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A Life Together
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About the Author

Bishop Seraphim Sigrist is a Bishop of the Orthodox Church in Moscow. Formerly a missionary in Japan, he has also taught at Drew University in New Jersey. His publications include two books of Christian spirituality, a translated book of the Japanese author Kenji Miyazawa, as well as frequent contributions to Parabola.

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Taking his cues from Dietrich Bonhoeffer's influential Life Together. . . bishop and author Sigrist (Theology of Wonder) puts an Eastern Orthodox spin on the theme of unity. Like Bonhoeffer, his push for community stems from an inability to meet with other Christians, one result of life under Soviet rule of Russia. Other similar themes emerge: the importance of group prayer, the need to bear one another's burdens. Yet Sigrist takes the German martyr's ideas a step beyond the daily conduct of earthly communities, suggesting that true community is found in sobornost. Leaving the Russian term untranslated, he explains his meaning: in a deeper interdependence, all things on Heaven and Earth are one. Ideas from various theologians, sacred texts, and quantum physics build out the short meditation, serving to increase the motivation for the practice of unity. Readers in a global society fraught with discord will find hope in this revived prescription for an "interweaving of relationships." Sigrist's nuggets of wisdom are the kind of gems that readers will treasure and quote for years to come. (Apr.)

-- (03/14/2011)

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