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On Ecumenoclasm: Who Can Be Saved?

Orthodox ecumenists and anti-ecumenists both start from the same fundamental ecclesiological principle, succinctly expressed in an anti-ecumenical statement of the Sacred Community of Mount Athos in April 1980: “We believe that our holy Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ, which possesses the fullness of grace and truth.” But pro-ecumenical…

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Ephesians 5:20-33 as the Epistle Reading for the Rite of Marriage: Appropriate or Problematic?
Liturgical Life, Public Life

Ephesians 5:20-33 as the Epistle Reading for the Rite of Marriage: Appropriate or Problematic?

In modern times the appropriateness of the established Epistle Lesson (Ephes. 5:20-33) in the rite of marriage has been questioned.  How is it perceived by the contemporary listener and what does it say about spousal relationships? At a basic level this established passage can be understood within the context of the household code adapted to…

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The Benedict of History versus The Benedict Option
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Public Life

The Benedict of History versus The Benedict Option

Rod Dreher’s book The Benedict Option has much to commend it. Among other things, it aptly recognizes that the landscape of American religious practice is rapidly changing and in some depressing ways. It affirms that a faith divorced from real-life practice is useless. And it recognizes that Christians benefit when they mine their ancient traditions….

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Science, Truth, and the Current Political Climate
Public Life, Religion and Politics

Science, Truth, and the Current Political Climate

Orthodox involvement in world affairs is increasingly becoming necessary; a faith that cares about “true worship” must be ready to defend not only spiritual Truth but the truths that underlie it as well. Orthodox Christians, and indeed most religious traditions, value truth and truthfulness. For Orthodox, there should be no division between the truths we…

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Political Polarization and Christian Unity
Public Life, Religion and Politics

Political Polarization and Christian Unity

When politics is as toxic as it’s become today in North America, Church unity would seem more than ever to require quarantining the life of faith from current political and social questions. Broader society’s most polarizing issues do get taken up eagerly, it’s true, in Christian congregations (of whatever tradition) that lean hard ideologically either…

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The Power of Sexual Purity
Ethics, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Public Life

The Power of Sexual Purity

In this modern day and age, when sexual promiscuity – i.e., any sexual relations outside marriage – abounds all around us, why would anyone choose to live in sexual purity? How could refraining from all sexual relations outside of marriage ever be more fulfilling, more satisfying, than having sexual adventures before getting married, and perhaps…

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Orthodox Christianity: Offering Material Piety to Twenty-first Century America
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Public Life

Orthodox Christianity: Offering Material Piety to Twenty-first Century America

Material piety was central to the early Church and it flourishes to this day within Orthodox Christianity. That Christians would love the material, created world makes perfect sense—their God took on matter in order to appear in the world of His creation. And early Christians understood that their path to God would be walked in…

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Holy and Great Council, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Defending Human Dignity

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. The authors of ‘The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World’ are to be commended for framing our shared ecclesial mission as one of…

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Christian Practice, Holy and Great Council

Reflection on “The Importance of Fasting and Its Observance Today”

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. In accordance with Orthodox Christian scriptural and patristic tradition, fasting finds its origins in the divine commandment given in paradise (Gen 2.16-17; St. Basil, On…

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Christian Practice, Holy and Great Council

Fasting, the Church, and the World

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. Reflecting Jesus’s own Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7)—a passage which has been and remains the standard of Orthodox Christian ethics—the preconciliar document, “The Importance…

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Christian Practice, Holy and Great Council

Fasting Reaffirmed

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. The draft of the Holy and Great Council’s document, The Importance of Fasting and its Observance Today, affirms the importance of fasting for the spiritual…

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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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Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Holy and Great Council

Orthodox-Catholic Dialogue

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. Scripture describes ecclesial division as harmful to Christ’s flock, and something that requires correction (1 Cor. 1.10-13; 12.25). The continued absence of full communion between the…

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Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Holy and Great Council

Relations of the Orthodox Church with “Uniates”

A Plea for Removing One More Skandalon in an Increasingly Scandalized World 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. Allow me to begin by suggesting that today’s “new circumstances and challenges” referenced in…

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Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Holy and Great Council

Response to the Pre-Conciliar Document on Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World

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. We have joyfully received the text of the Pre-Conciliar document on Relations of the Orthodox Church with the Rest of the Christian World and 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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Holy and Great Council, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Some Comments on the Mission Document by Orthodox Missiologists The Center for Ecumenical, Missiological and Environmental Studies “Metropolitan Panteleimon Papageorgiou” (CEMES)

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. Without denying the importance of the other pre-conciliar documents, the one on mission is of extraordinary significance. Not only because the Church exists for the…

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Holy and Great Council

Marriage, Family, and Scripture

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. The title of the working document “The Sacrament of Marriage and Its Impediments” appears to promise a meaningful teaching on the spousal relationship. Instead, much…

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Church Life and Pastoral Care, Holy and Great Council

Pastoral Challenges for Marriage in Contemporary Orthodoxy

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. In preparation for the Great and Holy Council to be held on Crete in June, 2016, the Orthodox bishops have issued a preconciliar document on…

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Church Life and Pastoral Care, Holy and Great Council

Response to the Pre-Conciliar Document on Marriage and Its Impediments

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. The document on marriage does not refer to its long and complex history and accompanying theology. What is offered to the faithful and to the…

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Church Life and Pastoral Care, Holy and Great Council, Liturgical Life

Reflections on the Document “The Sacrament of Marriage and Its Impediments”

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. According to the theological vision of the Church, the bond of love is to be found at the core of marital life. Marriage is viewed…

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Church Life and Pastoral Care, Ethics, Gender and Sexuality, Holy and Great Council

Life-Bearing Love: A Too Risky Vision

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. The upcoming Great Council, decades in the making, is an opportunity for Orthodoxy to present to the world a vision of the fruitfulness of love…

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Church Life and Pastoral Care, Ethics, Gender and Sexuality, Holy and Great Council

Sexual Purity and the Vocation of Marriage

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. “The sacred nature of the God-established union and its lofty spiritual content explain the Apostle’s affirmation in Heb. 13:4. That is why the Orthodox Church…

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Global Orthodoxy, Holy and Great Council

The Orthodox “Diaspora”: Mother Churches, Mission, and the Future

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. Among the issues to be heard by the Orthodox Churches at the June 2016 Great and Holy Council in Crete is the situation of the…

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Holy and Great Council, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Science

The Mission of the Church in an Age of Modern Science and Pluralism

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. The document, “Mission of the Church in the World,” was released in preparation for the upcoming Holy and Great Council to be held in June…

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Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Global Orthodoxy, Holy and Great Council

In the Hope of Restoration of Communion between the Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Churches

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. We wish to bring attention to one of the items not specifically included on the Great and Holy Council’s agenda or in its preconciliar documents:…

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Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Holy and Great Council

Orthodoxy and Ecumenism in View of the Upcoming Great and Holy Council

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. Some members of the Orthodox Church, who regard ecumenism as a heresy, have been predictably critical of the preconciliar document “Relations of the Orthodox Church…

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Orthodoxy, Human Rights & Secularization
Holy and Great Council, Orthodoxy and Modernity

Orthodoxy, Human Rights & Secularization

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. “The Mission of the Orthodox Church in Today’s World” offers a clear reaffirmation of the “dignity and majesty of the human person” (1.1) in Christian…

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Holy and Great Council, Women in the Church

Women and the Great and Holy Orthodox Council

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 preparations continue for the Great and Holy Council set for Pentecost 2016, we eagerly look for the inclusion of women in the Council proceedings….

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Innovation in the Guise of Tradition
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Holy and Great Council

Innovation in the Guise of Tradition Anti-Ecumenist Efforts to Derail the Great and Holy Council

Image: Metropolitan Seraphim of Piraeus 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. The documents approved by the Primates of the Church for the Great and Holy Council are not particularly controversial. They…

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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