Towards an Active <i>Metanoia<i>
The main purpose of this study has been to explore the tension between the Orthodox Church and the ecumenical movement by addressing, primarily, the theological understanding that the Orthodox have of themselves, of Church unity and of other Christians. I have also explored the ecumenical phenomenon itself and some of the views (not necessarily Orthodox) of what ecumenism represents and some ideas regarding its methodology. This study has aimed to identify a new starting point for the ecumenical endeavour: a new perspective or set of paradigms that would enable the Orthodox (but also other Christians) to approach the ecumenical encounter from a different angle. This new perspective returns to certain principles and visions that are central to Christian theology.
The motivation of this exploration has been a context of hostility and intolerance, sometimes extreme, which some groups within the Orthodox Church have manifested towards ecumenical or inter-Christian encounters, one which has marred or even prevented a genuine dialogue between Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christian communities. Such an attitude is not shared by Orthodox communities in their entirety, yet it has been strong enough to be reflected to varying degrees in the official statements of the Orthodox Churches and is an attitude which has often negatively influenced the way in which the Orthodox have participated in the ecumenical dialogue. Research on this theme has been limited till now since it runs counter to a prevailing attitude in Orthodox circles that attempts to avoid or...
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