"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, October 1, 2018

Political Orthodoxies

When I interviewed Nicholas Denysenko recently, part of our discussion centred on the role of political theologies in shaping, and often deforming, contemporary Orthodoxy in Eastern Europe. One of the perennial questions, especially in Russia, is the extent to which the Church and state should be intermingled. That question and others will be addressed in a new book by the Orthodox scholar Cyril Hovorun, whom I have interviewed in the past, and hope to do so again for this new book whose timeliness could not be better in this season of Russian war (not only militarily but also theologically) against Ukraine, and virtual war between Moscow and Constantinople over Ukraine: Political Orthodoxies: the Unorthodoxies of the Church Coerced (Fortress Press, 2018), 224pp.

About this book the publisher tells us the following:

As an insider to church politics and a scholar of contemporary Orthodoxy, Cyril Hovorun outlines forms of political orthodoxy in Orthodox churches, past and present.

Hovorun draws a big picture of religion being politicized and even weaponized. While Political Orthodoxies assesses phenomena such as nationalism and anti-Semitism, both widely associated with Eastern Christianity, Hovorun focuses on the theological underpinnings of the culture wars waged in eastern and southern Europe. The issues in these wars include monarchy and democracy, Orientalism and Occidentalism, canonical territory, and autocephaly. Wrought with peril, Orthodox culture wars have proven to turn toward bloody conflict, such as in Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014.
Accordingly, this book explains the aggressive behavior of Russia toward its neighbors and the West from a religious standpoint. The spiritual revival of Orthodoxy after the collapse of Communism made the Orthodox church in Russia, among other things, an influential political protagonist, which in some cases goes ahead of the Kremlin. Following his identification and analysis, Hovorun suggests ways to bring political Orthodoxy back to the apostolic and patristic track.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Anonymous comments are never approved. Use your real name and say something intelligent.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...