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17590Re: The MP, the ROCOR and ecumenism

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  • Mike Woodson
    Aug 6, 2006
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      Dear Aleks,



      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, Aleksandr Andreev
      <aleksandr.andreev@...> wrote:
      >
      > "Ecumenism" is one of the most frequently used, and misused, terms in
      > the Orthodox world. I think that it's important to distinguish
      between:
      >
      > a. "Ecumenism" per se, that is, a belief that either the whole truth
      > does not exist in one "confession" or "denomination", and that the
      whole
      > truth can be re-established by bringing together different
      "confessions"
      > or "denominations"; or, a belief that dogmatic differences are
      > unimportant and should be ignored. I once met a guy on campus who told
      > me he didn't believe in creeds because creeds divide people.

      The above definition is ecumenism from the heterodox perspective.
      Heterodoxy is its premise, or and ecumenism is heterodoxy's
      self-fulfilling prophecy which it would like the Orthodox Christian
      Churches to adopt. They would call this "reconciliation" with the
      Orthodox Church.

      > b. "Pluralism", that is, an understanding that multiple religions
      exist,
      > and casting aside debate over truth and falsity, learning to cooperate
      > between religions. (because, quite frankly, any unbiased observer can
      > conclude which religion is true. The problem is, there are few
      unbiased
      > observers.)

      According to one definition of pluralism
      <http://www.bartelby.com/61/45/P0384500.html> , cooperation is not the
      standard of pluralism, but tolerance. Tolerance does not necessarily
      equal cooperation. And another definition holds that there can be no
      monolithic (singular) explanation of all that is, that is, no universal
      theory, which parallels ecumenism as you've defined it above.

      > The point of the latest inter-religious assembly, which gathered in
      > Moscow before the G8 summit was clearly not "ecumenical" but
      > "pluralistic". The point was to let G8 leaders know that religious
      > people are in the world, that they're active, and that political
      leaders
      > should consider their views. The point was also to discuss common
      > problems, like terrorism and inter-religious violence. All of these
      are
      > noble reasons, and should be praised: in our increasingly secular
      world,
      > religious people do need to have their voice heard, so that next time
      > politicians are about to do something stupid, they consider what we
      have
      > to say about it.

      from the Moscow Summit Religious Statement
      <http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=45156> (my emphases
      with underlines):

      "Our communities are also ready to develop dialogue with the adherents
      of non-religious views, with politicians, with all civil society
      structures, with international organizations. It is our hope that such a
      dialogue continues, permitting religions to contribute to concord and
      understanding among nations, a common home founded on the truth, built
      according to justice, vivified by love and liberty. This dialogue should
      be conducted on an equal footing, in a responsible way and on a regular
      basis, with openness to any themes, without ideological prejudice. We
      believe that the time has come for a more systemic partnership of
      religious leaders with the United Nations."

      And:

      "We need to build a world order which combines democracy - as the way of
      harmonizing different interests and as people's participation in
      national and global decision-making - and respect to the moral feeling,
      way of life, various legal and political systems, and national and
      religious traditions of people."

      > But then, perhaps some were disappointed that the G8 summit was held
      in
      > the dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia and that Russian Church
      > hierarchs and leading Russian historians and sociologists were telling
      > delegates about how to deal with inter-religious violence. But then,
      > what's wrong with that? After all, Russia didn't know religious
      violence
      > until 1917. Russia didn't exterminate its native populations. Russia
      > didn't forcibly convert anyone to (or from) anything.

      We could revisit this last paragraph later.

      >
      > +Aleks
      >
      Thanks, Aleks.

      Mike W.



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