An Orthodox look at the spiritual, social and political consequences of the doctrine of the Trinity, arguing that the idea of a classless society is central to Christianity.
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In Theology of a Classless Society Metropolitan Mar Osthathios is very anxious not to be thought of as a communist or a revolutionary. So why not change the title? Because the author firmly believes it is wrong to leave the idea of a classless society to the communists. It is a Christian concept, quite capable of defeating the atheism of communism if applied with courage and vision.
Metropolitan Osthathios has both. He tells us at the beginning that "any true Christian theology is a theology of a classless society". The Lord's Prayer is the model prayer of the classless society. The ethics of the Sermon on the Mount are the ethical standards of a classless society. Poverty is a spiritual as well as a material condition, and poverty anywhere is a threat to prosperity everywhere. The perfection of such a society may be impossible in practice, but that makes it all the more important to pray for it and to work for it.
So we have a plea for all religions to be more tolerant, for a one-world family and a one-world government, since there is no salvation for us apart from our brethren. But behind every chapter of this book the doctrine of the Trinity is central and all-controlling. The Trinity is a classless society of perfect equality, and the author goes on to show that if we are to express God and his love in life, we must see to it that the classless society of state, nation or world is modelled on the life of the Holy Trinity.
1. The Quest for a Classless Society
2. Sin and Class Formation
3. Practice Social Justice or Perish
4. Outline of the Theology of a Classless Society
5. The Reality of Sin and Class War
6. By All, Both Singly and in Common
7. The Society and the Individual – Identity and Distinction
8. We and the Poor
9. The Sermon on the Mount – Ethics of a Classless Society
10. A Classless Society – But How?
11. Mission for a Classless Society
Appendix 1: Your Queries Answered
Appendix 2: An Apologia for the Application of the Doctrine of Trinity to Life in this Book
Geervarghese Mar Osthathios is a Metropolitan of the Orthodox Syrian Church in Kerala, South India, who teaches at the Theological Seminary in Kottayam.