17590Re: The MP, the ROCOR and ecumenism
- Aug 6, 2006Dear Aleks,
--- In email@example.com, Aleksandr Andreev
> "Ecumenism" is one of the most frequently used, and misused, terms in
> the Orthodox world. I think that it's important to distinguish
> a. "Ecumenism" per se, that is, a belief that either the whole truth
> does not exist in one "confession" or "denomination", and that the
> truth can be re-established by bringing together different"confessions"
> or "denominations"; or, a belief that dogmatic differences areThe above definition is ecumenism from the heterodox perspective.
> 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.
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
> b. "Pluralism", that is, an understanding that multiple religionsexist,
> and casting aside debate over truth and falsity, learning to cooperateunbiased
> between religions. (because, quite frankly, any unbiased observer can
> conclude which religion is true. The problem is, there are few
> 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 inleaders
> 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
> should consider their views. The point was also to discuss commonare
> problems, like terrorism and inter-religious violence. All of these
> noble reasons, and should be praised: in our increasingly secularworld,
> religious people do need to have their voice heard, so that next timehave
> politicians are about to do something stupid, they consider what we
> to say about it.from the Moscow Summit Religious Statement
<http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=45156> (my emphases
"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."
"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 heldin
> the dark, dismal, atheist, autocratic Russia and that Russian Churchviolence
> 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
> until 1917. Russia didn't exterminate its native populations. RussiaWe could revisit this last paragraph later.
> didn't forcibly convert anyone to (or from) anything.
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