More Information
ISBN: 9781783686384
Imprint: Langham Monographs
Format: Paperback
Dimensions (mm): 229 x 152 x 15
Publication Date: 31/05/2019
Pages: 282
Series: Studies in Theology
Language: English

Theology of Participation

A Conversation of Traditions


Baptists in Romania have developed a practice of suspicion when it comes to religious dialogue, especially with the Romanian Orthodox tradition, due to a history that is characterized by oppression. In this detailed study Dr Daniel Oprean paves the way for positive dialogue between the two traditions, highlighting that much can be gained and learned by acknowledging similarities and differences in key aspects of theology.

Dr Oprean explores how existing theological resources can be used to enhance theological discourse between Baptist and Orthodox traditions in Romania through in-depth analysis of the thought of British Baptist theologian, Professor Paul Fiddes, and Romanian Orthodox theologian, Father Dumitru Stăniloae. Oprean in particular looks at their understanding of trinitarian and human participation through perichoresis, the Eucharist, Christian spirituality, and baptism and chrismation. Presented as a conversation between the two traditions this study is a model for how theological and religious dialogue can facilitate reconciliation, not just in the church but also in wider society.

Author Bios

Daniel G. Oprean

Dr Daniel G. Oprean (PhD, University of Wales, UK) is Professor of Theology at Aurel Vlaicu University of Arad, Romania. He is the Langham Preaching Coordinator for Romania and a pastor in the Romanian Baptist Union.


This book is a welcome and important contribution to the field of religious dialogue between the Orthodox and the Baptist communities. This is a book that will serve to enhance the conversation between Orthodox and Baptist communities in Romania, and deepen the mutual understanding of each other’s religious traditions.
Ian J. Shaw, PhD
Provost, Union School of Theology,
Bridgend, South Wales, UK

Theology of Participation: A Conversation of Traditions is a welcome and important step towards more engagement between the two Christian traditions. This can lead to a discovery of new and surprising avenues of theological discussion which can lead to a more adequate understanding of each other.
Otniel Ioan Bunaciu, PhD
Dean, Faculty of Baptist Theology,
University of Bucharest, Romania

Daniel Oprean’s proposal for meaningful dialogue between Christians is both contextually relevant and globally necessary. An excellent example of theological engagement with one’s religious milieu from a minority position . . . Oprean’s method of “conversation” is easily transposable.
Marcel V Măcelaru, PhD
Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences,
Aurel Vlaicu University, Arad, Romania

Table of Contents

  1. Preface
  2. Chapter 1
    1. Introduction
  3. Part 1: The Dynamic of Spiritual Journey in Stăniloae’s Theology
  4. Chapter 2
    1. Stăniloae’s Spiritual Journey
      1. 2.1. Spiritual and Intellectual Climate in Romanian Orthodoxy at the Beginning of the Twentieth Century
      2. 2.2. Stăniloae’s Biography and Spiritual Legacy
      3. 2.3. Stăniloae’s Way of Doing Theology
      4. 2.4. Summary of Chapter 2
  5. Chapter 3
    1. Trinitarian Theology of Participation in Stăniloae’s Thought about Baptism
      1. 3.1. The Frame of Stăniloae’s Theology of Participation
      2. 3.2. The Heart of Stăniloae’s Theology of Participation
      3. 3.3. Baptism in the Context of the Theology of Participation in the Thought of Stăniloae
      4. 3.4. Summary of Chapter 3
  6. Chapter 4
    1. Stăniloae’s Theology of the Eucharist as a Reflection of Perichoresis
      1. 4.1. The Triad of Baptism, Chrismation and the Eucharist
      2. 4.2. Real Presence and Human Sacrifice of Submission
      3. 4.3. Christ, the Priest and the Church
      4. 4.4. Summary of Chapter 4
  7. Chapter 5
    1. Stăniloae’s Theology of Spirituality as Actualization of the Trinitarian Christological-Pneumatological Convergence
      1. 5.1. The Cruciformity of Christian Spirituality
      2. 5.2. The Telos, the Foundation and the Way of Christian Spirituality
      3. 5.3. The Stages of Christian Spirituality
      4. 5.4. Summary of Chapter 5
  8. Part 2: The Dynamic of Spiritual Journey in Paul Fiddes’s Theology
  9. Chapter 6
    1. Paul Fiddes’s Spiritual Journey
      1. 6.1. Place of Paul Fiddes within the Baptist World
      2. 6.2. Fiddes’s Spiritual and Intellectual Journey
      3. 6.3. Paul Fiddes’s Theology
      4. 6.4. Summary of Chapter 6
  10. Chapter 7
    1. Fiddes’s Theology of Participation in His Thought about Baptism
      1. 7.1. Trinitarian Participation as the Atmosphere for Human Participation
      2. 7.2. Baptism and the Process of Christian Initiation
      3. 7.3. Baptism in the Context of the Theology of Participation
      4. 7.4. Summary of Chapter 7
  11. Chapter 8
    1. Fiddes’s Perichoretical Theology in His Thought about the Eucharist
      1. 8.1. The Framework of Fiddes’s Theology of the Eucharist in a Perichoretical Key
      2. 8.2. The Heart and Dimensions of Fiddes’s Theology of the Eucharist
      3. 8.3. Fiddes’s Eucharistic Theology in an Ecumenical Perspective
      4. 8.4. Summary of Chapter 8
  12. Chapter 9
    1. Fiddes’s Covenantal Theology in His Thought about Spirituality
      1. 9.1. The Concept of Covenant as a Framework for Fiddes’s Theology of Spirituality
      2. 9.2. The Story of Christ as the Centre for Fiddes’s Theology of Spirituality
      3. 9.3. The Poles and the Coordinates of the Embodiment of Christian Spirituality
      4. 9.4. Summary of Chapter 9
  13. Part 3: Conclusions
  14. Chapter 10
    1. The Dialogical Dimension of the Spiritual Journey: Results of the Conversation
      1. 10.1. Theology of Participation and the Spiritual Journey
      2. 10.2. Perichoretical Theology and Spiritual Journey
      3. 10.3. Trinitarian Theology and the Spiritual Journey
  15. Chapter 11
    1. The Transformative Dimension of the Spiritual Journey: Lessons from the Conversation
      1. 11.1. Baptism as a Way of Living
      2. 11.2. The Eucharist as a Perichoretical Reflection
      3. 11.3. Spirituality as a Shared Pilgrimage
  16. Chapter 12
    1. General Conclusion
      1. 12.1. Summary of the Study
      2. 12.2. Conclusions
  17. Appendix A
    1. Bibliography of Paul S. Fiddes
  18. Appendix B
    1. Select Works of Dumitru Stăniloae
  19. Bibliography