Until recently, it was possible to describe Orthodoxy as “unity in plurality.” Although Orthodoxy consisted of over a dozen local churches with a wide variety of local practices and
Until recently, it was possible to describe Orthodoxy as “unity in plurality.” Although Orthodoxy consisted of over a dozen local churches with a wide variety of local practices and without an overarching structure, body, or person, it was still possible to say that Orthodoxy was a relatively well-functioning church—indeed, one Church.
In the last decades, and especially the last decade, however, profound fissures have undermined that unity. The Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church in Crete, the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s granting of autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, and Russia’s full-scale attack on Ukraine—all have exposed deeper fault lines in World Orthodoxy. These include issues of church and state (Symphonia), church and nation, how to achieve consensus, authority in the Church, how one approaches history, and the attitude to human rights and modernity in general. How can Orthodoxy face these challenges?
Major support for the 2023 Orthodoxy in America Lecture is provided by Christ and Anastasia Economos with additional support from the Nicholas J. and Anna K. Bouras Foundation, Inc., and the Henry Luce Foundation.
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