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Author Topic: Higher Ground _ Interview with Frederica Mathewes-Green.  (Read 1507 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 08, 2011, 12:18:07 AM »

Not long ago PBS' "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly" came to my house to interview me about the movie, "Higher Ground." Click the link to get the story, and to see a good number of clips from the film.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/episodes/october-7-2011/higher-ground/9668/

"Actress Vera Farmiga plays a woman who is “wrestling with the Lord and refusing to let him go until she understands and until he blesses her,” says writer and author Frederica Mathewes-Green."
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« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 02:25:56 AM »

At least the movie isn't about converting from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church to Pentecostalism, which her family did.

Is there a toll house for child apostates? 
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« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 02:30:25 AM »

Whose family did?
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« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2011, 02:50:39 AM »

Sorry, Vera Farmiga, the actress/director of the film.
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« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2011, 12:28:03 PM »


"Actress Vera Farmiga plays a woman who is “wrestling with the Lord and refusing to let him go until she understands and until he blesses her,” says writer and author Frederica Mathewes-Green."

Can't stand FMG. Why anyone thinks that whatever comes from her mouth is pure gold is beyond me.
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« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2011, 06:14:23 PM »

I like her. She has a cool name. Frederica. Say it slowly, emphasize the ric, and let the 2nd r roll  Freder-RRRRRRRIC-AH!
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« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2011, 08:40:46 AM »

I like her. She has a cool name. Frederica. Say it slowly, emphasize the ric, and let the 2nd r roll  Freder-RRRRRRRIC-AH!

You like her just because of her name?  I don't care how cool it is; she's a  bad writer, a derivative thinker and again, why everyone goes  her instinctively about information on EO is beyond me.
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« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 08:48:16 AM »

I like her. She has a cool name. Frederica. Say it slowly, emphasize the ric, and let the 2nd r roll  Freder-RRRRRRRIC-AH!

You like her just because of her name?  I don't care how cool it is; she's a  bad writer, a derivative thinker and again, why everyone goes  her instinctively about information on EO is beyond me.

I am one of those who think that she is a very good writer and a gentle soul who is a credit to the Antiochians and thus to us all. May God grant her many years!
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« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 08:55:08 AM »

I like her. She has a cool name. Frederica. Say it slowly, emphasize the ric, and let the 2nd r roll  Freder-RRRRRRRIC-AH!

You like her just because of her name?  I don't care how cool it is; she's a  bad writer, a derivative thinker and again, why everyone goes  her instinctively about information on EO is beyond me.

I've never read any of Mathewes-Green's writing, so I don't know about her in particular.  And I was joking about the name. Having said that, with regard to the idea that she's a derivative thinker, there is a rather famous person in Church history who is glorified for little more than being a derivative thinker. "there's no question he can't answer," some say, though if being exacting they would add: "by collating all the fathers that came in the centuries before him". Also, said person who can answer any question by quoting everyone who came before him wasn't exactly an eloquent writer, IMO. But that's the thing about writing (as with all art), one person sees an eloquent and brilliant mind, another sees the opposite. angel
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« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 09:24:18 AM »

She is rather full of herself....the Church website has a link to the "Khouria's corner"...
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« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2011, 02:34:53 PM »

There are several parishes that have a Kohouria's Corner, or something similar.

Perhaps you are full of yourself for assuming your posts are important enough to read by the priest's wife (who shares in his priesthood) could not possibly have such important thoughts.
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« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2011, 05:16:46 PM »

There are several parishes that have a Kohouria's Corner, or something similar.

Perhaps you are full of yourself for assuming your posts are important enough to read by the priest's wife (who shares in his priesthood) could not possibly have such important thoughts.

I do not understand quite what you are trying to say (some words are missing). Would you please clarify?

Also, though the Khouria does share in the priesthood because of her marriage to the priest and the two, by marriage, are "one flesh" please be careful with this terminology and  do not assume that this means that the priest's wife enjoys some special theological charism.  Unfortunately, I know examples of several Khourias who think of themselves as co-priests of a parish. I do not know FMG personally and I do not know if this would apply to her.
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« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2011, 05:45:43 PM »

"Unfortunately, I know examples of several Khourias who think of themselves as co-priests of a parish. I do not know FMG personally and I do not know if this would apply to her. "

I have heard her call herself the "mother" of the parish....its kind of creepy. Is this because she went to an episcopalian seminary?
 
 
 
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« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2011, 06:13:14 PM »

Isn't her husband the "father"? I have heard of English speakers chosing "mother" rather than a foreign title for their priest's wife. I mean, why the English word "father" for the priest and then something that seems unrelatedly exotic for his wife?
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« Reply #14 on: October 09, 2011, 06:16:58 PM »

The term I heard her use was "spiritual mother"....I about fainted..I'm cradle Orthodox and I have never heard that term used by the wife of a priest,,,I've heard "presbytera,matushka and Kourhia" but never spiritual mother .
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« Reply #15 on: October 09, 2011, 07:03:12 PM »

But surely "spiritual mothers" are not something unknown in Orthodoxy? In what context did she use the term?

Just to clarify, I don't think that every word this woman utters is pure gold, but then neither do I believe that of anyone else. I just thought her comments were interesting and the film itself looked thoughtful. I haven't seen it and don't expect to, but it looks to be a completely different take from the way Christians are usually portrayed as condemning, mindless bigots, so sure that theirs is the last word on all things. 
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« Reply #16 on: October 09, 2011, 10:11:40 PM »

The term I heard her use was "spiritual mother"....I about fainted..I'm cradle Orthodox and I have never heard that term used by the wife of a priest,,,I've heard "presbytera,matushka and Kourhia" but never spiritual mother .

Mathushka means "little mother" in Russian (Russian speakers, please correct me if I am wrong here) and is meant in a motherly and spiritual way, but not in a way that means guiding people spiritually through the mysteries.
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« Reply #17 on: October 09, 2011, 10:30:53 PM »

The term I heard her use was "spiritual mother"....I about fainted..I'm cradle Orthodox and I have never heard that term used by the wife of a priest,,,I've heard "presbytera,matushka and Kourhia" but never spiritual mother .

Didn't she come out of 70's feminism? If calling herself "spiritual mother" makes her feel better than more power to her.

I've never read her stuff and never really got the point of convert literature.
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« Reply #18 on: October 09, 2011, 10:51:12 PM »

The term I heard her use was "spiritual mother"....I about fainted..I'm cradle Orthodox and I have never heard that term used by the wife of a priest,,,I've heard "presbytera,matushka and Kourhia" but never spiritual mother .

Didn't she come out of 70's feminism? If calling herself "spiritual mother" makes her feel better than more power to her.

I've never read her stuff and never really got the point of convert literature.

The point of convert literature as in literature for potential converts? If so, come on down to DOS and see.
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« Reply #19 on: October 09, 2011, 10:57:34 PM »

I kind of get the FMG dislike a bit, but I also roll my eyes at the disdain for convert literature. My husband isn't a scholarly type of guy that will read Saint John Chrysostom's writings until his eyeballs fall out (or post on OC.net and read rambling, two page posts, for that matter). He starts at the basics and then looks deeper into the topics that interest him. He's also been a fairly sheltered Protestant his entire life, and the oft-mocked convert literature is helping him understand things he had never learned growing up. I even discover new things to learn in certain books, too. So I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater here.


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« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2011, 11:12:19 PM »

I kind of get the FMG dislike a bit, but I also roll my eyes at the disdain for convert literature. My husband isn't a scholarly type of guy that will read Saint John Chrysostom's writings until his eyeballs fall out (or post on OC.net and read rambling, two page posts, for that matter). He starts at the basics and then looks deeper into the topics that interest him. He's also been a fairly sheltered Protestant his entire life, and the oft-mocked convert literature is helping him understand things he had never learned growing up. I even discover new things to learn in certain books, too. So I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater here.



Exactly, not everyone has the intellectual prowess of posters here.
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« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2011, 11:15:21 PM »

The movie is quite good. I suggest avoid listening to the interview, or reading reviews, if you plan to see it.
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2011, 12:21:47 AM »

I kind of get the FMG dislike a bit, but I also roll my eyes at the disdain for convert literature. My husband isn't a scholarly type of guy that will read Saint John Chrysostom's writings until his eyeballs fall out (or post on OC.net and read rambling, two page posts, for that matter). He starts at the basics and then looks deeper into the topics that interest him. He's also been a fairly sheltered Protestant his entire life, and the oft-mocked convert literature is helping him understand things he had never learned growing up. I even discover new things to learn in certain books, too. So I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater here.




I agree. 2 cheers for convert literature! Hip Hip... Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2011, 12:22:30 AM »

I kind of get the FMG dislike a bit, but I also roll my eyes at the disdain for convert literature. My husband isn't a scholarly type of guy that will read Saint John Chrysostom's writings until his eyeballs fall out (or post on OC.net and read rambling, two page posts, for that matter). He starts at the basics and then looks deeper into the topics that interest him. He's also been a fairly sheltered Protestant his entire life, and the oft-mocked convert literature is helping him understand things he had never learned growing up. I even discover new things to learn in certain books, too. So I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater here.



Exactly, not everyone has the intellectual prowess of posters here.

Thats for sure...  Roll Eyes
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« Reply #24 on: October 10, 2011, 12:27:05 AM »

I kind of get the FMG dislike a bit, but I also roll my eyes at the disdain for convert literature. My husband isn't a scholarly type of guy that will read Saint John Chrysostom's writings until his eyeballs fall out (or post on OC.net and read rambling, two page posts, for that matter). He starts at the basics and then looks deeper into the topics that interest him. He's also been a fairly sheltered Protestant his entire life, and the oft-mocked convert literature is helping him understand things he had never learned growing up. I even discover new things to learn in certain books, too. So I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater here.



Exactly, not everyone has the intellectual prowess of posters here.

 laugh I know I don't!

Actually, a lot of so-called convert literature was very helpful for me. It was coming from where I was coming from, after all. Although, labelling people converts once they have been spudded into Orthodoxy for a while gets a little old. When does one stop being a convert? I don't consider myself a convert any more. I converted, sure, but so what? My Priest in my old parish, who was cradle Orthodox, used to say that we are all converts. Some getting to it a little later in life than others.  

While I don't think that being Orthodox is all about being theologically literate, I also don't think that we should knock "converts" who have taken up the batton to write with passion about the faith. Some might be hard to take, but then so are some of the fathers. We all have our place, I'm sure.
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« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2011, 12:41:56 AM »

The term I heard her use was "spiritual mother"....I about fainted..I'm cradle Orthodox and I have never heard that term used by the wife of a priest,,,I've heard "presbytera,matushka and Kourhia" but never spiritual mother .

Didn't she come out of 70's feminism?

Oh, did she? Good for her. Someone had to help start the ball rolling on all that bra burning!  Wink
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« Reply #26 on: October 10, 2011, 12:45:18 AM »

If you want good convert literature, pick up Surprised by Christ by Fr. James Bernstein.

It's autobiographal, but extremely readable and well done.
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« Reply #27 on: October 10, 2011, 08:30:22 AM »

If you want good convert literature, pick up Surprised by Christ by Fr. James Bernstein.

It's autobiographal, but extremely readable and well done.

As a 'cradle' (ugh..I hate terminology  which 'pigeonholes' us like that, this includes 'convert' when used in the context here in this thread as well....), I do want to remind you all that Scripture may rightfully be included in the category of 'convert literature' so do be careful when making a sweeping generality into a broad assertion.
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« Reply #28 on: October 13, 2011, 07:41:14 PM »

Being a part of worship with guitars? No thank you...
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« Reply #29 on: October 13, 2011, 07:46:12 PM »

^ laugh I guess that pews are problematical, too. This is a film about doubt, and as far as I know doubt is a condition of all Christians at some point in their lives. Whatever our style of honouring God; sitting or standing, guitars or organ or nothing but the human voice, in understanding someone else's struggles we can understand our own.
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« Reply #30 on: October 13, 2011, 07:58:39 PM »

This is true, but she explicitly said that it "makes you want to join in with them."  Tongue
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« Reply #31 on: October 13, 2011, 08:32:35 PM »

That is true. And, I believe that she is correct, but only because of their joy, not because you believe they have the correct formula for worship. Isn't it possible to feel a tremendous sense of camraderie with all Christians who shine with love and purpose for Christ? Doubt dims that light and that love. Understanding that woman is holding onto God in that darkness is a moving thought for me.
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« Reply #32 on: October 13, 2011, 10:25:36 PM »

If you want good convert literature, pick up Surprised by Christ by Fr. James Bernstein.

It's autobiographal, but extremely readable and well done.

I like this book too. It definitely beats the Peter Gillquist and FMG books. The Jewish perspective is also really interesting.
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« Reply #33 on: October 13, 2011, 10:37:53 PM »

Quote
I've never read her stuff and never really got the point of convert literature.

When my mother was in the process of converting, she told people that her background was Protestant (i.e. Episcopalian). Everyone automatically assumed that she was an Evangelical, so they loaded her up with Pater Gillquist and other convert books for Evangelicals. She would try to read them and come across phrases like, "We were shocked to discover that the ancient Church had no Bible studies," and "We were shocked to learn that the ancient Church didn't have electric guitar worship songs" or something like that, and she would burst out screaming, "Well that's stupid! How stupid can you get??" She tried FMG, but soon began referring to her simply as "that intolerable woman."

I guess convert literature isn't for everybody.
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