to compassion, and the God-graced desire to establish justice, is actually a synthesis of classical thought on matters of civilized valued. These values were forged in a creative interplay as these concepts were brought into a dynamic synthesis with the New Testament and early Patristic notions of the divine Kenosis and the merciful Christ…



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Philanthropy and Social Compassion in Eastern Orthodox Tradition: Papers of the Sophia Institute Academic Conference, New York, Dec. 2009
Theotokos Press

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Academic Units
Sophia Institute
Sophia Institute Studies in Orthodox Theology, 2
Published Here
September 13, 2011