Tag: War

History is Not Your Friend<span class='secondary-title'>Christian Pacifism and the Imagined Past</span>
Christian Practice, Church History, Religion and Politics

History is Not Your FriendChristian Pacifism and the Imagined Past

It perhaps goes without saying that we have a tendency to construct our historical narratives less out of concern for accurately depicting the past and more out of a desire to make sense of the present, particularly where “making sense” means finding in history evidence for our own views with respect to contemporary debates. In…

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Violence and Non-Violence: From Constantine to Ukraine
Religion and Conflict, Religion and Politics

Violence and Non-Violence: From Constantine to Ukraine

It can be difficult to fathom the mindset of the followers of Jesus in the early to mid fourth century, as they gradually abandoned their commitment to the Way of total love towards all, even enemies. Before being called Christians, the disciples of Jesus were known as the people of the Way. What Way? The Way that…

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Saviors on Weapon Boards<span class='secondary-title'>Two Kinds of Social Ethos during Wartime</span>
Culture and Arts

Saviors on Weapon BoardsTwo Kinds of Social Ethos during Wartime

  Icon painting is rightly considered to be the visual expression of the Orthodox tradition. The icon speaks of the Gospel, the liturgy, the hymnography, the saints, the dogmas, and the pedagogy of the church. Icons testify to the reality of God’s Incarnation, the image of God in each of us, and mystically lead us…

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Why Have You Forgotten the Truth of God?<span class='secondary-title'>An open letter to the bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church</span>
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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Apocalypse Delayed: Patriarch Kirill on Restraining the Antichrist in Ukraine
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Public Life, Religion and Conflict

Apocalypse Delayed: Patriarch Kirill on Restraining the Antichrist in Ukraine

by Maureen Perrie | български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски On 20 November 2022, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow celebrated his 76th birthday. At a reception to mark the occasion, held in the Cathedral of Christ the Savior in Moscow, the Patriarch warned his guests in apocalyptic terms of the current…

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War and Appeals to Magical Consciousness
Religion and Conflict

War and Appeals to Magical Consciousness

by Archimandrite Cyril Hovorun As was noted many times, the ongoing Russian aggression against Ukraine is ideologically framed by a quasi-religious doctrine that promotes Russian civilizational exceptionalism and has been branded as the “Russian world.” This doctrine is not the only quasi-religious aspect of the war. Those who endorse the war try to justify it…

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Foreign Diplomats Assess the Vatican’s Ostpolitik
Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations, Religion and Politics

Foreign Diplomats Assess the Vatican’s Ostpolitik

Image: iStock.com/PhotoBeto It was a great opportunity to express solidarity to Ukraine by taking part in a panel discussion at the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv on July 1. Four ex-ambassadors to the Holy See—Ukrainian,  Lithuanian, EU (originally from Poland), Georgian—were invited to speak about the history and contemporary challenges of the Vatican’s Ostpolitik. Ostpolitik…

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Orthodoxy, Russia’s Manifest Destiny, and the Russia-Ukraine War
Religion and Conflict

Orthodoxy, Russia’s Manifest Destiny, and the Russia-Ukraine War

by Paul Ladouceur | Русский Also available in Ukrainian (pdf) Several times Russian church and state leaders have been enraptured by the idea that the Russian people and its political expression have a special mission or “manifest destiny” to accomplish. Successive iterations of this “Russian idea” reflect a growing convergence of religion, ethnicity, and nationalism…

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The OCA Holy Synod on the Russian War in Ukraine<span class='secondary-title'>On the Dubious Silence of the Shepherds</span>
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

The OCA Holy Synod on the Russian War in UkraineOn the Dubious Silence of the Shepherds

American Orthodox leaders, inevitably on one or other side of the widening Greek–Slavic divide in world Orthodoxy, typically echo the voice of the peculiar foreign “Mother–Church” to which each hierarch is canonically bound. So Archbishop Elpidophoros, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese (GOA) in the USA, although expressing his sympathy for the hapless Russians being…

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Have We Hit Rock Bottom?<span class='secondary-title'>Reflections of a Not-So-Innocent Bystander</span>
Public Life

Have We Hit Rock Bottom?Reflections of a Not-So-Innocent Bystander

There are very few occasions in our lives—critical, pivotal events—that are truly life-shattering. We Orthodox describe them as kairos moments. World War II was one of these. In my lifetime, there was 9/11. Institutions and individuals are defined by such moments. We might recall how the Roman Catholic Church failed to stand up to Mussolini…

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Open Appeal of the Priests of the UOC-MP to the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches
Inter-Orthodox Relations, Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Conflict

Open Appeal of the Priests of the UOC-MP to the Primates of Local Orthodox Churches

After Russia’s invasion in Ukraine, the question of the further existence of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the jurisdiction of the Moscow Patriarchate became critical. Patriarch Kirill did not condemn the aggression and did not call the aggressor by name. He did not express any condolences to the families of the dead Ukrainians. Most of…

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Russian World or Holy World War?<span class='secondary-title'>The Real Ideology of the Invasion of Ukraine</span>
Religion and Conflict

Russian World or Holy World War?The Real Ideology of the Invasion of Ukraine

Kremlinology is back in a big way. Thinkers and pundits of every stripe, throughout the world, are once again seeking to uncover the secret motives and exotic ideologies of the Russian political elite. Only this time around, unlike in the days of Soviet atheism, the smoke signals coming from the Kremlin are increasingly linked with…

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A Church at War: Heresies, History, and a Russian Orthodoxy Otherwise
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

A Church at War: Heresies, History, and a Russian Orthodoxy Otherwise

by Patrick Lally Michelson Much of the criticism currently directed at the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church for supporting Russia’s war against Ukraine is organized around the idea that the Moscow Patriarchate is ideologically compromised and theologically unsound. With few exceptions, scholars, journalists, and opinion writers condemn leaders of the Russian Church as apologists…

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Archpastoral Exhortation Regarding the Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Religion and Conflict

Archpastoral Exhortation Regarding the Russian Invasion of Ukraine

by Archbishop Elpidophoros of America 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…

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Will There Be a Confessing Church in the ROC?
Orthodoxy and Modernity, Religion and Politics

Will There Be a Confessing Church in the ROC?

by George Persh | Русский For centuries, the Orthodox Church has taken the side of its state leadership in times of war, and the further it departed from the pacifism of the first centuries of Christianity, the more militant the rhetoric of the Church became. But the tragic events of the twentieth century posed questions…

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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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The Liturgical Consent to War
Religion and Conflict

The Liturgical Consent to War

by A. Edward Siecienski In a famous scene from A Man for All Seasons, Thomas More defended his silence on the Act of Supremacy by citing a maxim of the law, “Qui tacet consentire videtur” (Silence betokens consent). His argument was that by saying nothing, the court must assume he agreed with the Act regardless…

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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…

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When Putin Takes Revenge on His Own History
Religion and Politics

When Putin Takes Revenge on His Own History

by Assaad Elias Kattan | български | ქართული | Русский A Greek version of this text is available at Polymeros kai Polytropos, the blog of the Volos Academy for Theological Studies At the time of writing, the tsar’s fighter jets are pounding the gorgeous Kyiv, and air raid sirens are echoing everywhere. “Who has believed…

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The Worst of All Curses
Religion and Conflict

The Worst of All Curses

by Irina Paert | български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски One night terror I experienced during my childhood included bombers flying over the roof of our fifteenth-floor apartment in Moscow. No wonder, as every evening the news reported heavily on the enemy’s military build-up. At the time I could not…

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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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An Orthodox Christian Standing with Ukraine<span class='secondary-title'>Personal Reflections on Russia’s War on Ukraine</span>
Religion and Politics

An Orthodox Christian Standing with UkrainePersonal Reflections on Russia’s War on Ukraine

by Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis | български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски Few, if any, would go so far as to claim that Patriarch Kirill, as head of the Orthodox Church in Russia (or “the Russias,” as he likes to say), could be charged with crimes against humanity or war crimes…

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Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin’s Two Wars
Ethics, Religion and Conflict

Patriarch Kirill and Vladimir Putin’s Two Wars

by Sergei Chapnin | български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски It’s hard to talk. It’s hard to think. It’s very hard to pray. It’s a shock. And it’s scary to realize that I was wrong not to believe there would be a war. No, I did not believe it at…

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Patriotism in Wartime: Nikolai of Japan and the Kingdoms of this World
Religion and Politics, Theology

Patriotism in Wartime: Nikolai of Japan and the Kingdoms of this World

In a diary entry on Christmas Eve 1904, Bishop Nikolai of Japan expresses his deep sorrow over Russian losses in the ongoing Russo-Japanese War.  Nikolai remained in Tokyo during the war at the request of the Japanese Orthodox congregation he had served for more than four decades.  His suffering was all the more difficult because…

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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