Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Orthodox Ecclesiology: Scope and Purpose

τωι Aναγνώστηι Λεωνίδας
χαίρε εν Κυρίωι και Σωτήρι Χριστώι Ιησού


This Blog site is intended to serve as forum for serious intellectual discussion on matters that regard Orthodox Christian ecclesiology. Orthodox ecclesiology, succinctly defined, is the theology of the Church's existence as the Body of Christ. It is the Church's reflection on its own being and identifying characteristics. In the Orthodox Church, ecclesiology is inextricably tied to the entire edifice of its theology insofar as it is precisely in the Church that theology--discourse on the divine--is possible. As Fr. Justin Popovich described:

"The whole mystery of the Christian faith is found in the Church; the whole mystery of the Church is in the God-Man; the whole mystery of the God-Man lies in the fact that that God became flesh and brought his entire Godhead, with all His divine values and perfection, with all the mysteries of God, into that flesh. The entire Gospel of the Theanthropos, the Lord Christ, is condensed into a few words, into this Good News: Great is the mystery of true religion, God was manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16)" (The Orthodox Church and Ecumenism, 3)

Indeed, the entire life of the Church as the theanrthopic Body of Christ lies in this truth. It is in the Church that humanity is united to divinity, since it is the body of Christ that was raised to the right hand of the Father. It is in the Church that the Holy Spirit breathes His uncreated gifts, manifesting the Son and uniting man to Him, since it was Christ the Word that sent the Spirit which proceeds from the Father to His disciples. And it is to the Church that all of humanity is called, summoned to freely participate in the life of God as He partakes in humanity's.

Thus, in Orthodoxy, the Church is not merely a socio-temporal community, since it is the unity of humanity; it is not merely an institution, since it is not limited to its administrative structures and hierarchies; it is not a cultural artifact, but a mode of life, a mode of thought, a mode of being that is ineffibly interpenetrated by the life uncreated Godhead.

87 Comments:

Blogger Daniel Larison said...

Leonidas, it's good to see the blog is fully up and running now. I haven't anything very compelling to add to your post at the moment, but I did want to congratulate you and welcome you to the strange world of blogging. There is a post over at Eunomia introducing you to my readers, so I hope some of them come and see what you have to say.

Your point that the Church is not a cultural artifact is well-taken. But what do you understand to be the proper relationship between the cultural artifacts produced by a society imbued with Orthodoxy and the life of the Church? Would you distinguish, and if so how, between Tradition and all cultural traditions or only some? Are there some cultural traditions that serve as bearers of Church Tradition through inherited customary praxis?

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Blogger Isaac said...

I really like your intro article. As an Orthodox Christian, I have really been beset of late with questions of ecclesiology... specifically when is one really outside the Church? When is schism really schism.. does it wait for the application of an anathema? This whole area of theology is fascinating, and I would like to see more written on it, specifically from the point of view of the canonical consciousness of the Church. Do you know anywhere I could get ahold of an english version of the Rudder?

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8:41 PM  
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12:56 AM  
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10:49 AM  
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............................................................

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7:32 PM  
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11:01 AM  
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8:38 PM  
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10:41 PM  
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5:22 PM  
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8:31 PM  
Blogger 蕙王帆蕙王帆蕙王帆 said...

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7:51 PM  
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9:10 PM  
Blogger 家唐銘 said...

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11:37 PM  
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8:42 PM  
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10:15 PM  
Blogger 雅佳謙筑 said...

Cast not the first stone. ............................................................

8:07 AM  
Blogger 黃子黃麗旺軒 said...

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11:02 AM  
Blogger por said...

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12:38 AM  
Blogger 蕭林馥賢琬婷 said...

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1:29 PM  
Blogger 麗王王珠 said...

君子立恆志,小人恆立志。................. ................................................

8:54 AM  
Blogger 8468 said...

No pains, no gains.......................................................................

7:26 PM  
Blogger 文滢 said...

時時關心,時時感動。..................................................

8:58 AM  
Blogger 惠奇 said...

Quality is better than quantity...................................................................

10:27 PM  
Blogger 瑰潼 said...

多謝美味的心靈雞湯......................................................

10:27 PM  
Blogger 翊翊翊翊張瑜翊翊翊 said...

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8:55 PM  
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3:42 AM  

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