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


Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The Russian Church in Modernity

It is always a happy day when a publisher sends me their catalogue of new and forthcoming books, and Columbia University Press did so on the weekend last. In it I spy several things of interest, including The Russian Orthodox Church and Modernity: A Historical and Theological Investigation into Eastern Christianity between Unity and Plurality (Ibidem Press, Dec. 2021), 440pp. 

About this book the publisher tells us this:

The Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) faced various iterations of modernization throughout its history. This conflicted encounter continues in the ROC’s current resistance against―what it perceives as―Western modernity including liberal and secular values. This study examines the historical development of the ROC’s arguments against―and sometimes preferences for―modernization and analyzes which positions ended up influencing the official doctrine. The book’s systematic analysis of dogmatic treatises shows the ROC’s considerable ability of constructive engagement with various aspects of the modern world. Balancing between theological traditions of unity and plurality, the ROC’s today context of operating within an authoritarian state appears to tip the scale in favor of unity.

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