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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: Church services in St. Petersburg

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  • vjb
    Vladimir, ... I am afraid that you missed some of the points in one of my previous messages. Let me repeat: According to American Heritage Dictionary: Nation
    Message 1 of 36 , Feb 1, 2005
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      Vladimir,

      >Russians know that Russia is not a State, secular or religious.
      >Russia is a country and a Nation that has got a State among other
      >things, the legitimacy of which is disputable.

      I am afraid that you missed some of the points in one of my previous messages. Let me repeat:
      According to American Heritage Dictionary:
      Nation is
      1. A relatively large group of people organized under a single, usually independent government; a country.
      2. The government of a sovereign state.
      3. A people who share common customs, origins, history, and frequently language; a nationality.

      Now let's plug it in with some other dictionary definitions: Russians (1) or (2) know that Russia is not a State, secular or religious. Russia is a country (1. Territory of a nation or state; land. c. The people of a nation or state; populace. 2. The land of a person's birth or citizenship. 3. A region, territory, or large tract of land distinguishable by features of topography, biology, or culture) and a Nation (3) that has got a State (one of the more or less internally autonomous territorial and political units composing a federation under a sovereign government) among other things, the legitimacy of which is disputable.

      Sounds pretty redundant, doesn't it. Although, think I understand what you are trying to say, and, in principle, I agree with it. When I was speaking about Russia today I meant the Russian state, which now exists only as the Russian Federation. "Legitimacy" in what sense? I do not think you would deny that Russia is a (or maybe "the") successor state of the Kiev Rus/Moscow Rus/Russian Empire. Its current political system is another issue. Putin's biggest advantage is that he does represent the nation (I mean #1 here not #3) as an elected president.

      >As a Russian, I would
      >never even think of equating Russia with the "Russian Federation"
      >(Bozhe sokhrani), nor with Putin's, Yeltsin's, Gorbachev's or
      >Stalin's governments.

      Neither would I equate Russia with any of its leadership. However, at the given moment there is a sovereign Russian state, that is the Russian Federation. I agree that "Russia" could be a broader idea, both from historical and spiritual perspective, if you wish. My understanding was that we were discussing the situation in that state and not in some abstract entity (as nice as it may sound).

      >Russia is a spiritual concept. I suppose this
      >is easier to understand for Russians.

      OK

      >Man is not an individual being. Considering that he is just an
      >individual who must free himself from his community generally viewed
      >as primitive tribalism is "liberal", western, enlightenment-
      >romantic, capitalistic, New-World-Order-like thinking. Man belongs
      >always to a community...

      No objections here.

      >A nation is a nation, not an "ethnic group". The Russian nation is
      >made of innumerable "ethnic groups".

      Let us go back to the definition (above). I never said nation was only an ethnic group. I would prefer if you could clarify the term Russian. As I have mentioned before, Russian language makes that distinction. Not all Russians (Russian) and Russians (russkie), and not all Russians (russkie) are (rossiiane). And besides, getting back to the definition what do you mean by "Russian nation": (1) or (3)? Russia (as in Russian Federation) is in fact a very diverse state or society with many ethnic groups. And of course there are people of various ethnic backgrounds, who identify with Russia. Here in New York there is a large community of third wave immigrants, most of whom come from places other than Russia proper, of different ethnic origins, and anything but Orthodox Christians, who nonetheless identify themselves as "russkie," that is (3) according to the dictionary definition.

      >Among the most patriotic
      >Russians are the Baltic Germans who served Russia and his emperors so
      >well. The painter of "Vyechniy pokoy", Levitan (a Jew), is among the
      >most "Russian" people.

      You are speaking about (3) "people, who share common customs, origins, history, and frequently language." No objections.

      >In message 13516, I mentioned places in the scriptures about
      >collective salvation or condemnation.

      Vladimir, I will not comment on the scriptures because I am not a biblical scholar and I do not have any authority. If you want my own worthless opinion, many of your quotes come from the Old Testament. There is an idea in the OT that children pay for the sins of their parents for several generations. It is also my understanding that Jews to this day believe that what we receive in this life is a reflection of our righteousness. My understanding is that these ideas are rejected in Orthodox Christianity. Quite honestly, I do not find your examples convincing. Besides, if you follow that logic, you will have to come up with some explanation as to why the Orthodox states of Byzantium and Russia disappeared.

      >We know that the Soviet regime has done all it could to eradicate the
      >idea of "Holy Rus".

      Alas, you are right.

      >Only revolutionaries and their heirs such as the
      >Marxist, the Capitalist, the consumerist etc. see nations in
      >bureaucratic, political or biological-ethnographical terms (State,
      >passport, government, ethnic group,...).

      However, one has to use clear defenitions when speaking about things. Any idea can be expressed in clear terms. Simply being vague does not help.

      >There was a time when "Russian" and "Christian"
      >were synonymous, in Russia.

      Are we talking about "russkii" or "rossiianin?" Please date that time!

      victcheslav


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    • vjb
      Paul, This entire discussion has a very strong political connotation and most of it concerns issues outside the Church. It happens very often that some of us
      Message 36 of 36 , Feb 3, 2005
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        Paul,

        This entire discussion has a very strong political connotation and most of it concerns issues outside the Church. It happens very often that some of us (Russians) bring our political ideas to Church because we are likely to find an audience there. ROCOR does not represent the entirety of Orthodox Christianity. It is a part of a historical Russian Church. I am sure you are aware that Orthodox Church is a community of Churches and those Churches are ethnic. That is why you are likely to encounter some cultural issues. Unless you are interested in Russian politics/history/culture I would suggest to stay away from "all of this" and focus on Salvation. It sounds as if you left Orthodoxy. I am sorry to hear that. Despite its ethnic character (the word Russia appears twice in the name of the Church) ROCOR was very successful as a missionary church in America. I have seen many communities composed entirely of non-Russian converts.

        viatcheslav



        On Tue, 1 Feb 2005, vkozyreff wrote (small excerpts):

        > Russia is a spiritual concept. I suppose this
        > is easier to understand for Russians.

        > There was a time when "Russian" and "Christian"
        > were synonymous, in Russia.

        Is there any place for non-Russians in all of this? If I were to
        try to come back to Orthodox Christianity, would there even be a place
        for me, a non-Russian, in ROCOR? Is Orthodox Christianity bigger and
        more inclusive than merely Russia?

        --
        Paul Bartlett
        PGP key info in message headers



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