Tag: Councils

The Orthodox Church of Finland and the War in Ukraine
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and Conflict

The Orthodox Church of Finland and the War in Ukraine

Orthodox Christians in Russia are sometimes surprised to learn that Patriarch Kirill is only representing the Russian Orthodox Church and that his views can in no way be taken as the views of the entire Orthodox Church. Orthodox in the West sometimes complain that their church leadership has remained silent about the war in Ukraine….

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Who Guards the Guardians?
Ecclesiology, Theology

Who Guards the Guardians? Who Speaks for the Church?

In recent days several articles have appeared on this site raising profound, difficult, and unsettling questions. Sr. Vassa bravely asked whether “heresy” is a charge that can be applied to the “Edict” of the XXV “All-World Council of the Russian People,” approved under the chairmanship of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow on March 27, 2024, concluding,…

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Bishops and Pentecost
Ecclesiology, Theology

Bishops and Pentecost

Bishops are regularly in the news for exercising their authority and then either coming under fire or being praised for doing so. Over the last couple months we’ve seen volcanic reactions for and against Archbishop Elpidophoros presiding at the baptism of a gay couple’s children in Greece. When the bishops of the Orthodox Church in…

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The Origins of Anti-Jewish Rhetoric in the Hymns of Good Friday
Church History, Liturgical Life

The Origins of Anti-Jewish Rhetoric in the Hymns of Good Friday

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски The oldest-surviving Christian hymns designed exclusively for Holy Week are a set known as the Idiomele.  In the modern Orthodox Church, they are sung during the Royal Hours service of Good Friday morning (the final hymn is sung during two additional services). Apart from their…

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The Apocalypse, and the Wisdom that Comes from Trauma
Biblical Studies, Theology

The Apocalypse, and the Wisdom that Comes from Trauma

български | Ελληνικά | Русский On the strength of anecdotal evidence, I’m convinced people are now especially interested in apocalyptic themes. Social unrest, fires, climate change, a global pandemic—all of these evoke themes found in apocalyptic texts from numerous traditions. Christianity has its own narrative of what will happen at the end of all things….

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The Divided House of Middle Eastern Christians
Church History, Public Life

The Divided House of Middle Eastern Christians

The current situation is bleak for Christians in the Middle East, largely split between the Oriental and Byzantine rites.  They are hemmed in by dictatorships, sidelined by political Islam and exploited by militia groups while their pleas for aid are generally disregarded by Western powers. Yet despite their dwindling numbers and waning influence, petty squabbles…

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The International Orthodox Theological Association: Conciliarity from Below
Global Orthodoxy, Inter-Orthodox Relations

The International Orthodox Theological Association: Conciliarity from Below

ελληνικά  |  ру́сский The Holy and Great Council of Crete (2016) demonstrated that pan-Orthodox gatherings are possible in our time. The Council also made manifest global Orthodoxy’s enduring tensions and divisions. The delegation of the Patriarchate of Antioch did not attend the Council primarily because of its broken communion with the Patriarchate of Jerusalem. The delegation…

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Towards a Reasoned and Respectful Conversation About Deaconesses
Women in the Church

Towards a Reasoned and Respectful Conversation About Deaconesses St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess Board

The St. Phoebe Center for the Deaconess advocates for the reinstitution of the ordained order of deaconesses for the benefit of the Orthodox Church today. We also appreciate that this is a significant issue that prompts a range of opinions, and we consider it to be part of our work to promote empirically grounded conversation.[1]…

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The Byzantine Origins of Gun Control
Ethics, Public Life, Religion and Politics, Uncategorized

The Byzantine Origins of Gun Control

It would be difficult to overstate the significance of the Byzantine emperor Justinian for both Christian and political history because, more than any previous Christian ruler, he integrated Christian precepts into imperial legislation. Whether one looks favorably upon the Byzantine model of Church/State “symphonia” or prefers a Jeffersonian separation of Church and State, every modern…

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Uncategorized

Reading Scripture

български  |  ελληνικά  |  ру́сский  |  српски There are indeed many ways in which Scripture is read, and there is also great deal of debate about this, both on a general level and also within scholarly circles. But there is a certain feature of the reading of Scripture which is absolutely fundamental to the Christian tradition, from…

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Ecclesiology, Women in the Church

Bishops in Council: Are They Representative?

It is commonly understood in the Orthodox Church that the bishop represents the Church, particularly within its conciliar life. But can he truly represent the Church, in its diversity, in every way and context? The bishop represents the Church in at least two ways: (1) He distinguishes the local manifestation of the Universal Church from…

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Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Holy and Great Council

Relations of the Orthodox Church with Other Christians and Their Communities

This essay was sponsored by the Orthodox Theological Society in America’s Special Project on the Holy and Great Council and published by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University. As recognized in the Chambésy pre-conciliar document, relations between the Orthodox Church and other Christians are challenging and complex. They are challenging because of the…

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Holy and Great Council, Liturgical Life

On Consensus: A Canonical Appraisal

This essay was sponsored by the Orthodox Theological Society in America’s Special Project on the Holy and Great Council and published by the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University. A key component of the document “Organization and Working Procedure” is the requirement for unanimity for the approval of any texts or amendments. The primates…

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Why Did Patriarch Kirill of Moscow Agree to Meet with Pope Francis?
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Global Orthodoxy

Why Did Patriarch Kirill of Moscow Agree to Meet with Pope Francis?

We live in historic times. About a week ago, the leaders of the Orthodox Churches announced their commitment to hold the Pan-Orthodox Council on the island of Crete in mid-June 2016. The failed attempts to organize such a council for more than fifty years have been attributed to a variety of factors, most notably the…

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Ecclesiology

By What Authority? Conciliar Authority in the Church

The long-awaited pan-Orthodox council will be upon us in a few short months. If all goes ahead as announced, representatives of each of the fourteen universally-recognized autocephalous Orthodox Churches will meet on the island of Crete for two weeks at the feast of Pentecost to discuss and either agree or refuse several carefully prepared documents….

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Can Anything Good Come out of a Pan-Orthodox Council?
Ecclesiology, Global Orthodoxy

Can Anything Good Come out of a Pan-Orthodox Council? A Response to Detractors

The Patriarchate of Constantinople has been at the forefront of planning a Great and Holy Council, which will gather together the leaders of all fourteen self-governing Orthodox Churches. While the Council has its share of supporters, there are influential groups within the Orthodox Church that oppose the Council for political and theological reasons. What are…

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Ecclesiology

Don’t Confuse Autocephaly with Theology

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. For our entire history, secular geographies have dictated the boundaries of episcopal sees and autocephalous churches. The decisions of ecumenical councils,…

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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