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Author Topic: Any other differences between EOs and OOs?  (Read 1158 times) Average Rating: 1
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« on: July 12, 2010, 03:11:41 AM »

Are there any other theological differences between the OO and the EO besides Christology and number of the Ecumenical Councils?
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« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2010, 03:18:37 AM »

Well, there's the issue of our hats:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28603.0.html

But I don't know how deeply theological that is.
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« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2010, 07:48:49 PM »

What exactly do you mean? There's plenty of other differences: ethnicity, liturgical rites, language, culture, etc.
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« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2010, 07:58:01 PM »

What exactly do you mean? There's plenty of other differences: ethnicity, liturgical rites, language, culture, etc.
Any greater between the OO and EO as between OO's?
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« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2010, 12:18:03 AM »

What exactly do you mean? There's plenty of other differences: ethnicity, liturgical rites, language, culture, etc.

Ethnicity? How does that really matter? Oh, and there are OO and EO of the same ethnicity, even in nations like Egypt, Israel, Syria, Armenia etc...

Liturgical Rites? How so? You all use the Liturgy of St. James which is still a valid liturgy, and which the EO still use occasionally.

Language? Again, why does this really matter? And again, same as ethnicity, OO speak the same languages as many EO.

Culture? Again, why does this matter? Yet again, same as ethnicity and language, there are OO and EO that share the same cultures...

Besides, who cares about differences like this... There are many EO that don't share the same ethnicity, language nor culture. Does this matter at all? Not at all...
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« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2010, 12:22:22 AM »

Are there any other theological differences between the OO and the EO besides Christology and number of the Ecumenical Councils?

Oops. I apologize. Somehow I overlooked your qualifier "theological" and just saw "any other differences".
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« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2010, 12:22:56 AM »

What exactly do you mean? There's plenty of other differences: ethnicity, liturgical rites, language, culture, etc.
Any greater between the OO and EO as between OO's?

Pardon? I'm not exactly understanding your question.
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« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2010, 12:33:49 AM »

Ethnicity?

Yes. Byzantines are composed of Greeks, Russian, Serbians, Arabs, Romanians, etc. Orientals are composed of Egyptians, Assyrians, Armenians, Ethiopians, Indians, etc.

How does that really matter?

It's really not that important. I just thought the OP was looking for any kinds of differences.

Oh, and there are OO and EO of the same ethnicity, even in nations like Egypt, Israel, Syria, Armenia etc...

None the less, the predominant ethnicities for the two traditions are an entirely distinct list, like I just provided.

Liturgical Rites? How so? You all use the Liturgy of St. James which is still a valid liturgy, and which the EO still use occasionally.

Ah....

The Orientals are not mono-ritual like the Byzantines. There are three basic distinct liturgical rites, the Alexandrian (including the Copts, Ethiopians, and Eritreans), the Antiochian (including the Assyrians and Indians), and the Armenian. All three are fundamentally very different in their structure. And within them even there are slight variations. For instance, the Ethiopians and Eritreans retain more than a dozen anaphoras, whereas the Copts have retained only three of them, though they once used all the same.

The Liturgy of James that you are thinking of is that of the Antiochian churches. But even at that it is not exactly the same as what you are thinking of. From what I can tell, the West Syrian rite attributed to James and the Byzantine rite attributed to James are slightly different, though coming from a common root.

Language?

Yeah, the basic ecclesiastical languages of the Orientals are Coptic, Ge'ez, Syriac, and Armenian. For the Byzantines they are Greek, Romanian, and Church Slavonic.

Again, why does this really matter?

It means that they have different saints which define the faith of their church, they have different texts that they are inclined to read, their liturgies are historically unintelligible to each other, etc.

And again, same as ethnicity, OO speak the same languages as many EO.

I'm talking about the languages predominant for ecclesiastical use, not vernacular.

Culture? Again, why does this matter? Yet again, same as ethnicity and language, there are OO and EO that share the same cultures...

Occasionally. But for the most part the two grew up in very different cultures.

Besides, who cares about differences like this... There are many EO that don't share the same ethnicity, language nor culture. Does this matter at all? Not at all...

It doesn't matter as a necessary point of division. But that doesn't mean that it matters not at all.
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« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2010, 02:56:25 AM »

Ethnicity?

Yes. Byzantines are composed of Greeks, Russian, Serbians, Arabs, Romanians, etc. Orientals are composed of Egyptians, Assyrians, Armenians, Ethiopians, Indians, etc.

How does that really matter?

It's really not that important. I just thought the OP was looking for any kinds of differences.

Oh, and there are OO and EO of the same ethnicity, even in nations like Egypt, Israel, Syria, Armenia etc...

None the less, the predominant ethnicities for the two traditions are an entirely distinct list, like I just provided.

Liturgical Rites? How so? You all use the Liturgy of St. James which is still a valid liturgy, and which the EO still use occasionally.

Ah....

The Orientals are not mono-ritual like the Byzantines. There are three basic distinct liturgical rites, the Alexandrian (including the Copts, Ethiopians, and Eritreans), the Antiochian (including the Assyrians and Indians), and the Armenian. All three are fundamentally very different in their structure. And within them even there are slight variations. For instance, the Ethiopians and Eritreans retain more than a dozen anaphoras, whereas the Copts have retained only three of them, though they once used all the same.

The Liturgy of James that you are thinking of is that of the Antiochian churches. But even at that it is not exactly the same as what you are thinking of. From what I can tell, the West Syrian rite attributed to James and the Byzantine rite attributed to James are slightly different, though coming from a common root.

Language?

Yeah, the basic ecclesiastical languages of the Orientals are Coptic, Ge'ez, Syriac, and Armenian. For the Byzantines they are Greek, Romanian, and Church Slavonic.

Again, why does this really matter?

It means that they have different saints which define the faith of their church, they have different texts that they are inclined to read, their liturgies are historically unintelligible to each other, etc.

And again, same as ethnicity, OO speak the same languages as many EO.

I'm talking about the languages predominant for ecclesiastical use, not vernacular.

Culture? Again, why does this matter? Yet again, same as ethnicity and language, there are OO and EO that share the same cultures...

Occasionally. But for the most part the two grew up in very different cultures.

Besides, who cares about differences like this... There are many EO that don't share the same ethnicity, language nor culture. Does this matter at all? Not at all...

It doesn't matter as a necessary point of division. But that doesn't mean that it matters not at all.

-First of all, why call us "Byzantines"? Am I a Byzantine? Are any Orthodox Christians Byzantines?
-Also, am I not an Eastern Orthodox Christian because I'm not a member of one of those ethnic groups? On the other hand, are some converts to your church not Oriental Orthodox because they aren't from those ethnic groups?
-Hmm, I won't start a debate about the rituals but being EO, it just doesn't look good to me seeing a variation like that between OO Churches...
-Also, the ecclesiastical languages of the Orthodox Church are the vernacular languages. We especially see this in the U.S. where the majority of services are in English... Same for many other places as well. The "basic ecclesiastical languages" for the EO are EVERY language the Liturgy is celebrated in, they aren't limited to three. Those three are the most dominant because there is a huge amount of Orthodox in each of those countries/regions.
-Yes, many did grow up in different cultures, but the two worlds weren't isolated from each other and often shared cultures.

I'm going to say that none of these points matter at all when it comes to differences between us. When/if unity happens, these aren't going to mean anything...

Outside of doctrinal differences, NOTHING matters. Unity is based on Orthodoxy, not worldly matters. And so far, it seems both our churches are very Orthodox.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2010, 03:11:27 AM by 88Devin12 » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2010, 04:11:46 AM »

88Devin12

There was always a great variety in Eastern Orthodox liturgical practice. The uniformity you see today was imposed in the Middle Ages, just as a uniformity was imposed in the West at an earlier date. The normal practice of Orthodoxy is diversity of rites reflecting the proper inculturation of the Church in a variety of places and peoples.

As far as I can see one of the main reasons for the late imposition of uniformity in Eastern Orthodoxy was the fact that the Eastern Orthodox patriarchs tended to live in Constantinople and therefore used the rite of Constantinople. The Eastern Orthodox in Egypt used to use the same rite as the Coptic Orthodox. It was not finally replaced by the rite of Constantinople until 1193 AD. In Jerusalem the rite of St James was still occasionally used in the 13th century when it finally was completely eradicated by the rite of Constantinople.

So I am not sure why you are concerned about liturgical variety. This is the normal and proper state of Orthodoxy. The central imposition of a single rite, that of the Imperial capital city, is a late development in Eastern Orthodoxy and mirrors the imposition of a central rite in the West with the same rejection of proper local liturgical expressions which had been used for 1000 years.

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« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2010, 11:10:25 PM »

A tangent on what to call the EO's was moved here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,28736.msg453294.html#top
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« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2010, 11:25:28 PM »


I cannot access that.  Is there any chance of bringing it into public view, maybe as a new thread?  The terminology used by the two families of Churches in the Second Agreed Statement between the Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox seems to me of importance. I believe that we could avoid much argumentation on the forum if we follow the terminology which our hierarchs themselves use at the highest level.
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« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2010, 11:33:44 PM »

What exactly do you mean? There's plenty of other differences: ethnicity, liturgical rites, language, culture, etc.
Any greater between the OO and EO as between OO's?

Pardon? I'm not exactly understanding your question.
It has been my experience that besides a common rejection of Chalcedon, and some theologians in common, there is not much else in common between the various OO Churches.  It has its advantages (no jocking for position in the diptychs for the most part) but it has its drawbacks, i.e. insularity: many OO haven't a clue as to the other OO's.

So are the different ethnicities, liturgical rites, languages, cultures etc. any greater between any OO Church and the EO than they are between any OO Church and the other OO Churches?
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« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2010, 11:41:05 PM »


I cannot access that.  Is there any chance of bringing it into public view, maybe as a new thread?  The terminology used by the two families of Churches in the Second Agreed Statement between the Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox seems to me of importance. I believe that we could avoid much argumentation on the forum if we follow the terminology which our hierarchs themselves use at the highest level.

The tangent was such that it belonged in the private forum.

Regarding the exclusive use of the term "Orthodox," both OO's and EO's are allowed to use that term to exclusively refer to their own Church, as long as the terminology they use for the other Church is polite. 
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« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2010, 06:33:10 PM »

So are the different ethnicities, liturgical rites, languages, cultures etc. any greater between any OO Church and the EO than they are between any OO Church and the other OO Churches?

While some of the OO churches are more similar to each other than to others in some respects (for instance, the Copts, Ethiopians, and Eritreans are all fairly similar to each other liturgically), I do not think that the differences to be found between them and the Byzantines and them and each other (when they are highly different) are extremely different in quality.
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« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2010, 06:46:33 PM »

ialmisry, I am not sure where you live, but I am in the UK, and here there is a growing and meaningful experience of the community of member religious cultures. We are trying to do more and more things together and as a single Orthodox communion which is found in a variety of local communities.

So we have pan-Orthodox liturgies, all attend events such as a church consecration, and are starting to organise educational activities together. We have an Oriental Orthodox Council of Churches in the UK, we have begun to develop a single website to promote ourselves as a communion, and have many other ideas of what could be done together.

There are limits to what can be done when you are busy as a priest with your own ministry, but I meet most of the bishops in the UK four or five or more times each year, and many of the priests, especially those in the south. When we meet we all embrace each other most warmly and consider each other brothers.

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