A critical evaluation of Fr Aleksandr Vladimirovich Men ̀'s approach to the religions of the world, in light of the Declaration Dominus Iesus

Lukasevicius, Arturas (2007). A critical evaluation of Fr Aleksandr Vladimirovich Men ̀'s approach to the religions of the world, in light of the Declaration Dominus Iesus. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000faf9

Abstract

This study presents a critical analysis of the work of Fr Aleksandr Men', a prominent Orthodox writer and thinker. It is based on extensive primary and secondary source material in Russian as well as English. The analysis focuses on Men'’s view of the religions of the world, which is examined in the light of the Catholic Declaration Dominus lesus.

Part One, 'Preparing the Way for an Evaluation’, starts with an overview of Men'’s life and work in chapter 1. Chapter 2 reviews his writings on the world’s religions, with a special focus on Men'’s six-volume history of religions, In Search of the Way, the Truth and the Life. Chapter 3 introduces the Declaration Dominus lesus by explaining its historical and theological context, as well as its nature and contents. The chapter ends by establishing the theological links between Dominus lesus and the works of Men'. These links provide a structure for the further analysis.

Part Two, ‘Evaluating Aleksandr Men'’s Position with Regard to Some Specific Issues’, includes three chapters. In chapter 4, Men'’s understanding of the position of Jesus Christ among the other founders or reformers of the world’s religions is investigated. Chapter 5 discusses Men'’s understanding of the teachings and practices of the non-biblical religions in comparison to the revelation of Jesus Christ. Chapter 6 examines Men'’s concept of faith as human response to Christ’s revelation compared to the notion of belief (as he sees it) in the non-biblical religions. The study demonstrates that before the appearance of Dominus lesus Men' had already developed an explicitly Christian approach to the world’s religions, which for the most part is in line with the Catholic position as later presented in the Declaration. The concluding chapter summarises the findings of the research, suggests the possible directions for further study, and indicates the practical relevance of Men'’s works on the world’s religions for the contemporary Catholic theology.

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