Towards an Active <i>Metanoia<i>
Chapter 1 Orthodoxy and the Orthodox
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Orthodoxy and the Orthodox
Without aiming to exhaust the theme, we will begin by approaching ‘Orthodoxy’ and ‘the Orthodox Church’ and the way these terms and realities are understood from within communities of the Orthodox tradition. We will attempt to achieve this mainly by exploring the views of a number of modern or contemporary theologians belonging specifically to that tradition. We will concentrate, however, on those particular aspects of Orthodoxy which are of direct relevance to this exploration, namely, the way in which the Orthodox relate to other Christians, their approach towards ecumenical interaction and conversation, and the way they understand their participation within the ecumenical movement.
Although the terms ‘Orthodoxy’ and ‘the Orthodox Church’ are used interchangeably in literature, and the Orthodox Church is often referred to as ‘Orthodoxy’, especially in specialized theological contexts, this study will focus on what ‘Orthodox’ and ‘Orthodoxy’ mean, as these are the main defining characteristics of the Orthodox Church.
Orthodox theology is keen to present both the Orthodox Church and Orthodoxy as a complex reality, as a way of life and much more than just an institution. In the words of two important Orthodox theologians, Sergius Bulgakov and John Zizioulas:
Orthodoxy is the Church of Christ on earth. The Church of Christ is not an institution; it is a new life with Christ and in Christ, guided by the Holy Spirit.1 ← 39 | 40 →
The Church is...
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