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Review: Fellow Workers With God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis by Norman Russell

I would like to note that I participated in what was originally going to be a group book review of Owen the Ochlophobist’s, but which ultimately because a review symposium hosted by Unmercenary Readers. We all read Norman Russell’s Fellow Workers With God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis, and the reviews are being posted this week. Mine is now up.

I had to get a bit tough with them; they tried to force me to use a pseudonym. I pointed out that article #8 of their own manifesto encourages, but expressly does not require, pseudonyms, but suggested “Vassilis Taraxopoios” if they had to use something (a literal translation of the meaning of “Richard Barrett” into Greek — “King Troublemaker”). They were somewhat abashed at having their own manifesto used against them and consequently left it up to me. I had always intended to run it under my own name, and said so. I will be curious to see if I am the only one who does so, and further curious to see if the exercise causes them to revise their manifesto.

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4 Responses to “Review: <i>Fellow Workers With God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis</i> by Norman Russell”


  1. 1 Esteban Vázquez 18 November 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Was not the purpose of publishing the reviews pseudonymously to steer the attention away from who the author of the review is, and to focus it on the merits of the review? At least that is what I remember from when these things were being discussed a while back.

    • 2 Richard Barrett 18 November 2009 at 7:26 pm

      I don’t know; I wasn’t in on that conversation. As a matter of principle, unless I’m writing something that has the potential to be used negatively against somebody else, I put my name on my words. There have been fora, for example, where I have anonymously expressed one or two opinions about certain recent events because I’d rather certain people in my life not have to take the heat for those views. All a book review can do is put my own ignorance on display at no consequence to anybody else, so there is no reason I shouldn’t be willing to take the blame for my own words.

      • 3 Richard Barrett 19 November 2009 at 7:35 pm

        (By the way, I hope it’s clear that much of my apparent irritation with Unmercenary Readers over the ‘nym issue is quite tongue-in-cheek. It is also in keeping with the tongue-in-cheek nature of the correspondence I had with “H. X. Stanley”, who initially threatened to create a “terrible yet fitting” handle for me.)


  1. 1 Repost — Review: Fellow Workers With God: Orthodox Thinking on Theosis by Norman Russell « Leitourgeia kai Qurbana: Contra den Zeitgeist Trackback on 6 May 2011 at 1:12 pm

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