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Towards an Ecumenical Metaphysics, Volume I

Towards an Ecumenical Metaphysics, Volume I

The Principles and Methods of Ecumenical Science

By Antoine Arjakovsky

306 pp

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About the Book

For at least a century the ecumenical movement has fostered momentum at a global level towards rapprochement among Christians of all confessions. But neither ecclesiology nor religious studies is capable of taking the full measure of its depth and originality. The first aim of this work, then, is to illustrate the imperative need that this movement—which has explicitly defined itself as “ecumenical” rather than as “universal” or “catholic”—be given objective form through a science dedicated to it, which has not previously been the case.

     But the purpose to be served by ecumenical science will be broader than that of the ecumenical movement as usually understood. For instance, to speak of confessional reconciliation in Ireland is also to tackle the political, economic, and social roots of division and harm. Or again, to reflect on relations between Buddhists and Christians is also to study the convergences and divergences between them on topics as different as safeguarding the environment and genetic modification. That is why this three-volume work presents metaphysics as the discipline best fitted to inquiries into the notion of ecumenical consciousness in its full breadth, which has the further effect of rehabilitating metaphysics as a true science, while redefining metaphysics itself as an ecumenical discipline. In short, since the intrinsically universal character of metaphysics is the very essence of ecumenism, the principles governing metaphysics offer us a methodology for promoting interdenominational and interreligious dialogue.


“There is a genuine brilliance to Arjakovsky’s approach to these matters. It is already to his immense credit that he understands that the question of ecumenism has to be asked and answered in a metaphysical register. But who could have imagined that it would yield reflections of such richness? I eagerly await what comes next.”


author of Kenogaia and Roland in Moonlight


“For a long time we have been talking about the ‘return of religion.’ Now the groundbreaking work of Antoine Arjakovsky gives witness, in the midst of the crisis of modern rationality, to the ‘return of metaphysics.’ From an ecumenical perspective, the author contributes to a sapiential vision of humanity, the world, and God, and to the shared promotion of peace!”


Institute of Ecumenical Studies, Fribourg University


“The British psychoanalyst W. R. Bion once described how the mind engages in ‘attacks on linking’ between various experiences, so that memories of past trauma are prevented from stirring up present anxiety. To our anxious minds, traumatized by their encounter with the shattering effects of modernity, Antoine Arjakovsky proposes, in this ambitious, far-reaching, and vastly erudite book, to build new and healthy ‘links’ joining together ancient and modern science, philosophy, psychology, theology, and many another discipline into an ‘ecumenical metaphysics.’ This is something bold and potentially revolutionary: nothing less than a recovery of the wisdom that Cardinal Newman articulated: ‘All knowledge forms one whole.’”


University of Saint Francis


“A dazzling global vision of intelligence and scholarship. A magisterial synthesis, the result of tireless research. A ‘great work,’ as the alchemists say—or better, ‘great art.’”


Saint Sergius Orthodox Institute, Paris

About the Author

ANTOINE ARJAKOVSKY is Research Director at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris. He is the president of the French Association of Christian Philosophers. Founder in 2004 of the Institute of Ecumenical Studies in Lviv, he has been teaching ecumenical science since 2011 at the Institut chrétiens d’Orient and at the Collège des Bernardins in Paris. He also directs a research seminar on peacebuilding in Europe.

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