Paschalis M. Kitromilides, Faith and the Challenges of Worldly Power. What Is Left of Orthodoxy?

Paschalis M. Kitromilides - Academy of Athens
TOME IV 1966 1-2
pp. 107-117
Online publication date: 
Religion; Christianity; Eastern Roman Empire; Orthodoxy; monasticism; Neomartyrs; nationalism

This paper examines the temptations of “worldly entanglement” that the Orthodox Church has faced throughout its history. As the official religion of the Eastern Roman Empire the Orthodox Church while integrated into the imperial power it remained a distinct institution zealous of its spiritual independence. Even though the Church would eventually assume worldly functions under Ottoman rule, its priority still remained the provision of moral guidance to the faithful through monasticism, education and the example set by martyrdom. The emergence of independent states fragmented the Eastern Church into a series of national churches prone to the divisive ideology of nationalism, an issue that the modern Orthodoxy still struggles with. In considering the question “what is left of Orthodoxy” the paper examines how Orthodoxy can be understood by approaching it as a living tradition of faith and experience, and as a potent force in shaping the human condition.