Why would 18th century Americans attempt to re-enact 6th century B.C. government from Rome...Why do Atticists speak in a language which was dead for centuries? and when the Katharevouists imitated it, dead for millenia? Why did King Josaiah try to reform the Hebrew cult on the basis of a liturgical and canon book and synaxarion (which we know as the book of Deuteronomy) over half a millenium old and found discarded in a dusty corner of the Temple?...Why would EO Churches built in the 19th century redo their iconography in the 20th century in "neo-Byzantine" style based on Paleologan art of the 14th century, or Russian revival style based on the Novgorod school of the same era?
Exactly. Orthodox Westerners adopting the Eastern rite is no more "odd" than any of these other things. You seem to think I have a problem with all the abovementioned things when in fact I have no problem with them. I'm just pointing out the inconsistency of saying Westerners on the Eastern rite are "odd" when you accept equally odd, or odder, things.
Redoing EO iconography in the Eastern manner isn't odd. I wish they had done so in Christ the Savior:when I see pictures of the "iconography," I want to shriek.
Josiah promulgating and enforcing lost scripture isn't odd. The perpetuation of the debasement of the cult of Jerusalem presented as much a monstracity as the perpetuation of the debasement of the Orthodox episcopate under the Ottomans, rather than returning to the episcopate of the Fathers before Constantinople's twilight.
I am a Katharevousist, but its fate is sealed, cutting the Greeks off at their roots (btw. Ataturk's westernization only accomplished that for the Turks, casting them totally adrift), which has led to the Frankiisation of the Westoxicated once proud sons of Homer. In the East, preservation of the Classical Standard is the norm, not the exception. In 1776, in the West no language had a standard 300 years old. In the East, the standards used were many times older (Romanian alone, depending on how you analyze it, making the sole possible exception).
That the Americans emulated the only example of a republic replacing a monarchy in their cultural heritage isn't odd at all. As de Tocqueville said, history is many copies and few originals.
You are straying from the point.
Nay, but rather you missed it completely.
Quite sure you made it at all?
But seriously, how is the Western Rite more attuned to modern, 21st century Western culture any more than the Eastern rite?
Because it's Western. It is similar to trying to translated modern novels across languages. Not such a big problem going from French to English. Westernization has only made it somewhat easier from Russian/Greek to English, and even then it's a stretch. Arabic, Hindi and Chinese aren't usually translatable without some radical reworking (I remember the translator of Pu Yi the last emperor of China's biography going into this problem, and the problem the adaptor of the indian epic the Mahabharata had with Western audiences).
So give some specific examples where such misunderstandings have arisen in the Eastern rite in English.
"Why is repeat so much?" "Why the florid language?" "Why does every simple thing have to be elaborated?" "Why the recherche lyrics?" "Why no hymns?"
I priest I knew didn't go to his graduation because he thought that going up in a gown was too much ceremony. When I pointed out that he didn't have a problem with the Great Entrance, he said "but that's Church." Point is, in the East processions are part of daily life, and that is why it in the DL, not because it's "in Church." Just like those who prefer the Latin Mass in Latin because it's "more religious that way": every survey I've seen of the Traditionalists of the Vatican has found that they would prefer the Tridentine in English over the Novus Ordo in Latin. Good for them! Otherwise it would be-like pomp in Church you wouldn't tolerate outside of Church-religiosity, not religion.
Interesting how you are overlook those "large swarths of Americans" who have that experience to focus on lesser numbers who haven't.
Sorry, Western Rite would strike most Americans as awfully frilly and elaborate.
Is that what "most Americans" have told you?
"Popery," as they used to say.
LOL. Over a quater of all Americans are officially part of "popery." And I've known those who aren't who went to their local outlet of "popery" for weddings. They like the frills and elaboration.
You seem to hold that American culture (for focus, I haven't even touched the issues of Canada and Latin America, where your objections have even less chance of surviving scrutiny) subsists in the megachurch and storefronts. For the formative majority of American history, the "frilly and elaborate" liturgical churches predominated, smells and bells and all.
The problem is you are pretending that a modern United Methodist service is just a stone's throw away from Western Rite.
I didn't say a thing about Methodists, United or otherwise.
My wife is raisedMethodist and her family is certainly allergic to basic things like chanting or incense. They described the local Lutheran church as "just like the Roman Catholics." Why? "Because they make you stand up and sit down all the time throughout the service."
Just like the Lutherans, "just like the Roman Catholics," just like the Episcopalians. Just like the WRO.
Was it "And a River Runs through It" which describes Methodists as "Baptists who can read?" Anyway, on a related issue, I question how keyed in the congregationalists etc. are into their own culture.
Are you such a person? If so, let us hear your observations. If not, do have others' experience to share? Otherwise, let's not speculate.
Yes. I'm a Chinese-American(also part Irish) and have lived in China. I've also traveled throughout Southeast Asia with my family, many of whom live in Malaysia, where my mother was from. I made many observations, but a prevailing one is that people who talk all the time about the differences between East and West and the inscrutability of one to the other are more interested in mystification and their own pet theories than in actually promoting understanding and a meaningful cultural interaction.
Yeah, and this just fits right in with the rest of Canton.
Btw, the one on the right is a mosque.
I didn't say a thing about either being inscrutible. And I've heard plenty of Westerners who like the mystification of the Eastern right, i.e. it's exotic.
Your own ramblings about the magical Diocletian line
Observations made crossing it several times, and repeated by anyone I know who has done the same. You seem to claim to see know difference between the Far East and the Far West, so I'm not sure how observant of the transition between Eastern and Western Europe you would be.
strike me as your own pet theories.
Far from. I was there shortly before people started killing each other over it. One of the times I crossed it, a Croatian soldier told me that it didn't matter, and everyone was just Yugoslavian. Shortly there after, it was no man's land when those "Yugoslavians" started trambled over each other to go their seperate ways.
Even the Western Rite enthusiasts would probably have difficulty accepting such nonsense.
I'll let them speak for themselves.
Sleeper certaily doesn't seem to buy it- he accepts that the WR will appeal primarily to those of a high church Anglican or RC background.
And? They are primarily the Churches, with the Lutherans latter, who formed much of American high culture. A little leaven....
To his credit, he doesn't attribute some mystical quality of "Westernness" to it.
Neither do I, so what is your point?
What do you call "a meaningful discussion?" I prefer facts that can be substantiated, disproven, whatever. Theoretical constructs of historiographers doesn't quite make it.For starters, you try to define ambiguous ideas, especially if they form the lynchpin of your argument. In your case you have yet to give any real definition of what distinguishes "East" and "West" so solidly, yet these comprise your only argument. Your magical "Diocletian line" seems only to hold such pervasive sway in your imagination.
This is a picture of a Melkite parish, a "sui juris Eastern church," the second largest (after the Urkainians) in fact.
It's the same parish. Notice anything different?
1. What do Russians, Greeks, Georgians, Romanians, Syrians, and Egyptians all have in common that "Westerners" do not?Baklava. The Westerners have strudel.
Cute. So in other words, you've got nothing.
Got plenty. But you seem hades bent on not seeing what is there.
The DL of St. John, like the Armenian, Coptic (and the original EO of Alexandria), Syriac (and the original EO of Antioch) have the same pomp for pomp sake and symbolism for symbolism sake that the Liturgy shares with secular culture in Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, Armenia etc. The Proskomedia and Great Entrance and the corresponding actions in the other Eastern rites contrast the corresponding actions in the Roman and other Western rites as much as they do, for instance, as an Eastern Wedding procession and a Western wedding march.
Pomp? Really? That's all you can say? I've been to several Roman Catholic weddings, thanks to my Irish cousins. They certainly had every bit as much pomp to them as any Orthodox rite I've witnessed. In some ways, even more- as someone accustomed to the Eastern rite, I was actually overwhelmed by certain aspects. The thing about "pomp" is that it's a rather subjective perception. And certainly pomp in the Great Entrance is not "for pomp's sake" but is quite appropriate to the occasion. As for the Latin rites:
"Nope, no pomp here!"
"Nothing to see here."
no. Nothing to see there.
But to pick up on theoretical constructions:are you arguing that nothing would have been different in Rus' culture if Rome Christianized Kiev and not new Rome? No, I'm not arguing that. But would it have made such a difference that the Rus' and their descendents would have some magical connection to the Western rites for the next millenium or so, such that the Eastern rite would be insurmountably alien to them? No.
The Czech Lands, Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Finland form rather large refutations.