Voices from Russia

Sunday, 26 November 2017

26 November 2017. My Thoughts on “Mere Orthodoxy”


Of course, Orthodoxy is “cultural”… that’s far more natural than the made-up fantasies of American converts. “Orthodoxy” is generic, like “human”… but all humans are Russian, Chinese, Arabs, et al. If you don’t have both the generic and the specific, you can’t have substance and actuality (you’d be nothing but a golem… a lifeless and soulless artifice). Having said that, the Russian Local Church IS the largest Local Church; Moscow is the Centre of contemporary Orthodox life. Is it perfect? NO. Are we flawless? NO. However, the Russian Church is (by far) the largest cohort in the Church, so, unsurprisingly, we have the most influence. That isn’t being the “boss of the church”. If you want the best Orthodox graduate theological education, you come to Moscow… not because we’re Russian, but because Russia has the resources (human, intellectual, financial, and historical) to run a top-flight institution. Here in diaspora Orthodoxy, we lack a great deal… money, numbers, historical longevity, and institutional depth. That’s not “bossiness”… it’s merely reality. To sum up, one can, indeed, be Russian, Greek, Serbian, or Antiochian Orthodox, but to be “merely Orthodox” isn’t only impossible, but monstrous and appalling.


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