Tag: Fear

The Resurrection of Christ and the Victory of Life  
Theology

The Resurrection of Christ and the Victory of Life  

Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ἀνέστη! Truly He is Risen! Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη! In a profoundly simple manner, the concise greeting, “Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!” contains within it the entire message of the Christian faith. The Apostle Paul of course had insightfully declared this when he wrote: “If Christ has not been raised, then…

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Preparing the Orthodox for the Date of Pascha
Church Life and Pastoral Care

Preparing the Orthodox for the Date of Pascha

Both Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox commentators continue to note the interest expressed by Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in finding a common date for the celebration of Easter/Pascha by 2025. The 1700th anniversary of the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325 appears at first an auspicious opportunity to settle the vexed problem…

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Greater Love Has No One than This: To Lay Down One’s Life for One’s Friends
Public Life

Greater Love Has No One than This: To Lay Down One’s Life for One’s Friends

On Friday, February 16, 2024, Russian Penitentiary Service (FSIN) that is responsible for the thriving GULAG system informed the world that Russia’s “Prisoner no. 1,” Alexey Navalny, collapsed during the daily walk in the camp and died shortly thereafter. While everyone who cared about Navalny had feared for his life every day since January 17,…

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Orthodox Christians in Gaza City
Religion and Conflict

Orthodox Christians in Gaza City

In his fight against those in Gaza whom he called “human animals,” the Israeli defense minister on October 8 vowed to act “accordingly” by cutting off fuel, food, water, and electricity to the impoverished strip of land. With this explicit policy of collective punishment (which has gotten even more collective and punishing in the last…

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The Orthodox Response to COVID
Liturgical Life, Religion and Science

The Orthodox Response to COVID Failures in Both Theology and Leadership?

Archdeacon John Chryssavgis has recently commented on the way in which, during the COVID pandemic, many of the leaders of the Orthodox Church have “been almost paralysed by division among themselves and by their isolation from the outside world.” He relates this paralysis to a number of important issues, but does not comment in detail…

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Eastern Orthodoxy and Church Reform
Ecclesiology, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Eastern Orthodoxy and Church Reform

“Church reform” has always been a taboo in the Orthodox Church; it has a negative connotation in some traditionalistic circles. Actually, there are many elements that strengthen stagnation and promote anti-reform tendencies, such as the claim of unity, stability, identity, psychological and spiritual factors, catholicity and universality, synodality, solidarity and collegiality, sameness, traditionalism, and others….

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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…

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A Jesus-Shaped Conscience
Christian Practice

A Jesus-Shaped Conscience

“Conscientious Objector.” That epitaph might aptly be placed on the life’s work of Jim Forest (1941-2022), the founder of the Orthodox Peace Fellowship and a prolific author. For decades he was a friend and co-laborer of some of the leading voices of Christian conscience in the United States, including Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Daniel…

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An Act of Lighthearted Betrayal
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Religion and Conflict

An Act of Lighthearted Betrayal How Moscow's Official Church Hunts Down Her Anti-War Priests

There were relatively few people in Moscow who knew Fr. John Koval before February 2023. Native to Luhansk, Ukraine, he moved to Moscow and graduated from the famous Central Music School of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. He received theological training at St. Thikhon Orthodox University of Humanities before being ordained some twenty years ago…

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From Altar Calls to Theosis
Church Life and Pastoral Care, Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Theology

From Altar Calls to Theosis What Orthodoxy Showed Me about a Life of Transformation

  I did not grow up in a church that observed Lent, but I did grow up around altar calls. For me and my community, these deeply emotional and cathartic encounters at church were often the catalysts for the spiritual transformations I longed for in my youth. And while I’m not entirely against altar calls…

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On the Way to a Unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine
Inter-Orthodox Relations

On the Way to a Unified Orthodox Church in Ukraine Challenges and Perspectives

On February 16, the second face-to-face meeting of initiative groups of clergy and laity of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU) was held in Sophia National Sanctuary Complex in Kyiv. Its final appeal we published on Public Orthodox earlier. Now we follow up with the impressions and comments of…

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Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God?
Documents, Ethics, Religion and Conflict

Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God? An open letter to the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church

  Your Eminences! My letter is addressed to the Orthodox bishops in Russia. I have intentionally not collected signatures or involved any Church structures or public organizations, because I am addressing not the episcopal body, not the leaders of the Moscow Patriarchy, but each of you personally. My letter’s addressee is an Orthodox Christian who…

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God’s Controversy with the United States
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

God’s Controversy with the United States Rod Dreher and the Orthodox Jeremiad

“Beware, O sinful land, beware;And do not think it strangeThat sorer judgements are at hand,Unless thou quickly change.Or God, or thou, must quickly change;Or else thou art undon:Wrath cannot cease, if sin remain,Where judgement is begun.” -Michael Wigglesworth, “God’s Controversy With New England” (Written in the Time of the Great Drought, Anno. 1662) “Christian faith…

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Memory and Commemoration in The Lord of the Rings: An Orthodox Christian Perspective
Culture and Arts, Theology

Memory and Commemoration in The Lord of the Rings: An Orthodox Christian Perspective

Late in J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings, Samwise Gamgee finds himself in darkness and likely near death. Enemies have captured his dearest friend, and Sam lies alone, shivering and impossibly far from home. He tries to make sense of the situation, but “even of the days he had quite lost count. He…

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Thinking Out Loud: In Response to the OCA’s Curbing of Intellectual Freedom
Gender and Sexuality, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and the Academy

Thinking Out Loud: In Response to the OCA’s Curbing of Intellectual Freedom

I would like to respond to the Statement on Same-sex Relationships and Sexual Identity, issued by the Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America during the recent All-American Assembly in Baltimore in July. I believe it will be evident I have concerns about the statement’s curtailment of intellectual and academic freedom. In particular,…

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True Man: Kallistos of Oxford as Orthodoxy’s First Universal Teacher of the Global Age
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Religion and the Academy, Theology

True Man: Kallistos of Oxford as Orthodoxy’s First Universal Teacher of the Global Age

български | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски “Meeting him I sensed immediately a quality of authenticity,of integrity, of completeness; here I felt was a true man.He was marked by a serenity, by a transparent and luminous joy”(Kallistos Ware, “Mount Athos Today” [1976]) A Moment of Pan-Orthodox Unity In a time when the Orthodox…

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Freedom from Fear
Documents, Gender and Sexuality, Religion and the Academy

Freedom from Fear Response to the Statement of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18) In our inaugural editorial in 2015, we stated: “The Wheel is a journal for the intelligent and constructive articulation of the Christian Gospel…

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Fullness of Faith or Fullness of Fear?
Gender and Sexuality, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Theology

Fullness of Faith or Fullness of Fear? On Prohibiting Open Theological Discussion

At the conclusion of the “Bridging Voices” conference in Oxford in 2019, I thanked the distinguished group of participants for restoring my confidence in the church as a discursive society bound by love of and in Christ. Our meeting was demanding, at times very tense, and inconclusive, but commitment to working through some of the…

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“The Master’s Hospitality”: Jesus and Dialogue
Theology

“The Master’s Hospitality”: Jesus and Dialogue

Come, O faithful, let us enjoy the Master’s hospitality:the banquet of immortality.In the upper chamber with uplifted minds,Let us receive the exalted words of the Word, whom we magnify.(Holy Thursday, Canon Ode 9) In January 2022, I was invited to give the annual Father Georges Florovsky Lecture for the Orthodox Theological Society in America and…

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Archpastoral Exhortation Regarding the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Religion and Conflict

Archpastoral Exhortation Regarding the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

This is a slightly edited version of the public address Archbishop Elpidophoros delivered on Monday, April 4th, at Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Port Washington, NY, at the beginning of an event entitled “Understanding the Role of the Moscow Patriarchate in the Russian Invasion of Ukraine.” The event was sponsored by the Order of…

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Open Letter to the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on the War in Ukraine
Documents, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Public Life, Religion and Politics

Open Letter to the Synod of the Orthodox Church in America on the War in Ukraine

His Beatitude, Metropolitan TikhonMembers of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America Dear Archpastors: We[1] write as painfully concerned, truth–seeking, and truth–committed Orthodox Christians: we are chagrined clergy and lay members of the Orthodox Church in America, who as American citizens value religious and political freedom. Conscience compels us to speak. The unprovoked…

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Russian Orthodox Media Shows a House Divided Against Itself
Public Life

Russian Orthodox Media Shows a House Divided Against Itself

Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine threatens to become the worst humanitarian disaster in recent history. The Russian Orthodox Church, already embroiled in a protracted conflict in Ukraine over Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew’s decision to grant autocephaly to the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, is facing even greater struggles to maintain unity among its flock as this calamity…

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Should St. Vlad’s Campus Be Relocated, or Stay Where It Is?
Education and Academia

Should St. Vlad’s Campus Be Relocated, or Stay Where It Is?

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Српски The Board of Directors of St. Vladimir’s Seminary and, especially, its President, Father Chad Hatfield, must be commended for their constant labor to make the ends meet and thus to maintain the seminary. We must remember, however, that their seminary belongs at large to the American…

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Celebrating Archangel Light
Liturgical Life, Theology

Celebrating Archangel Light

Commanders of the heavenly hosts,we who are unworthy beseech you,by your prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your immaterial glory,and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you:Deliver us from all harm, for you are the commanders of the powers on high!(Troparion for the Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other…

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The Gospel of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost
Liturgical Life, Theology

The Gospel of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind. . .”* The Pentecost feast-day reading from Acts (2:1-21) is absolutely galvanized with spiritual energy, isn’t…

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The Resurrection Among Us
Theology

The Resurrection Among Us Commentary on the Gospel of John (20:19-20)

After the Resurrection of Christ, we witness Him appearing eleven times to his disciples. His purpose is only one: to assist them in their belief and to convince them about the fact of the Resurrection. It is important to understand what Christ aimed for by appearing to his disciples, because it confirms the fact that…

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The Two Swords: Christians and Their Weapons
Ethics, Religion and Politics

The Two Swords: Christians and Their Weapons

български | ქართული | Ελληνικά | Русский | Српски And they said, “Look, Lord, here are two swords!”  Jesus said to them, “It is enough.” – Luke 22:38 Americans, especially American Christians, have a fixation on their so-called “God-given Second Amendment Right” to arm themselves to the hilt. I know many Orthodox, even some clergy,…

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Cannibals and Montanists
Religion and Politics

Cannibals and Montanists

български | ქართული | Ελληνικά | Русский | Српски The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) QAnon and “Trumplicals” (I just can’t use the lovely word “Evangel” to reference…

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Living Epiphanies: The Baptism of Christ and the Restoration of Creation
Theology

Living Epiphanies: The Baptism of Christ and the Restoration of Creation

български | ქართული | Ελληνικά  | Русский | Српски On this great feast of Theophany, we celebrate Christ’s baptism, when the voice of the Father identified Him as the Son of God and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in the form of a dove. Epiphany reveals that the Savior Who appears from the waters of the…

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Ready for the COVID Vaccine?
Ethics, Religion and Science

Ready for the COVID Vaccine? An Orthodox Perspective

ελληνικά | Română COVID has changed the lifestyles of almost every American (and even most citizens of the globe) since March 15 when quarantine orders, stay-at-home orders, mask orders, work limitations, social distancing, and many other such measures began. In many locations, these orders are in effect “until a vaccine for COVID is available.” The presumption…

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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