"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, July 25, 2022

Orthodox Theology and the Politics of Transition

Since Russia invaded Ukraine, I have been moderately surprised at the level of commentary in the Western media about the role Orthodoxy plays in both countries. I suspect we will see a spate of new books on this intersection of theology, culture, and war. Indeed, we are already seeing some, as in this new book: Orthodox Christianity and the Politics of Transition by Tornike Metreveli (Routledge, 2022), 196pp. 

About this new book the publisher tells us this:

This book discusses in detail how Orthodox Christianity was involved in and influenced political transition in Ukraine, Serbia, and Georgia after the collapse of communism. Based on original research, including extensive interviews with clergy and parishioners as well as historical, legal, and policy analysis, the book argues that the nature of the involvement of churches in post-communist politics depended on whether the interests of the church (for example, in education, the legal system or economic activity) were accommodated or threatened: if accommodated, churches confined themselves to the sacred domain; if threatened, they engaged in daily politics. If churches competed with each other for organizational interests, they evoked the support of nationalism while remaining within the religious domain.

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