Tag: American Orthodoxy

Advice on the Future of Religion in America from a College Class
Education and Academia, Public Life

Advice on the Future of Religion in America from a College Class

When the New York Times recently asked readers to tell them why they had left their religion behind some 7,000 readers responded (“Why Do People Lose Their Religion?” June 7, 2023). Clearly there is a lot of painful pent-up feeling about this. But an equally intriguing question is, “Why do people keep their religion?” This…

Continue reading
The Conspiratorial Cleric
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Orthodoxy and Modernity

The Conspiratorial Cleric

Read part one of this two-part essay In 2020, Orthodox Church in America (OCA) Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin) of Dallas and the South warned his flock in a diocesan letter about the teachings of Fr. Peter Heers, which His Grace noted were “sanctioned by no canonical jurisdiction.” While the focus on Heers’s canonical status has demanded…

Continue reading
Heersay: Fr. Peter Heers and Online Orthodoxy  
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Heersay: Fr. Peter Heers and Online Orthodoxy  

On Bright Thursday 2023, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States issued a statement about an Orthodox cleric without a canonical home. During the bright joy of Paschaltide, the bishops decided to tackle an issue plaguing Orthodoxy in the United States for the past several years: namely, how to publicly denounce a…

Continue reading
Method and Consequence in the Study of U.S. Orthodoxy
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and the Academy

Method and Consequence in the Study of U.S. Orthodoxy

Much of the recent controversy about Sarah Riccardi-Swartz’s book Between Heaven and Russia (as well as the National Public Radio piece that highlighted her work along with that of other scholars investigating the influence of far-right currents within U.S. Orthodoxy) has exhibited some confusion about the epistemology of social science disciplines. Sarah’s book is an…

Continue reading
Blessed are the Peacemakers: Thinking Historically About Russian Orthodox Soft Diplomacy
Church History, Religion and Politics

Blessed are the Peacemakers: Thinking Historically About Russian Orthodox Soft Diplomacy

If you stand before the iconostasis of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Cathedral in Manhattan, the representation church of the Moscow Patriarchate to the Orthodox Church in America, you will see an old and ornate cross perched behind the altar table. First placed there nearly 120 years ago, it is an artifact of another moment in…

Continue reading
Folklife and the Authenticity Politics of Orthodox Culture Creation
Culture and Arts, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Folklife and the Authenticity Politics of Orthodox Culture Creation

български  | ქართული |  Ελληνικά  | Română | Русский | Српски Orthodox culture is alive and well. It is in the loaves of bread that are lovingly made by a Lebanese grandmother for her son’s birthday. It is in our Pascha baskets, our children’s hilarious mispronunciations of “Christ is Risen” in different languages, and in…

Continue reading
Culture Wars Are Not Our Wars
Church History, Ecclesiology, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Culture Wars Are Not Our Wars

български | ქართული | Ελληνικά | Српски American society is polarized to an extent that one can hardly recall. It is as if we have entered a cold civil war. There is another name for this war: culture war, which is a literal translation of the German Kulturkampf. Culture wars are not proper wars, and…

Continue reading
Fear Then, Action Now: A Response to “Full and Understanding Support”
Public Life

Fear Then, Action Now: A Response to “Full and Understanding Support”

It is encouraging to see young scholars and emerging Greek Orthodox leaders entering the conversation about anti-racism. In a posting in this forum, Nikolaos Piperis and Stavros Piperis, scholars at the Creighton University School of Law and Youth Directors at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Omaha, Nebraska, contribute to the discussion from…

Continue reading
St. Tikhon Condemns Racism during Epidemic
Church History

St. Tikhon Condemns Racism during Epidemic

Română | ру́сский In the midst of pandemic and protests over racial injustice, it is important to remember that the connection between disease and racism in North America is not a new one: Europeans extended their domination over the land and the indigenous populations that lived on it in large part through their decimation caused…

Continue reading
“Full and Understanding Support”: A Response to “The Wrong Side of History”
Public Life

“Full and Understanding Support”: A Response to “The Wrong Side of History”

ελληνικά We are thankful to hear from two distinguished Greek Americans, Dr. Aristotle Papanikolaou and Dr. George Demacopoulos, who recently published an essay about the injustices African Americans face. The authors encourage us to step into their shoes, and we agree that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has a role to play in the struggle for…

Continue reading
COVID-19, the Murder of George Floyd, and Continuing the Lockdown
Liturgical Life, Public Life

COVID-19, the Murder of George Floyd, and Continuing the Lockdown

ελληνικά These have been unsettling times. I have been forced by the events of the last several months to face up to several disconcerting truths. When the COVID-19 lockdown orders were issued, they had a common element.  Churches were not deemed “essential.” Liquor stores, pot distributors, and lottery sales were deemed essential. Commercial air travel and protests…

Continue reading
Orthodox Christianity, Systemic Racism, and the Wrong Side of History
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Public Life, Uncategorized

Orthodox Christianity, Systemic Racism, and the Wrong Side of History

ελληνικά | Română | ру́сский | српски When Archbishop Iakovos stood alongside Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma in 1965, he was maligned by many Greek Americans who took offense that their Archbishop would “fraternize with Civil Rights agitators.” Fifty-five years later, opinion has shifted dramatically. Iakovos’ march alongside MLK is widely regarded as one of…

Continue reading
Debating Christmas Day: Copts, Calendars, and the Immigrants’ Church
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Liturgical Life, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Debating Christmas Day: Copts, Calendars, and the Immigrants’ Church

This essay is co-published with the Coptic Canadian History Project. A longer version is available on the CCHP website. On December 11, 2019, Metropolitan Serapion and the clergy of the Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California, and Hawaii wrote a statement pronouncing that Christmas celebrations will be held in the diocese on both December 25…

Continue reading
Under the Radar – A Hidden Diaspora: Growing Up Orthodox in the Episcopal Church
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Under the Radar – A Hidden Diaspora: Growing Up Orthodox in the Episcopal Church

I was baptized in a wash tub as were both of my brothers.  It’s true. I really was. My aunt Helen was married in an Orthodox ceremony performed in our house as well. I recall liturgies celebrated in our dining room with Fr. Chrysostom whispering words in a Greek language that seemed somewhat different from…

Continue reading
Fr. Raphael Morgan, the First Orthodox Priest of African Descent in America
Church History, Church Life and Pastoral Care

Fr. Raphael Morgan, the First Orthodox Priest of African Descent in America

Some of the readers of Public Orthodoxy may have read my book Turning to Tradition: Converts and the Making of an American Orthodox Church. Those who have will have heard of Fr. Raphael Morgan. Others might not have read the book, but may be aware of him, perhaps due to his Orthodoxwiki entry or an…

Continue reading
Coptic Nashville
Culture and Arts, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Coptic Nashville

I sat down with one of the older priests of Nashville after waiting for him to finish with one of his congregant members who was leading the renovation of a section of the church. The church, the oldest in Nashville, Saint Mina, sits in leisurely expand on a campus that holds many apartments (for newcomers…

Continue reading
A Reflection on the Church in the Political Arena
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

A Reflection on the Church in the Political Arena

Democracy and the separation of church and state are relatively new for the Orthodox Church. From both derive the many challenges the Church in America encounters as it stands unfettered in the political arena. Paraphrasing the British historian and theologian G.L. Prestige, the concept, let alone the reality, of a political atheist was unknown until…

Continue reading
“For You Were Aliens in the Land of Egypt”: Why Orthodox Christians Cannot Remain Silent on United States Immigration Policies
Public Life

“For You Were Aliens in the Land of Egypt”: Why Orthodox Christians Cannot Remain Silent on United States Immigration Policies

In recent weeks, distressing images of detained children, renewed calls for drastic immigration restrictions, and the United States Supreme Court’s decision upholding a travel ban against Muslim-majority countries have intensified national discourse on immigration policy. These developments should strongly resonate with Orthodox Christians. Though the church’s demographics have certainly changed over the past century, Orthodoxy…

Continue reading
It’s Time to Merge St. Vladimir’s and Holy Cross
Education and Academia, Orthodoxy and Modernity

It’s Time to Merge St. Vladimir’s and Holy Cross

It has always been the case that forces beyond the control of the Church have prompted changes in the practice of theological education. For example, Ottoman repression led many Greek Christians to seek education abroad. Tsar Peter I imposed Western-styled seminaries upon the Russian Church. And the Bolshevik Revolution crippled religious education throughout Russia and…

Continue reading
The Golden Age of Ligonier and Other Myths of Orthodox Unity in America
Orthodoxy and Modernity

The Golden Age of Ligonier and Other Myths of Orthodox Unity in America

As the last General Secretary of SCOBA (the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas) and the first Secretary (albeit for less than an hour) of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, I have always marveled at the ‘Golden Age’ syndrome around “Ligonier” of many Orthodox Christians when…

Continue reading
American Orthodoxy
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Public Life

American Orthodoxy

Who gets to decide what it means to be Orthodox in America? Greeks? Russians? Converts? Foreign bishops? How do “cradle” and convert identities come together – or not? How do “diaspora” narratives that tie Orthodoxy to nationalism translate in an American context? What does Orthodoxy mean in the American religious marketplace of ideas? Is it…

Continue reading
My Silent Church
Religion and Politics

My Silent Church

Above my desk is a sign I bought years ago in an antique shop in the town where my Yiayia Kay grew up. It says, “No Dogs, No Greeks.” I originally bought it with a fair amount of Millennial irony, too gleeful at the fact that it would preside over a room that normally contains…

Continue reading
“Taking Orthodoxy to America” – Thirty Years Later
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Liturgical Life

“Taking Orthodoxy to America” – Thirty Years Later

Thirty years ago this month, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese began the process of bringing into the Orthodox Church seventeen “Evangelical Orthodox” communities from across America. At that time, he declared Orthodoxy to be “America’s best kept secret,” and he urged us as new converts to do something about this. “Take Orthodoxy to America,” he…

Continue reading
Ethics, Orthodoxy and Modernity

The Challenge of the Other

Orthodox in America are privileged in enjoying complete freedom of worship untethered by allegiance to the state. This is an environment that still, a few hundred years later, is experienced as somewhat of a novelty compared with our much longer history in which we were either joined to the state, or oppressed by it. We…

Continue reading
Ecclesiology

The Marks of Autocephaly

This essay was originally delivered as a public talk at the June 2015 Fordham/OTSA conference on the upcoming Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church. It was part of a panel on Autocephaly and Diaspora. The canonical situation in the United States is recognized by nearly all Orthodox theologians and ecclesiastical leaders as anomalous…

Continue reading
Disclaimer

Public Orthodoxy seeks to promote conversation by providing a forum for diverse perspectives on contemporary issues related to Orthodox Christianity. The positions expressed in the articles on this website are solely the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors or the Orthodox Christian Studies Center.

Attribution

Public Orthodoxy is a publication of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University