This book brings together essays by two outstanding Orthodox theologians to examine the paradox of time in relation to the eternity of God: Dumitru Stăniloae’s, ‘Eternity and Time’, a talk given to the Sisters of the Love of God in 1971, was expanded in the first volume of his Teologia dogmatica ortodoxa (3 vols., Bucharest, 1978). The preface to the 1994 English translation of that work, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, written by Kallistos Ware, was based on his essay, ‘Time: Prison or Path to Freedom?’, which was first published in 1989 by SLG Press. These reflections, brought together for the first time here, remain at the forefront of modern theology.
Stăniloae illuminates time as a journey on which we may grow in response to the love that God offers us, a journey towards sharing in the eternity of the perfect, interpersonal communion of the Trinity. God, in His Incarnation, shares the journey with us in Christ, so that time enters into eternity, and eternity is brought into time. At every moment we are free to choose between responding to His love or rejecting it.
Ware’s essay explains that it is the vocation of time to be open to eternity; time is fulfilled when God’s eternity breaks into the temporal sequence, as happened supremely at Christ’s birth in Bethlehem, as happens also at every Eucharist. Our faith is the true rationale of time: mutual love after the image of the Trinity.