Author Topic: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West  (Read 2846 times)

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Offline ialmisry

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Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« on: April 10, 2010, 10:59:30 AM »
Christus resurrexit!

2010 Orthodox Constructions of the West

June 28-30, 2010

Concept and Abstract



In preparation for the publication of Orthodox Readings of Augustine (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2008), the co-founding directors of the Orthodox Christian Studies Program were struck by ways in which Orthodox authors, especially in the twentieth century, had created artificial categories of “East” and “West” and then used that distinction as a basis for self-definition.  The history of Orthodox Christianity is typically narrated by Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike as developing in the ‘East’, which is geographically ambiguous, but usually refers to the region in Europe east of present-day Croatia, Hungary and Poland.  In contemporary Orthodoxy, ‘West’ refers not simply to a geographical location, but to a form of civilization that was shaped and influenced by Latin Christendom, which includes both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.  The “West,” thus, represents a cluster of theological, cultural and political ideas against which Orthodox self-identify.  In other words, Orthodox self-identification often engages in a distorted apophaticism:  Orthodoxy is what the “West” is not.

 

Given that much of the Orthodox world has until recently suffered oppression from the Ottomans and the Communists, one can read the creation of the “East-West” binary as a post-colonial search for an authentic Orthodox identity in the wake of such  domination.  After centuries of repression, it is not surprising that the Orthodox recovery of identity would take the form of opposition to that which is seemingly the religious, cultural and political “Other.”  The question that the conference will attempt to answer is whether such a construction has as much to do with Orthodox identify formation vis-à-vis the West as it does with genuine differences.  By creating this opposition to the “West,” do Orthodox communities not only misunderstand what Western Christians believe but, even more egregiously, have they come to believe certain things about their own tradition and teachings that are historically untrue?   The importance of addressing these questions is not simply limited to the theological realm.  There is evidence of anti-democracy and anti-human rights rhetoric coming from traditional Orthodox countries that have recently been liberated from communism, and this rhetoric often associates liberal forms of democracy and the notion of human rights in general as “Western” and, therefore, not Orthodox.  In other words, the self-identification vis-à-vis the “West” is affecting the cultural and political debates in the traditional Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe.  Insofar as this conference addresses the broader theme of identity formation, its impact is potentially far-reaching, as it hopes to influence the production of theological, cultural and political ideas within contemporary Orthodoxy.

 

The purpose of this conference is to explore how these artificial binaries were first created and, by exposing them, make possible a more authentic recovery of the rich Orthodox tradition that is unfettered by self-definition vis-à-vis the proximate other.  It is also expected that the deconstruction of false caricatures of West will impact the discussion on culture and politics throughout the Orthodox world, as well as assist in moving the ecumenical conversation forward
http://www.fordham.edu/academics/programs_at_fordham_/orthodox_christian_s/triennial_patterson_/2010_orthodox_constr_73023.asp


I wasn't sure where to put this, so I put it where it matters most: restoring the Orthodox West and the obstacles posed by false dichonomies set up by Eastern Orthodox and their toadies.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2010, 11:20:25 AM »
The keynote by Taft and the lecture by Norman Russell on Dositheos II of Jerusalem look especially interesting.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline Alpo

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2010, 11:36:14 AM »
Vere resurrexit!

If I knew some kind of western equivalent to "Wisdom, let us attend!" I would shout it now.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 11:36:39 AM by Alpo »

Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2010, 11:40:08 AM »
There is evidence of anti-democracy and anti-human rights rhetoric coming from traditional Orthodox countries...

What does this refer to?

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2010, 11:50:42 AM »
What does this refer to?

The periodicals, web sites, newspapers, monographs, pamphlets, etc. published by the center-right and hard-right of the Moscow Patriarchate.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline Papist

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2010, 11:55:51 AM »
When I first read the title of this thread, I expected it to be the opposite of what it is. But hey, this looks really cool.
You are right. I apologize for having sacked Constantinople. I really need to stop doing that.

Offline augustin717

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2010, 12:08:42 PM »
There is evidence of anti-democracy and anti-human rights rhetoric coming from traditional Orthodox countries...

What does this refer to?
The only dogma that large swaths of the West still believes in is challenged in the East. Unbelievable ::)
Oh wait, did I say East and West?!

Offline augustin717

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2010, 12:11:24 PM »
Christus resurrexit!

2010 Orthodox Constructions of the West

June 28-30, 2010

Concept and Abstract



In preparation for the publication of Orthodox Readings of Augustine (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2008), the co-founding directors of the Orthodox Christian Studies Program were struck by ways in which Orthodox authors, especially in the twentieth century, had created artificial categories of “East” and “West” and then used that distinction as a basis for self-definition.  The history of Orthodox Christianity is typically narrated by Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike as developing in the ‘East’, which is geographically ambiguous, but usually refers to the region in Europe east of present-day Croatia, Hungary and Poland.  In contemporary Orthodoxy, ‘West’ refers not simply to a geographical location, but to a form of civilization that was shaped and influenced by Latin Christendom, which includes both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.  The “West,” thus, represents a cluster of theological, cultural and political ideas against which Orthodox self-identify.  In other words, Orthodox self-identification often engages in a distorted apophaticism:  Orthodoxy is what the “West” is not.

 

Given that much of the Orthodox world has until recently suffered oppression from the Ottomans and the Communists, one can read the creation of the “East-West” binary as a post-colonial search for an authentic Orthodox identity in the wake of such  domination.  After centuries of repression, it is not surprising that the Orthodox recovery of identity would take the form of opposition to that which is seemingly the religious, cultural and political “Other.”  The question that the conference will attempt to answer is whether such a construction has as much to do with Orthodox identify formation vis-à-vis the West as it does with genuine differences.  By creating this opposition to the “West,” do Orthodox communities not only misunderstand what Western Christians believe but, even more egregiously, have they come to believe certain things about their own tradition and teachings that are historically untrue?   The importance of addressing these questions is not simply limited to the theological realm.  There is evidence of anti-democracy and anti-human rights rhetoric coming from traditional Orthodox countries that have recently been liberated from communism, and this rhetoric often associates liberal forms of democracy and the notion of human rights in general as “Western” and, therefore, not Orthodox.  In other words, the self-identification vis-à-vis the “West” is affecting the cultural and political debates in the traditional Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe.  Insofar as this conference addresses the broader theme of identity formation, its impact is potentially far-reaching, as it hopes to influence the production of theological, cultural and political ideas within contemporary Orthodoxy.

 

The purpose of this conference is to explore how these artificial binaries were first created and, by exposing them, make possible a more authentic recovery of the rich Orthodox tradition that is unfettered by self-definition vis-à-vis the proximate other.  It is also expected that the deconstruction of false caricatures of West will impact the discussion on culture and politics throughout the Orthodox world, as well as assist in moving the ecumenical conversation forward
http://www.fordham.edu/academics/programs_at_fordham_/orthodox_christian_s/triennial_patterson_/2010_orthodox_constr_73023.asp


I wasn't sure where to put this, so I put it where it matters most: restoring the Orthodox West and the obstacles posed by false dichonomies set up by Eastern Orthodox and their toadies.
What a preachy bunch of bores and westerners, to boot.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2010, 12:17:26 PM »
Christos a inviat!
Christus resurrexit!

2010 Orthodox Constructions of the West

June 28-30, 2010

Concept and Abstract



In preparation for the publication of Orthodox Readings of Augustine (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2008), the co-founding directors of the Orthodox Christian Studies Program were struck by ways in which Orthodox authors, especially in the twentieth century, had created artificial categories of “East” and “West” and then used that distinction as a basis for self-definition.  The history of Orthodox Christianity is typically narrated by Orthodox and non-Orthodox alike as developing in the ‘East’, which is geographically ambiguous, but usually refers to the region in Europe east of present-day Croatia, Hungary and Poland.  In contemporary Orthodoxy, ‘West’ refers not simply to a geographical location, but to a form of civilization that was shaped and influenced by Latin Christendom, which includes both Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.  The “West,” thus, represents a cluster of theological, cultural and political ideas against which Orthodox self-identify.  In other words, Orthodox self-identification often engages in a distorted apophaticism:  Orthodoxy is what the “West” is not.

 

Given that much of the Orthodox world has until recently suffered oppression from the Ottomans and the Communists, one can read the creation of the “East-West” binary as a post-colonial search for an authentic Orthodox identity in the wake of such  domination.  After centuries of repression, it is not surprising that the Orthodox recovery of identity would take the form of opposition to that which is seemingly the religious, cultural and political “Other.”  The question that the conference will attempt to answer is whether such a construction has as much to do with Orthodox identify formation vis-à-vis the West as it does with genuine differences.  By creating this opposition to the “West,” do Orthodox communities not only misunderstand what Western Christians believe but, even more egregiously, have they come to believe certain things about their own tradition and teachings that are historically untrue?   The importance of addressing these questions is not simply limited to the theological realm.  There is evidence of anti-democracy and anti-human rights rhetoric coming from traditional Orthodox countries that have recently been liberated from communism, and this rhetoric often associates liberal forms of democracy and the notion of human rights in general as “Western” and, therefore, not Orthodox.  In other words, the self-identification vis-à-vis the “West” is affecting the cultural and political debates in the traditional Orthodox countries in Eastern Europe.  Insofar as this conference addresses the broader theme of identity formation, its impact is potentially far-reaching, as it hopes to influence the production of theological, cultural and political ideas within contemporary Orthodoxy.

 

The purpose of this conference is to explore how these artificial binaries were first created and, by exposing them, make possible a more authentic recovery of the rich Orthodox tradition that is unfettered by self-definition vis-à-vis the proximate other.  It is also expected that the deconstruction of false caricatures of West will impact the discussion on culture and politics throughout the Orthodox world, as well as assist in moving the ecumenical conversation forward
http://www.fordham.edu/academics/programs_at_fordham_/orthodox_christian_s/triennial_patterson_/2010_orthodox_constr_73023.asp


I wasn't sure where to put this, so I put it where it matters most: restoring the Orthodox West and the obstacles posed by false dichonomies set up by Eastern Orthodox and their toadies.
What a preachy bunch of bores and westerners, to boot.
Protesting, are we?
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2010, 12:29:59 PM »
What a preachy bunch of bores and westerners, to boot.

 ;D Actually, about 50 percent of the speakers were born, raised, and educated in Orthodox lands. Several still live and teach there. However, of the Romanians, one was born in Piteşti and the other graduated from Iasi under the supervision of the now Patriarch Daniel, so maybe that's not good enough for ya. ;)
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline augustin717

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2010, 01:07:14 PM »
The practical effect of all of this probably approaches zero, since no synods seriously take into consideration the sanctimonious recommendations of a bunch of academics that gather first and foremost in order to boost their credentials anyway.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2010, 01:58:39 PM »
The practical effect of all of this probably approaches zero, since no synods seriously take into consideration the sanctimonious recommendations of a bunch of academics that gather first and foremost in order to boost their credentials anyway.


What an odd statement from a Phanariot wanna be.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline augustin717

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2010, 02:56:38 PM »
Yeah, hope they get some good wine and a rise on their next pay check.
Other than that " west is west and east is east and the twain shall never meet" said another westerner ;)
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 03:05:23 PM by augustin717 »

Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2010, 03:10:41 PM »
What does this refer to?
The periodicals, web sites, newspapers, monographs, pamphlets, etc. published by the center-right and hard-right of the Moscow Patriarchate.

Any such web sites in English?  It is the allegation of "anti-human rights rhetoric" that intrigues me.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2010, 03:33:13 PM »
Cristos a inviat!
Yeah, hope they get some good wine and a rise on their next pay check.
Other than that " west is west and east is east and the twain shall never meet" said another westerner ;)

LOL. Then how would Kipling explain the Romanians? And his own birth in India?
« Last Edit: April 10, 2010, 03:35:59 PM by ialmisry »
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline pensateomnia

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2010, 05:01:09 PM »
Any such web sites in English?  It is the allegation of "anti-human rights rhetoric" that intrigues me.

:D They wouldn't be truly nationalist, Holy-Russia-loving publications if they were in English now, would they?

FYI, in this case, "anti-human rights rhetoric" refers to issues like freedoms of religion, press, assembly, as well as discrimination against ethnic minorities and approval of police/military brutality. Could be in reference to the North Caucasus region, Georgia, et al., and, in the case of Orthodox publications, directed against Jews.
But for I am a man not textueel I wol noght telle of textes neuer a deel. (Chaucer, The Manciple's Tale, 1.131)

Offline stanley123

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2010, 05:45:06 PM »
2010 Orthodox Constructions of the West
From my vantage point, this looks like it could be an interesting conference.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2010, 10:25:24 PM »
What a preachy bunch of bores and westerners, to boot.

 :D

Yeah, I kind of agree. This doesn't seem like anyone's going to be taking a long, hard, honest look in the mirror and asking "Who are we, really?" This seems more about scholarship than about the Church.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Orthodox-and Heterodox-Constructions of the West
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2010, 07:56:10 AM »
This doesn't seem like anyone's going to be taking a long, hard, honest look in the mirror and asking "Who are we, really?"

For me it seems just like that. A sort of revolutionary realization that Orthodoxy is actually the Catholic Church and not just an Eastern European local church.