In June of 594, Pope Gregory the Great received a letter from Constantina, the empress, asking him to send the head of St. Paul to Constantinople so that she and others might benefit from venerating the bodily remains of such a great saint. St. Gregory denied the request, noting that it was not the custom…Continue reading
On the Toll Houses Again: A Byzantinist’s Thoughts
by Eirini Afentoulidou David Bentley Hart’s recent article on the toll houses is very welcome in that the discussion has turned away from refuting the occasional “pro-toller” to a scholarly and detached examination of texts and contexts and the theological implications of their worldview. I do not intend to explain that the notion of the…Continue reading
Can History Solve the Conflict about Ukrainian Autocephaly?
by Thomas Bremer and Sophia Senyk In early September 2018, the gathering conflict between the Patriarchates of Constantinople and Moscow around the status of Orthodoxy in Ukraine escalated. The Ecumenical Patriarchate, in response to a request by the Ukrainian president and the parliament, announced the preparation of a tomos which would grant autocephaly for the Orthodox…Continue reading
Can Tug-of-War Lead to Unity?
The death of Patriarch Alexei II marked the end of the “cold era” contacts between Moscow and Constantinople and started a new epoch in inter-Orthodox relations. Kirill’s first foreign visit since his January 2009 election as Patriarch of Moscow was to Constantinople and the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Unity and ecumenism were priorities for Patriarch…Continue reading
Studying Byzantine Cappadocia
by Elizabeth Zanghi This past June, I visited Cappadocia in central Turkey. It was my second trip to the region, and it certainly won’t be my last, as I have decided to focus on Cappadocian art history in graduate school. “Why Cappadocia?” I am frequently asked. The best way to answer that question is to…Continue reading
Western Intervention and Mideast Christians
Lessons from the Nineteenth Century
by Mark L. Movsesian | ελληνικά | ру́сский | српски The history of Christian persecution in the Middle East – which, sadly, is quite long, though not unmitigated – should inform the strategies we use in our relief efforts for Mideast Christians today. One important episode from this history that is worth considering is the 19th century Ottoman…Continue reading