"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).

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

The Greek Orthodox Church in America

It's striking to see what apparently is a new imprint from Cornell University Press ("NIU Series in Orthodox Christian Studies"). It will release a volume in this series next June when it publishes The Greek Orthodox Church in America: A Modern History  by Alexander Kitroeff (2020), 324pp.

About this book we are told the following by the publisher:
In this deep history, Alexander Kitroeff shows how the Greek Orthodox Church in America has functioned as much more than a religious institution, becoming the focal point in the lives of the country's million-plus Greek immigrants and their descendants.
Assuming the responsibility of running day- and afternoon Greek-language schools and encouraging local parishes to engage in cultural and social activities, the Church became the most important Greek American institution and shaped the identity of the Greeks in the United States. The Orthodox Church did this by successfully balancing between the need to retain Old World traditions at the core of Orthodox Christianity while adapting to the American environment and to address the spiritual and secular needs of the younger generations steadily integrating into American society.
Kitroeff digs into these traditions, highlighting the American Church's dependency on the "mother church," the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Constantinople and the use of the Greek language in the Sunday liturgy. For several decades in the post-WWII era the Church reconciled its Old-World ties with the Americanization of the faithful, most significantly and controversially permitting the use of English in the liturgy. When, at the end of the twentieth century, the process of assimilation progressed to the extent of raising the possibility of the Church merging into a supra-ethnic American Orthodox Church the Patriarchate in Constantinople expressed strong disapproval. But today, as this rich biography of the Church shows us, Greek Orthodoxy remains in between the Old World and the New, both Greek and American.

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...