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Author Topic: Orthodox Cultural Environments  (Read 337 times) Average Rating: 0
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Fabio Leite
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« on: August 22, 2013, 01:04:58 PM »

I have been thinking about categorizing the cultural "environments" of contemporary Orthodoxy. These would be:

1- Greek (Greece-Cyprus-Constantinople)
2 - "Slavic" (Ukraine-Russia-Serbia-Georgia-Romenia-Bulgary-Poland-Czech and Slovak-Albania)
3 - Middle-Eastern (Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria)
4 - Western (Churches in West Europe, the Americas and Oceania)

Each would be characterized not only by the traditional languages, but also by what kind of historical, social, cultural problems they are involved with today.

The "Greek" pole is more directly related to Greece and Greek culture;
The "Slavic" would constitute all those that were once under the direct influence or control of the URSS and the one most likely to split into new divisions;
The Middle-Eastern are those in the region and mostly constrained by the area's many known problems;
The "Western" would the diaspora regions where jurisdictions currently overlap, being this canonical irregularity one of its main marks.


I know there are overlaps in the sense that Alexandria and Jerusalem are closely related to Greece, but the constraints of North-Africa and the region seem to have a deeper mark for now at least, so that's why I put it there.

Does that make sense to you? Would you categorize in a different way? How do you see the "Slavic" group reorganizing itself in the future?
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:06:05 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2013, 01:12:49 PM »

Just out of curiosity, do you have a specific purpose or reason for this categorization?
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2013, 01:33:43 PM »

Just out of curiosity, do you have a specific purpose or reason for this categorization?

Yes. Some Netodoxes in Brazil are adopting Duguin's fascist Eurasianism and spreading the idea it is Orthodoxy's natural cultural actualization.
On the other hand, some Romans are basically agreeing with the premise with the intent of opposing Orthodoxy. They like it because it enforces the stereotype of "Orthodoxy is just a façade of the Russian government". For them, that is an even further evidence that Russia should have been consacrated by the Pope to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as per Fatima's request, because the warning was that if it wasn't done Russia would spread its errors all over the world - among them, Orthodoxy, now in fascist form as bait for Russian imperialism.

One of the arguments I'll use is that Orthodox cultural environments are much wider than post-communist countries and there are conflicts of interest (Constantinople/Moscow for example). So, *even* if Russian Orthodoxy itself was just Eurasianism in disguise as, unfortunately, some Orthodox here in Brazil believe as a positive thing, it would not still be the whole story about Orthodoxy. Obviously, that's just one of the arguments.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 01:41:23 PM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2013, 01:37:03 PM »

You might have an easier time making that point about variety in Orthodox cultures if you were to include the Oriental Orthodox communion in your arguments against such people, though I certainly understand why you as a Chalcedonian would not do that.
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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2013, 01:39:46 PM »

You might have an easier time making that point about variety in Orthodox cultures if you were to include the Oriental Orthodox communion in your arguments against such people, though I certainly understand why you as a Chalcedonian would not do that.

That would be a digression, let's not go there. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2013, 01:41:14 PM »

A digression into further variety, hence strengthening your point about Orthodoxy not being merely a tool of Russian imperialism or whatever, but yeah, okay...I'm not going anywhere. Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2013, 01:42:13 PM »

My church doesn't fit into any of those categories
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« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2013, 04:28:35 PM »

My church doesn't fit into any of those categories

Or, it fits into several.
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« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2013, 04:39:56 PM »

My church doesn't fit into any of those categories

Nor would the Georgian and Romanians fit the "Slavic" category, despite having been part of the Communist commonwealth.
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« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2013, 04:51:33 PM »

Not all Slavic Churches were under the influence of Russia. Not all retained that influence.
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« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2013, 06:39:49 PM »

Not all Slavic Churches were under the influence of Russia. Not all retained that influence.

Which ones were not?

I understand Georgia and Romania don't fit the "Slavic" ethnicity, but that's why I put it in quotation marks. They were under the influence of Russia, thus under "slavic" influence.

Also, that's why I would like to have your opinions on how the "Slavic" (former communist countries) group could reorganize itself in the years to come as some countries manage to escape (or not) Russia's influence. Which ones are more likely to do it, is there anyone that would rather remain under that influence for considering it better than the West?

Which is Alpo's church?
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« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2013, 06:50:09 PM »

Which ones were not?

Serbia, Romania (very Slavic), Bulgaria.

Quote
Also, that's why I would like to have your opinions on how the "Slavic" (former communist countries) group could reorganize itself in the years to come as some countries manage to escape (or not) Russia's influence.

You assume: former Communist <=> under Russian ecclesiastical influence. And this is wrong.

IMO, the Czech/Slovak Church escaped Russian influence, same for Finland, and, probably, OCA. Maybe even Georgians.

I do not think Serbians, Romanians, or Bulgarians was under Russian influence to begin with.

Quote
is there anyone that would rather remain under that influence for considering it better than the West?

Polish Church is under cultural Russian influence for the most part and it does not seem to change. And what is "West" here?

Quote
Which is Alpo's church?

Finland.

I don't think you will achieve anything with such generalisations.

How to put Poland in these groups? Mix of cradle parishes of multiple traditions with some diaspora multi-ethnic parishes here and there?

Or OCA? Like Poland but ethnic vs. non-ethnic ratio is switched, and there are also many different strong ethnicities.

Or Finland? Firstly under Russians, now under the EP.

Or Alexandria? A bunch of ethnic Greeks or Arabs and several million of fresh converts?
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« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2013, 07:10:28 PM »

The aim here is not mapping internal ecclesiastical political influence (although that is an interesting factor to add), but the external political dynamics in which these churches exist, that is why I called the categories "enviroments": it's what's surrounding them, the "mess" they are in the middle of, so to speak. I'm more interested in the surroundings where the main jurisdictions are present than what is going inside them. That's why Alexandria is still "Middle-East" despite close relations with the Greeks internally. If we add internal influences, we would build a double layered map and that is very interesting.

For example, I don't know much about the current relations of Poland and Russia and/or the rest of the European Union. Can we say that Poland is decidely out of reach of Russia's influence? If, for example, we can say that Poland's today more impacted by the European Union than by Russia, that would be another "environment" from the perspective I'm coming from (and I'd call it "European Union"): not the jurisdictional "chaos" that is the "West/Diaspora" in this categorization, but a national Church in the European Union and not any longer under Russia (the country, not the Church) political influence.

Which ones were not?

Serbia, Romania (very Slavic), Bulgaria.

Quote
Also, that's why I would like to have your opinions on how the "Slavic" (former communist countries) group could reorganize itself in the years to come as some countries manage to escape (or not) Russia's influence.

You assume: former Communist <=> under Russian ecclesiastical influence. And this is wrong.

IMO, the Czech/Slovak Church escaped Russian influence, same for Finland, and, probably, OCA. Maybe even Georgians.

I do not think Serbians, Romanians, or Bulgarians was under Russian influence to begin with.

Quote
is there anyone that would rather remain under that influence for considering it better than the West?

Polish Church is under cultural Russian influence for the most part and it does not seem to change. And what is "West" here?

Quote
Which is Alpo's church?

Finland.

I don't think you will achieve anything with such generalisations.

How to put Poland in these groups? Mix of cradle parishes of multiple traditions with some diaspora multi-ethnic parishes here and there?

Or OCA? Like Poland but ethnic vs. non-ethnic ratio is switched, and there are also many different strong ethnicities.

Or Finland? Firstly under Russians, now under the EP.

Or Alexandria? A bunch of ethnic Greeks or Arabs and several million of fresh converts?
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« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2013, 07:14:29 PM »

Why are you trying to compare political systems to ecclesiology to liturgical traditions to church politics to national mentalities to...? It has no sense at all.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2013, 07:28:17 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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Fabio Leite
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« Reply #14 on: August 23, 2013, 10:34:35 AM »

It makes "ecological" sense. Churches do not exist in a cultural and political vacuum, impacted only by their internal politics.

The dynamics between what's going inside with what's going around is important for any cultural and political analysis.
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