"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Monday, November 18, 2013

Globalized Orthodoxy

Part of the reason I started this blog more than three years ago now is encapsulated in the synopsis of this forthcoming book (by an author whose earlier foray into the area I reviewed here): Victor Roudometof, Globalization and Orthodox Christianity: The Transformations of a Religious Tradition (Routledge, 2013), 228pp.

As the publisher notes, Orthodoxy has not been well studied notwithstanding its size, though, happily, this has begun rapidly to change over the last two decades as major publishers like Routledge (as well as Oxford, Cambridge, Wiley-Blackwell, Eerdmans, and many others noted on here) have begun commissioning and publishing scholarly works treating all aspects of the Christian East, including its confrontations with modernity and the ways in which Orthodoxy changes or does not change when confronted with various developments in the world today.

About this book we are told:
With approximately 200 to 300 million adherents worldwide, Orthodox Christianity is among the largest branches of Christianity, yet it remains relatively understudied. This book examines the rich and complex entanglements between Orthodox Christianity and globalization, offering a substantive contribution to the relationship between religion and globalization, as well as the relationship between Orthodox Christianity and the sociology of religion – and more broadly, the interdisciplinary field of Religious Studies.
While deeply engaged with history, this book does not simply narrate the history of Orthodox Christianity as a world religion, nor does it address theological issues or cover all the individual trajectories of each subgroup or subdivision of the faith. Orthodox Christianity is the object of the analysis, but author Victor Roudometof speaks to a broader audience interested in culture, religion, and globalization. Roudometof argues in favor of using globalization instead of modernization as the main theoretical vehicle for analyzing religion, displacing secularization in order to argue for multiple hybridizations of religion as a suitable strategy for analyzing religious phenomena. It offers Orthodox Christianity as a test case that illustrates the presence of historically specific but theoretically distinct glocalizations, applicable to all faiths.
We are also given the table of contents:
1.Globalization and Orthodox Christianity: Preliminary Considerations 2. The Fragmentation of Christianity 3. From Christian Orthodoxy to Orthodox Christianity 4. Transitions to Modernity 5. Nationalism and the Orthodox Church: The Modern Synthesis 6. Colonialism and Ethnarchy: The Case of Cyprus 7.Orthodox Christianity as a Transnational Religion 8. Territoriality, Globality and Orthodoxy 9. Religion and Globalization: Orthodox Christianity Across the Ages

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