Essays on Ecumenism
Tertullian's question, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?‚" best sums up the challenging discussion of faith and culture. This discussion has been of particular concern to Orthodox Christianity, especially in contemporary North America, but also in history. Four Essays contained in this volume examine historical and contemporary aspects of the issue.
Speros Vryonis points out that the topic was "one of the burning issues in the early church‚" and he explores this topic in Basil the Great's famous "Address to Youth.‚" Sir Dimitri Obolensky examines the issue of how Orthodox faith was incorporated into the cultural milieu of Russia once Orthodoxy was adopted from Byzantium by the Slavic people.
A first contemporary challenges of faith and culture is discussed by V. Rev. Leonidas Contos, who examines the task of translating Greek liturgical texts into modern English, in a manner which retains their theological content and poetic language. The second is presented by Eva Catafygiotu Topping, who argues that the status of women in the Orthodox Church was culturally determined, thus should be theologically challenged and ultimately changed to reflect the dignity of women. Each of the presentations remains relevant in the life of the Orthodox Church.
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