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Author Topic: Eastern Orthodox Christianity  (Read 11148 times)

Demophon

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Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« on: September 03, 2015, 06:03:41 pm »
I don't really have specific questions or a direction in which I want this thread to go, I was just curious whether people have a background or other experiences in the Orthodox Church (whether it be Greek, Russian, etc.), and if they would be open to sharing those experiences. It seems like a beautiful tradition, highly ceremonial, with lots of incense, the kissing of icons, bowing down on the floor, and so on. The deep reverence of the Eastern Orthodox traditions are very moving.

Most of my experience with Christianity is with Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, but I think there is some overlap. High Church Anglicans consider the Church of England to be one of the three branches of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church along with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, though whether they other two accept this is another matter. I have actually found that Orthodox Christians and Anglicans get along rather well, as both Churches consider themselves non-papal Catholics. I think there have been efforts to cultivate closer relationships between the Roman, Anglican, and Eastern Churches, though since the Anglicans have started ordaining women into the priesthood, the RC and Orthodox don't know what to make of them. I have seen "high" Anglican churches who use Orthodox icons, which are quite beautiful, not to mention less controversial for "low" Anglicans who are more Protestant-leaning than statues often found in Anglican churches of Anglo-Catholic churchmanship.

The Eastern Orthodox Church seems to have high reverence the Virgin Mary, referred to as the Theotokos, the God-bearer, although I'm not sure if there is the same Cult of Mary as there is in the Roman Catholic Church. Their Mariology is slightly different, as in the Roman Catholic Church, there is the Feast of the Assumption, which celebrates Mary's bodily assumption into heaven at the end of her earthly life. The same Feast is called the Dormition, or the Falling Asleep, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which she is not bodily assumed into heaven. Roman Catholics unofficially almost put Holy Mary on the same level as Jesus as Co-Redemptrix, but I don't think the Orthodox view of Mary is that extreme.

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2015, 02:56:53 am »
Quote from: Demophon;179518
I don't really have specific questions or a direction in which I want this thread to go, I was just curious whether people have a background or other experiences in the Orthodox Church (whether it be Greek, Russian, etc.), and if they would be open to sharing those experiences. It seems like a beautiful tradition, highly ceremonial, with lots of incense, the kissing of icons, bowing down on the floor, and so on. The deep reverence of the Eastern Orthodox traditions are very moving.


I was received into the Orthodox Church back in 2012. I believe we have another convert on TC, as well as a couple of people who, being native Greeks, were raised Orthodox. Anyone else, this is the time to delurk!

Quote
Most of my experience with Christianity is with Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, but I think there is some overlap. High Church Anglicans consider the Church of England to be one of the three branches of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church along with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, though whether they other two accept this is another matter. I have actually found that Orthodox Christians and Anglicans get along rather well, as both Churches consider themselves non-papal Catholics. I think there have been efforts to cultivate closer relationships between the Roman, Anglican, and Eastern Churches, though since the Anglicans have started ordaining women into the priesthood, the RC and Orthodox don't know what to make of them. I have seen "high" Anglican churches who use Orthodox icons, which are quite beautiful, not to mention less controversial for "low" Anglicans who are more Protestant-leaning than statues often found in Anglican churches of Anglo-Catholic churchmanship.


The differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches go a lot deeper than the pope. I find the Anglicans' efforts to distinguish themselves from other Protestants and style themselves as a fourth branch rather pathetic, actually; but that was my beef with the CofE that drove me out to start with: forever trying to straddle conflicting situations and falling between two stools in the process.

Orthodox religious art is appreciated by Anglicans in general, at least in Britain, though I doubt many of them bother to (attempt to) understand it. It's another of those 'not statues but not blank whitewashed walls either' things. Funny thing is that modern Catholic churches are getting more and more bare, just like High Church Anglican congregations are more and more scarce.

The attitude of the Orthodox towards Anglicans, before or after female clergy and gay marriage is 'they are outside the Church; if they want back in, they know where to find us'.

Quote
The Eastern Orthodox Church seems to have high reverence the Virgin Mary, referred to as the Theotokos, the God-bearer, although I'm not sure if there is the same Cult of Mary as there is in the Roman Catholic Church. Their Mariology is slightly different, as in the Roman Catholic Church, there is the Feast of the Assumption, which celebrates Mary's bodily assumption into heaven at the end of her earthly life. The same Feast is called the Dormition, or the Falling Asleep, of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in which she is not bodily assumed into heaven. Roman Catholics unofficially almost put Holy Mary on the same level as Jesus as Co-Redemptrix, but I don't think the Orthodox view of Mary is that extreme.


Despite the great honour and reverence that the Orthodox have for the Mother of God (and some quite hyperbolic language in the hymnography dedicated to her), they view her quite differently from the Catholics. She is definitely not Co-Redemptrix - she is the gateway towards the redemption that is her Son (the most common type of icon depicting her is the Hodegetria, She Who Shows the Way). We do not accept the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and emphasise the fact that she died, like any other human (Dormition) before being taken into heaven (Assumption).
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RecycledBenedict

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2015, 08:37:26 am »
Quote from: Demophon;179518
I was just curious whether people have a background or other experiences in the Orthodox Church (whether it be Greek, Russian, etc.), and if they would be open to sharing those experiences.

I have studied it and visited it. The nationalistic abuse of the Orthodox tradition, by Russian politicians in particular, scares me, but Orthodox art, theology and mysticism are very honourable. In a sense, Platonism survived within the walls of the Orthodox Church in the doctrine of theosis: Divinisation as the goal of human existence.

Quote from: Demophon;179518
It seems like a beautiful tradition, highly ceremonial, with lots of incense, the kissing of icons, bowing down on the floor, and so on. The deep reverence of the Eastern Orthodox traditions are very moving.

Yes, I agree.

Quote from: Demophon;179518
Most of my experience with Christianity is with Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism, but I think there is some overlap. High Church Anglicans consider the Church of England to be one of the three branches of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church along with Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy, though whether they other two accept this is another matter.

High Church Lutherans consider themselves to be a part of the same third branch as the High Church Anglicans (The Porvoo Communion), but the Orthodox does not agree with any of this. For Orthodox theologians, the Orthodox Church is The Church, and Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Protestants are all outside The Church. Other Christians are welcome back, so Orthodox theologians politely and friendly participate in ecumenical dialogue.

Quote from: Demophon;179518
I have actually found that Orthodox Christians and Anglicans get along rather well, as both Churches consider themselves non-papal Catholics.

The degree of friendliness between Orthodox Christians and Anglican Christians vary between different Orthodox churches. The Orthodox Church is a sacramental federation, not a juridical hierarchy like the Roman Catholic Church, so each member church within the Orthodox Church is able to act in a slightly different way than some other member churches.

The Patriarch of Constantinople, the Patriarch of Antioch, the Romanian Orthodox Church, and the Russian Orthodox jurisdiction under Constantinople (not Moscow) with centre in Paris (since the revolution) have all participated in dialogue with Anglicans, and nurture friendly ties with Anglicans.

The Patriarch of Jerusalem, the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow) and the Serbian Orthodox Church have a colder approach to Anglicans and ecumenism.

Some Anglicans believe that Anglican orders were deemed valid by Orthodox representatives in the early 20th century, but what actually happened was that the ecumenically inclined Orthodox theologians (but not the ecumenism-wary tehologians) found it possible that Anglican clergy will not need to re-ordain at the hypothetical event of a reunion of Anglican churches into the Orthodox Church: The schismatical ordinations of Anglicans, though unvalid as long as Anglicans remain outside the Orthodox Church, would be retroactively made valid by a reunion.

Quote from: Demophon;179518
I have seen "high" Anglican churches who use Orthodox icons, which are quite beautiful, not to mention less controversial for "low" Anglicans who are more Protestant-leaning than statues often found in Anglican churches of Anglo-Catholic churchmanship.

This is also true about High Church Lutherans and Liberal Lutherans, at least since the 1970's. Lutheran diocesan education centres and Pilgrimage centres gives courses in Byzantine icon-painting, and in Lutheran churches built since the early 1970's Byzantine icons are rather frequently occurring. In traditional Lutheranism, the christology of St. John of Damascus is very prevalent. The same christology is, since the late 8th century, the basis of Orthodox theology about icons. There is a latent potential within Lutheranism to draw nearer to Orthodox theology in this regard, but no Lutheran theoogian has taken the chance yet, which I find inconsistent.

Quote from: Demophon;179518
The Eastern Orthodox Church seems to have high reverence the Virgin Mary, referred to as the Theotokos, the God-bearer, although I'm not sure if there is the same Cult of Mary as there is in the Roman Catholic Church. Their Mariology is slightly different,

Yes it is. The Roman Catholic theology on the Immaculate Conception is treated with deep suspicion from the Orthodox side, and the details regarding the Dormition of Mary are left to the conscience of each faithful (since it is not a dogma treated by the Nicene Creed or the seven ecumenical councils). It is a part of the Orthodox mindset to revere the distinction between the death of Mary and her posthumous Assumption in traditional legends, but this is not a dogma in the juridical Roman Catholic sense, and the ability of each Orthodox faithful to enter into and embrace this mindset varies.

Just as the other saints and as the Church on earth, Mary prays for everyone, according to Orthodoxy, but that is a statement Orthodox Christians, Roman Catholics and many Anglicans and Lutherans are able to agree about (Some Lutheran hymns invoke the intercession of Mary, although in a subdued way, because of perceived abuses in the past, and the Apology of the Augsburg Confession agrees that Mary is an intercessor, although not of the same kind as Christ).

Quote from: Demophon;179518
Roman Catholics unofficially almost put Holy Mary on the same level as Jesus as Co-Redemptrix, but I don't think the Orthodox view of Mary is that extreme.

You have to stress unofficially here. Even within the Roman Catholic Church the matter of Mary as Co-Redemptrix is a matter of disagreement. The self-proclaimed Traditionalists press for a dogmaticization (I am not sure about this word in English) of the idea, while many other wings of the Roman Catholic Church believe that it is either unorthodox or an open question, not suitable to make into a dogma.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 08:39:45 am by RecycledBenedict »

Demophon

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2015, 08:55:08 am »
Quote from: Chatelaine;179559
The differences between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches go a lot deeper than the pope. I find the Anglicans' efforts to distinguish themselves from other Protestants and style themselves as a fourth branch rather pathetic, actually; but that was my beef with the CofE that drove me out to start with: forever trying to straddle conflicting situations and falling between two stools in the process.

Orthodox religious art is appreciated by Anglicans in general, at least in Britain, though I doubt many of them bother to (attempt to) understand it. It's another of those 'not statues but not blank whitewashed walls either' things. Funny thing is that modern Catholic churches are getting more and more bare, just like High Church Anglican congregations are more and more scarce.

The attitude of the Orthodox towards Anglicans, before or after female clergy and gay marriage is 'they are outside the Church; if they want back in, they know where to find us'.


I do agree with you about the Anglican Church, it's very frustrating the way it is so broad that they try to please everybody and end up with a lack of their own real identity. I attend an Anglo-Catholic church myself (despite not being a very good Christian lol), and I guess I have settled there because I find Catholic and Orthodox Churches too rigid when it comes to issues such as abortion and homosexuality. An advantage of the broadness of Anglicanism is that at least it's pretty inclusive and flexible when it comes to how these issues are dealt with. I came from more of a Roman Catholic background, and it does get irritating the way Anglicans adopt Catholic traditions on a surface level without much understanding of them. Hostility to the Roman Church in England may be a reason why some High Church Anglicans have turned to Orthodox traditions instead.

I have thought of going back to the Catholic Church when the Anglicans get on my nerves, and there is an RC church I attend sometimes, but honestly the liturgy and the music is pretty underwhelming after coming from an Anglo-Catholic parish, where there is reverence, incense, and beautiful music. I took a Catechism class with an Ordinariate parish (which is made up of former Anglicans who have come into communion with the Roman Catholic Church while keeping some of their Anglican traditions), and while their liturgy is incredible, their views when it came to the ladies and gays were too much for me, as people drawn to that kind of parish tend to be extremely conservative, and I found they go a bit overboard when it comes to trying to be good Roman Catholics. Maybe the Orthodox Church would be a better alternative if I'm looking for beautiful, reverent liturgy and a Church with more authentic catholicity. How does one investigate getting involved the Orthodox Church? Are non-Orthodox allowed at services, just not allowed to take communion?

Quote from: Chatelaine;179559
Despite the great honour and reverence that the Orthodox have for the Mother of God (and some quite hyperbolic language in the hymnography dedicated to her), they view her quite differently from the Catholics. She is definitely not Co-Redemptrix - she is the gateway towards the redemption that is her Son (the most common type of icon depicting her is the Hodegetria, She Who Shows the Way). We do not accept the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception, and emphasise the fact that she died, like any other human (Dormition) before being taken into heaven (Assumption).

 
Thanks, that's very interesting. Are there prayers and devotions to her in the Orthodox Church like the Catholic Church has the Ave Maria (Hail Mary), Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen), and the Rosary devotion? Admittedly the Catholic devotion to Holy Mary is one of my favourite aspects of Christianity.

Quote from: FraterBenedict;179568
The nationalistic abuse of the Orthodox tradition, by Russian politicians in particular, scares me, but Orthodox art, theology and mysticism are very honourable.


I can imagine it's similar in the Greek Orthodox tradition, as modern Greek culture tends to also be very nationalistic. I guess that's the problem with national state Churches.

Quote from: FraterBenedict;179568
For Orthodox theologians, the Orthodox Church is The Church, and Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Lutherans, and Protestants are all outside The Church. Other Christians are welcome back, so Orthodox theologians politely and friendly participate in ecumenical dialogue.


That's one of the more unattractive qualities of Churches like that, their belief that their Church is the only true Church. I understand it in some ways, but again what I like about Anglicanism is that it is inclusive and recognizes the sacraments of other denominations as valid. The divisiveness of Churches who think their tradition is the only valid one is tiresome.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2015, 10:17:09 am »
Quote from: Demophon;179569
I do agree with you about the Anglican Church, it's very frustrating the way it is so broad that they try to please everybody and end up with a lack of their own real identity.


I have very positive experiences from Anglican/Episcopal milieus, but I am afraid of Evangelical Anglicanism of the sort prevalent in South Sudan, Uganda, Nigeria and Sydney. It is very different from Anglo-Catholicism and Broadchurch Anglicanism.

Quote from: Demophon;179569
I attend an Anglo-Catholic church myself (despite not being a very good Christian lol), and I guess I have settled there because I find Catholic and Orthodox Churches too rigid when it comes to issues such as abortion and homosexuality.


I would have done so myself, if I had been able to believe in the resurrection of Christ (or practiced Buddhism if not the aggressiveness of Buddhists had brought the claims of Buddhism's effectiveness in disrepute). Since I am not able to do so, I go for pagan Platonism instead.

Quote from: Demophon;179569
Hostility to the Roman Church in England may be a reason why some High Church Anglicans have turned to Orthodox traditions instead.


I'm not sure about that. Some High Church Anglicans in England ostentatively used The English Missal from 1912 until 1970, and used the new Roman Missal from 1970 onwards instead of Book of Common Prayer. Particular segments of High Church Anglicanism have certainly not been afraid of Roman Catholic practices.

Quote from: Demophon;179569
Maybe the Orthodox Church would be a better alternative if I'm looking for beautiful, reverent liturgy and a Church with more authentic catholicity. How does one investigate getting involved the Orthodox Church? Are non-Orthodox allowed at services, just not allowed to take communion?


Orthodox services are open for anyone, and just as you write, you will not be allowed to receive holy communion until a chrismated Orthodox Christian.

Quote from: Demophon;179569
Thanks, that's very interesting. Are there prayers and devotions to her in the Orthodox Church like the Catholic Church has the Ave Maria (Hail Mary), Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen), and the Rosary devotion? Admittedly the Catholic devotion to Holy Mary is one of my favourite aspects of Christianity.


The Eastern Orthodox version of Ave Maria goes:
Quote
Mother of God and Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast given birth to the Saviour of our souls.


But is is less popular within the Orthodox churches than its Western equivalent is in the Western churches. Other invokations to Mary are popular within the Orthodox churches.

Salve regina is a work by Peter of Compostella shortly before year 1000 CE, and is thus a Western composition, but Eastern ecclesiastical poets have produced similar pieces of high quality liturgical poetry. The Byzantine poetic genres are called troparia, kontakia and heirmoi, of which troparia and kontakia are used more frequently (Heirmoi belong to the Matins). Some troparia are sung or read daily, while other belongs to particular festival days.

Again: The rosary is a Western invention of the high middle ages, centuries after the great schism between the Orthodox Church and the West. A not very widespread devotion, which is similar to the rosary, was practiced and propagated by St. Seraphim of Sarov (1754-1833). Considerably more popular is the use of a prayer rope while reciting the Jesus Prayer: 'Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.'

Quote from: Demophon;179569
I can imagine it's similar in the Greek Orthodox tradition, as modern Greek culture tends to also be very nationalistic. I guess that's the problem with national state Churches.


You might say so: Just look how English Defence League use St. George and his flag, and how Remembrance Day sometimes bring unpleasant sentiments up (although the English bishops tries to bridle those tendencies, by praying for the fallen on every side of past conflicts). Here in Sweden the right wing extremists Sverigedemokraterna are trying to hijack Lutheranism for their purposes, although Church of Sweden was disestablished in year 2000. The hijacking doesn't go very well for them, since the C of S establishment is of quite Libral sensitivities - the lesbian bishop of Stockholm, for instance.

Demophon

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2015, 01:59:21 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;179572
I'm not sure about that. Some High Church Anglicans in England ostentatively used The English Missal from 1912 until 1970, and used the new Roman Missal from 1970 onwards instead of Book of Common Prayer. Particular segments of High Church Anglicanism have certainly not been afraid of Roman Catholic practices.

 
Oh, you're right, many Anglo-Catholics in particular are very into Roman Catholic practices, and use them quite extensively. I just mean that I'm sure there are High Anglicans who are hostile to Rome, and lean more towards Orthodox traditions for that reason. Anti-Catholicism is much more common in Low Church Anglicanism, though.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2015, 02:34:13 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;179595
Oh, you're right, many Anglo-Catholics in particular are very into Roman Catholic practices, and use them quite extensively. I just mean that I'm sure there are High Anglicans who are hostile to Rome, and lean more towards Orthodox traditions for that reason. Anti-Catholicism is much more common in Low Church Anglicanism, though.

Oh, yes, you are right about this.

Since the days of Richard Hooker in the 1590's, Anglicans have been much into the Church Fathers, in a way similar to the patristic theology of the Eastern Orthodox churches. The old Anglican highchurchmen of the 17th and 18th centuries were theologically considerably more close to Eastern Orthodoxy than to either Roman Catholicism or Mainland Protestantism. It is a very noticeable feature in the works of Herbert Thorndike (1598-1672), John Johnson (1672-1725), George Hickes (1642-1715), Jeremy Collier (1650-1726), Thomas Brett (1667-1743), Thomas Deacon (1697-1753), Thomas Rattray (1684-1743), William Falconer (1707-1784) and Robert Forbes (1708-1775).

The theological reflection of these writers caused the Scottish Episcopal Church and the American Episcopal Church to, in the 18th century, adopt forms for the Eucharist which contains epiclesises (invocation of the Holy Spirit) over the communion bread and the chalice in a similar way to the Eastern Orthodox liturgies. It is also alleged that Lancelot Andrewes of Winchester (1555-1626) and Thomas Wilson of Sodor and Man (1663-1755) prayed the Epiclesis silently when they used the (epiclesis-lacking) English Book of Common Prayer.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 02:37:02 pm by RecycledBenedict »

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2015, 02:57:44 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;179569
Thanks, that's very interesting. Are there prayers and devotions to her in the Orthodox Church like the Catholic Church has the Ave Maria (Hail Mary), Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen), and the Rosary devotion? Admittedly the Catholic devotion to Holy Mary is one of my favourite aspects of Christianity.


There's the aforementioned Rule of the Mother of God, but it's not widely practised, or even known. I suspect that congregations that were received from Byzantine Catholicism, like the ACROD, are more familiar with such devotions.

The rest of us have the Akathist Hymn, which is sung on the first five Fridays of Great Lent, as well as the Small and Great Supplicatory Canon.

Why yes, we are long-winded, why do you ask? :D:
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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2015, 02:54:10 pm »
Quote from: Chatelaine;179598
There's the aforementioned Rule of the Mother of God, but it's not widely practised, or even known. I suspect that congregations that were received from Byzantine Catholicism, like the ACROD, are more familiar with such devotions.

The rest of us have the Akathist Hymn, which is sung on the first five Fridays of Great Lent, as well as the Small and Great Supplicatory Canon.

Why yes, we are long-winded, why do you ask? :D:


Hehe very nice, thanks for sharing!
 
Quote from: FraterBenedict;179596
Oh, yes, you are right about this.

Since the days of Richard Hooker in the 1590's, Anglicans have been much into the Church Fathers, in a way similar to the patristic theology of the Eastern Orthodox churches. The old Anglican highchurchmen of the 17th and 18th centuries were theologically considerably more close to Eastern Orthodoxy than to either Roman Catholicism or Mainland Protestantism. It is a very noticeable feature in the works of Herbert Thorndike (1598-1672), John Johnson (1672-1725), George Hickes (1642-1715), Jeremy Collier (1650-1726), Thomas Brett (1667-1743), Thomas Deacon (1697-1753), Thomas Rattray (1684-1743), William Falconer (1707-1784) and Robert Forbes (1708-1775).

The theological reflection of these writers caused the Scottish Episcopal Church and the American Episcopal Church to, in the 18th century, adopt forms for the Eucharist which contains epiclesises (invocation of the Holy Spirit) over the communion bread and the chalice in a similar way to the Eastern Orthodox liturgies. It is also alleged that Lancelot Andrewes of Winchester (1555-1626) and Thomas Wilson of Sodor and Man (1663-1755) prayed the Epiclesis silently when they used the (epiclesis-lacking) English Book of Common Prayer.


Interesting, I didn't know that about Anglican high churchmen post-Hooker to be closer to Eastern Orthodox Churches. I'm actually a student at a high Anglican theological college, and I'm starting a course on the early church fathers this term. Most of my classmates are postulants for the priesthood, but for obvious reasons I don't think that's my calling ;).

Actually, this year my school is expanding to be an Eastern Orthodox seminary as well as an Anglican one, which makes a bit more sense to me since reading your post. The neighbouring low Anglican theological college has already started catering to Evangelical Protestants like Baptists and Pentacostals, so as the High Church alternative, we have to keep up by expanding to include the Eastern Orthodox. I think the Anglican Church is just too small to support two seminaries so close together, so they have to bring in students from other traditions. It just shows how broad Anglicanism is, which can be both good and bad. Differences can be divisive, but at least there is room for everybody.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2015, 07:20:51 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;179678
Interesting, I didn't know that about Anglican high churchmen post-Hooker to be closer to Eastern Orthodox Churches. I'm actually a student at a high Anglican theological college, and I'm starting a course on the early church fathers this term. Most of my classmates are postulants for the priesthood, but for obvious reasons I don't think that's my calling ;).


I didn't know that the Anglican Church in Canada (or is it 'of Canada', I never remember) has got two colleges with different churchmanships, but I am not that much surprised. Isn't there a third for the Broadchurch students who love Don Cupitt and John Shelby Spong as well?

The on-and-off affair of Anglicans/Episcopalians and the Eastern churches has gone on since the reformation, really.

The turncoat archbishop, Thomas Cranmer, besides decisions of a more Zwinglian nature, decided to translate a prayer from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, and put it close to the end of the Anglican Litany in 1544 (five years before the first edition of Book of Common Prayer. It then remained in all subsequent editions of the prayerbook in England (and in 1637 in Scotland). In 1662 the same prayer was moved to the end of Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer. I have no idea what happened to it when ACC adopted the Alternative Book, and if it is still there. It is the one that begin like this:

Quote
Almighty God, who hast given us at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee...


It is also possible to dissect the Cranmerian eucharistic prayer into segments borrowed from the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the old Roman Canon as it was used in Salisbury, and a handful of Mozarabic eucharistic prayers from medieval Spain. Some parts of it are Cranmer's own, though. The words are put in such manner, that several different theological positions may agree with that prayer. It was cut in pieces in 1552, but the Scots put the parts together again in 1637, a move not appreciated by the Presbyterian party within the Scottish church. It led to a war and, fifty years later, into a split between Church of Scotland (which is presbyterian) and Scottish Episcopal Church (which is Anglican, but doesn't use that word - it sounds like English and Scotsmen doesn't like that).

The Scottish Episcopalians were generally more focused on the Church Fathers and the Eastern Churches than the English Anglicans were.

It wasn't until the time of John Henry Newman that High Church Anglicans warmed up their view on Roman Catholic doctrine and devotions. Newman (while still an Anglican clergyman) wrote the (in)famous Tract Nr. 90, in which he demonstrated that the Thirty-nine Articles are so vaguely worded, that they even are combinable with the Council of Trent. Although Newman and his circle of friends and followers converted to the Roman Catholic Church, many of the remaining Anglican highchurchmen continued a more or less positive view on Roman Catholic liturgy and devotionals, and began to be called Anglo-Catholics.

Some of the Anglo-Catholics, however, were still wary of some details of the Roman Catholic ethos, and maintained the older, more patristic and East-ward Anglican legacy. To this current within Anglo-Catholicism did Charles Gore, Walter Frere (who wrote the epiclesis in the proposed 1928 edition of the English prayerbook), Percy Dearmer, John Albert Douglas and Claude Beaufort Moss belong.

RecycledBenedict

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2015, 07:33:54 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;179686
Some of the Anglo-Catholics, however, were still wary of some details of the Roman Catholic ethos, and maintained the older, more patristic and East-ward Anglican legacy. To this current within Anglo-Catholicism did Charles Gore, Walter Frere (who wrote the epiclesis in the proposed 1928 edition of the English prayerbook), Percy Dearmer, John Albert Douglas and Claude Beaufort Moss belong.


I might add that, with the possible exception of Fr. Douglas (about whom I doesn't know very much), all the aforementioned Anglo-Catholic clergymen refused to use The English Missal and The Anglican Missal, instead following the lawful Book of Common Prayer with some embellishments from the Salisbury Missal and the Eastern churches.

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2015, 08:19:23 pm »
Quote from: Demophon;179678
Interesting, I didn't know that about Anglican high churchmen post-Hooker to be closer to Eastern Orthodox Churches.


And just another thing: In the 1720's only two sorts of Anglicans prayed an Epiclesis  audibly over the eucharistic gifts (although the bishop of Sodor and Man did it inaudibly): The Scottish Episcopalians and the so-called non-jurors in England. Non-jurors were Anglicans outside Church of England, because they refused to swear allegiance to the House of Orange and the House of Hanover. Their political views are not interesting in this discussion, but what is interesting is that they studied the Church Fathers intensely, and advocated prayer for the departed, a restored eucharistic prayer with oblation and epiclesis, and, in some cases, the use of chrism at Confirmation. For a modern Anglican that doesn't seem strange, but, at the time, it clashed severely with both Broadchurch and Evangelical sensitivities, and all non-jurors were very highchurch Anglicans.

Church of England tried to restore the epiclesis in 1928, but was hindered to do so by Parliament. It wasn't earlier than 1980 when a restored eucharistic prayer was accepted in Church of England, at least on an official level.

Church of England was a latecomer in this regard within the Anglican Communion. The Scottish Episcopalians had restored the epiclesis first in 1637, then in the 1720's in the wee bookies, small and thin booklets with a restored eucharistic liturgy. A more fixed form was adopted by the Scottish bishops in 1764, edited in 1912 and 1929. Since episcopacy reached the Episcopalians in the US from Scotland rather than from England, the American order for Holy Communion in 1789/90 is closer to the Scottish one than to the English one, although not identical.
 
The Anglicans in Southern Africa adopted a eucharistic liturgi with epiclesis in 1929, in Sri Lanka in 1938, in Korea in 1938, in Zambia and Malawi about the same time, and in Japan 1959. An epiclesis over the communicants, but not the elements of bread and wine, was adopted by the Anglicans in Melanesia in the 1930's and in Canada 1962.

You have awakened the church historian inside me. This is refreshing, since lately I have been requested rather in the capacity of Buddhologist.

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2015, 11:29:39 pm »
Quote from: FraterBenedict;179686
I didn't know that the Anglican Church in Canada (or is it 'of Canada', I never remember) has got two colleges with different churchmanships, but I am not that much surprised. Isn't there a third for the Broadchurch students who love Don Cupitt and John Shelby Spong as well?

 
There are quite a lot more than three - the two Demophon refers to, if I've guessed correctly, are just two of the seven denominationally-affiliated colleges that make up a larger ecumenical theological school (the other colleges are three Catholic, one Presbyterian, and one United Church of Canada), which in turn is part of a very large general university in just one Canadian city.

What theology/ies might be available at the other dozen or so ACC-affiliated colleges elsewhere in Canada, I've no idea; Demophon might know, or if you're especially interested I could ask my brother (who recently received his ThD from the UCC college at the same school Demophon is referring to, so he knows more than I do about the Canadian theological-college landscape).

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2015, 12:32:56 am »
Quote from: Demophon;179678
Actually, this year my school is expanding to be an Eastern Orthodox seminary as well as an Anglican one, which makes a bit more sense to me since reading your post. The neighbouring low Anglican theological college has already started catering to Evangelical Protestants like Baptists and Pentacostals, so as the High Church alternative, we have to keep up by expanding to include the Eastern Orthodox. I think the Anglican Church is just too small to support two seminaries so close together, so they have to bring in students from other traditions. It just shows how broad Anglicanism is, which can be both good and bad. Differences can be divisive, but at least there is room for everybody.

 
It looks to me like the primary factor is that Eastern Orthodox Christianity is quite a tiny demographic in Canada, and is too small to support a seminary on its own, so the (high) Anglicans are helping them out.

I suspect something similar with the low Anglican college and the Evangelicals - the latter is scattered across several demographically-small denominations, and while various Evangelical denominations have been able to support seminaries, they tend to be quite small and to struggle to achieve and maintain accreditation. Some of them don't care about accreditation or any other sort of extradenominational approval, but for those that do, alliances with each other and with mainline churches make sense.

There could be high-church/low-church rivalry/competitiveness in the Anglican colleges' motivations for making such alliances, but my own guess (from outside, as I have never been Anglican, so possibly I underestimate the internal frictions) is that it has as much or more to do with ecumenical cordiality - or, possibly, with each faction's desire to maintain a presence and not be subsumed by the other. (That last might be what you meant by 'have to keep up', rather than how I originally read it, which was more image-based 'mustn't let rival look better than we do'.)

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Re: Eastern Orthodox Christianity
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2015, 05:49:51 am »
Quote from: SunflowerP;179704
There are quite a lot more than three - the two Demophon refers to, if I've guessed correctly, are just two of the seven denominationally-affiliated colleges that make up a larger ecumenical theological school (the other colleges are three Catholic, one Presbyterian, and one United Church of Canada), which in turn is part of a very large general university in just one Canadian city.

What theology/ies might be available at the other dozen or so ACC-affiliated colleges elsewhere in Canada, I've no idea; Demophon might know, or if you're especially interested I could ask my brother (who recently received his ThD from the UCC college at the same school Demophon is referring to, so he knows more than I do about the Canadian theological-college landscape).

Sunflower

I hadn't given Anglican-affiliated education in Canada much of a thought before Demophon awakened my curiosity. In England, Anglican theological colleges are in most cases definable with either an Evangelical, an Anglo-Catholic or a Broadchurch profile, and I have heard some anecdotes about life and study at St. Stephen's House in Oxford (Anglo-Catholic) and College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, Yorks. (Anglo-Catholic).

It would be interesting to hear where in the churchmanship landscape the AAC-affiliated colleges fall, and the ratio between different churchmanships (or is it 'churchpersonship'?).
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 05:51:01 am by RecycledBenedict »

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