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Missionary Stories and the Formation of the Syriac Churches analyzes the hagiographic traditions of seven missionary saints in the Syriac heritage during late antiquity: Thomas, Addai, Mari, John of Ephesus, Simeon of Beth Arsham, Jacob Baradaeus, and Ahudemmeh. Jeanne-Nicole Mellon Saint-Laurent studies a body of legends about the missionaries' voyages in the Syrian Orient to illustrate their shared symbols and motifs. Revealing how these texts encapsulated the concerns of the communities that produced them, she draws attention to the role of hagiography as a malleable genre that was well-suited for the idealized presentation of the beginnings of Christian communities. Hagiographers, through their reworking of missionary themes, asserted autonomy, orthodoxy, and apostolicity for their individual civic and monastic communities, positioning themselves in relationship to the rulers of their empires and to competing forms of Christianity. Saint-Laurent argues that missionary hagiography is an important and neglected source for understanding the development of the East and West Syriac ecclesiastical bodies: the Syrian Orthodox Church and the Church of the East. Given that many of these Syriac-speaking churches remain today in the Middle East and India, with diaspora communities in Europe and North America, this work opens the door for further study of the role of saints and stories as symbolic links between ancient and modern traditions.
How should Christians think about the relationship between the exercise of military power and the spread of Christianity? In Russian Orthodoxy and the Russo-Japanese War, Betsy Perabo looks at the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-5 through the unique concept of an `interreligious war' between Christian and Buddhist nations, focusing on the figure of Nikolai of Japan, the Russian leader of the Orthodox Church in Japan. Drawing extensively on Nikolai's writings alongside other Russian-language sources, the book provides a window into the diverse Orthodox Christian perspectives on the Russo-Japanese War - from the officials who saw the war as a crusade for Christian domination of Asia to Nikolai, who remained with his congregation in Tokyo during the war. Writings by Russian soldiers, field chaplains, military psychologists, and leaders in the missionary community contribute to a rich portrait of a Christian nation at war. By grounding its discussion of 'interreligious war' in the historical example of the Russo-Japanese War, and by looking at the war using the sympathetic and compelling figure of Nikolai of Japan, this book provides a unique perspective which will be of value to students and scholars of both Russian history, the history of war and religion and religious ethics.
In Memory Eternal, Sergei Kan combines anthropology and history, anecdote and theory to portray the encounter between the Tlingit Indians and the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska in the late 1700s and to analyze the indigenous Orthodoxy that developed over the next 200 years. As a native speaker of Russian with eighteen years of fieldwork experience among the Tlingit, Kan is uniquely qualified to relate little-known material from the archives of the Russian church in Alaska to Tlingit oral history and his own observations. By weighing the one body of evidence against the other, he has reevaluated this history, arriving at a persuasive new concept of "converged agendas"-the view that the Tlingit and the Russians tended to act in mutually beneficial ways but for entirely different reasons throughout the period of their contact with one another. The Russian-American Company began operations in southeastern Alaska in the 1790s. Against a description of Tlingit culture at the time of the Russians' arrival, Kan examines Russian Orthodox theology, ritual practice, and missionary methods, and the Tlingit response to them. An uneasy symbiosis characterized the early era of the Russian-American Company, when the trading relationship outweighed any spiritual or social rapprochement. A second, major focus of Kan's study is the Tlingit experience with American colonial domination. He attributes a sudden revival of Tlingit interest in Orthodoxy in the 1880s as their attempt to maintain independence in the face of concerted efforts by the newcomers (and especially Presbyterian missionaries) to Americanize them. Memory Eternal shows the colonial encounter to be both a power struggle and a dialogue between different systems of meaning. It portrays Native Alaskans not as helpless victims but as historical agents who attempted to adjust to the changing reality of their social world without abandoning fundamental principles of their precolonial sociocultural order or their strong sense of self-respect.
These essays, by well-known theologians representing various branches of theology -- liturgics, ecclesiology, ethics, pastoral practice, church history, biblical studies -- contribute to the "unity of theological thought" in the Orthodox Church.
'Two Romes have fallen. The third stands. And there will be no fourth.' So spoke Russian monk Hegumen Filofei of Pskov in 1510, proclaiming Muscovite Russia as heirs to the legacy of the Roman Empire following the collapse of the Byzantine Empire. The so-called 'Third Rome Doctrine' spurred the creation of the Russian Orthodox Church, although just a century later a further schism occurred, with the Old Believers (or 'Old Ritualists') challenging Patriarch Nikon's liturgical and ritualistic reforms and laying their own claim to the mantle of Roman legacy. While scholars have commonly painted the subsequent history of the Old Believers as one of survival in the face of persistent persecution at the hands of both tsarist and church authorities, Peter De Simone here offers a more nuanced picture. Based on research into extensive, yet mostly unknown, archival materials in Moscow, he shows the Old Believers as versatile and opportunistic, and demonstrates that they actively engaged with, and even challenged, the very notion of the spiritual and ideological place of Moscow in Imperial Russia.Ranging in scope from Peter the Great to Lenin, this book will be of use to all scholars of Russian and Orthodox Church history.
With a new subject and scriptural index, as well as a short abstract on Nikolai Gogol as a religious personality, this reedited commentary on the Divine Liturgy-the primary public worship service of the Orthodox Church-is as practical as it is mystical. Gogol, one of the most prominent Russian writers of the 19th century, draws from the early Church Fathers and his own experience to explain the sublime mystery of the Orthodox divine services. In doing so, he also provides a fascinating look into his own religious character and profound liturgical spirituality.
Complete music and text for the Bridegroom Matins of Great and Holy Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, settings for the "proper" hymns of Matins, Vespers, and the Divine Liturgy of Holy Thursday. Contains Stikhera in the standard obikhod chant, other "proper" hymns in a variety of settings. SATB.
Contemporary biographies of Saint Daniel the Stylite, Saint Theodore of Sykeon and Saint John the Almsgiver. Important documents for the social history of the Byzantine empire.
A discussion of prayer, especially the "Jesus Prayer." Not simply a presentation of techniques, it emphasizes theology as well as practice.
The cult of the saints is a phenomenon that expanded rapidly in the fourth century, and John Chrysostom's homilies are important witnesses to its growth. Until now, the majority of john's homilies on the saints and martyrs have been ignored. However, in this volume, Wendy Mayer investigates the liturgical, topographical, and pastoral aspects that marked the martyr cult at Antioch and Constantinople in John's time. The cult's original point of focus was the Christian martyrs--those followers of the Jesus-movement who died in confession of their faith, either at the hands of other Jews or at the hands of the Roman administration. Mayer pinpoints several conceptual shifts that identified and shaped this cult: the imitation of Christ's own death; the creedal declaration "I am a Christian," the sense of privilege bestowed upon martyrs; the ritual purity of relics; public veneration of the departed; and places made holy by martyrs' blood. This rich collection includes homilies on martyrs Meletius, Eustathius, Lucian, Phocas, Juventinus and Maximinus, Ignatius, Eleazar (and the seven boys), Bernike, Prosdoke and Domnina, Barlaam, Drosis, and Romanus. It also includes encomia on Egyptian martyrs and on all the martyrs. To round out the volume, a letter written by John from exile concerning the use of martyr rclics in a mission context and a letter in Latin in which Vigilius, Bishop of Tridentum, offers fresh Italian relics to John have been included. The cult of the saints is still very much alive in Roman Catholic and Eastern Christian piety. There are still parts of the world where the cult is observed in ways that differ little from those which were established at its very beginning. In thisrespect, the homilies that John Chrysostom preached on the feast days of his local saints and martyrs remain fresh and alive for us today.
Athos, the Holy Mountain of Greece, is one of the most mysterious places in the world. A rugged pyramid that rises up from the Aegean Sea, this mountain is wreathed in myth, legend and ancient traditions that to this day remain largely hidden from view. The heart of Athos started to beat at the dawn of Christianity and its community lays claim to being the oldest democracy in the world. An entirely autonomous region of the Hellenic Republic, it is home to twenty Eastern Orthodox monasteries that cling to its rocky flanks. No women are allowed to set foot upon the peninsula and the monks who inhabit this isolated place still use the Julian calendar, living on 'Byzantine Time', where each day starts at sunset. While living in the mountain's shadow, in Ouranopolis, Sydney Loch spent many years exploring Athos, the result of which is an enthralling and vivid portrait of the Holy Mountain.
Many people today are uncertain about what they believe and how they should live. They seek for a tradition that demonstrates antiquity and possesses authenticity. This newly translated volume of the writings of the Orthodox spiritual teacher Ignatius Brianchaninov offers a vision of a life that flows from following Christ. The field is both a place of spiritual struggle and a garden in which to cultivate virtues. But are we willing to respond to the challenge of a life lived in accordance with the Christian Gospel? St Ignatius' writing is the Christian tradition at its deepest, intensely practical but also transcendent and mystical.
Orthodoxy is often identified with beautiful icons, elaborate liturgy, perfection as deification, and the vision of God as light. But there is a deeper side in which martyrdom is embraced. The spirituality of the Christian East is often identified with beautiful icons, elaborate liturgy, a way of perfection as deification, and the vision of God as light. But martyrdom is part and parcel of the Orthodox way, and its spirituality is profoundly marked by the reality of pain and division. This fascinating study finds a deeper insight at the heart of the Orthodox tradition: the idea of brokenness and darkness as the only way to healing and light, the idea of imperfection as the only way to salvation.
Living Icons presents an intimate portrait of holiness as exemplified in the lives and thoughts of ten people of faith in the Eastern Orthodox Church. In this inspiring volume, Michael P. Plekon introduces readers to a diverse and unusual group of men and women who strove to put the Gospel of Christ into action in their lives. The ""living icons"" Plekon describes were, among other things, priests, theologians, writers, and caregivers to the homeless and poor. One was an artist who became the greatest icon painter in this century; another was assassinated for his teachings in post-Soviet Russia. These remarkable people of faith lived through times of great suffering: forced emigration, the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War. Many of them were criticized, if not condemned, by ecclesiastical opponents and authorities. yet each demonstrate a unique pattern for holiness, illustrating that the path to sainthood is open to all. With the fall of state socialism, Eastern Orthodox churches and monasteries are being reopened and receiving renewed interest from believers and nonbelievers alike. Plekon calls to our attention people like Saint Seraphim of Sarov (1759-1832), a monk, mystic, counselor, healer, and visionary; Father Alexander Man (1935-1990), a Russian whose writings after Glasnost ultimately led to his tragic assassination; Mother Maria Skobtsova (1891-1945), a painter, poet, and political activist who was killed in a concentration camp for hiding her Jewish neighbors; and Father Lev Gillet (1893-1980), one of the twentieth century's greatest spiritual teachers. Living Icons, which includes a foreword by Lawrence S. Cunningham, brings to life the beautiful, and often unfamiliar, spirituality of the Eastern Orthodox Church through some of its most remarkable members. It shows with simplicity and clarity that Christ and the Gospel are often manifested in extraordinary ways in the lives of ordinary people.
Drawing on scriptural, patristic, historical, dogmatic, and liturgical foundations, this pioneering volume develops an Orthodox Christian model of stewardship. Renowned scholars explore the links among time, talents, and treasure and investigate concepts of stewardship from the early church to contemporary Orthodox Christianity in the United States.
Mother Raphaela emphasizes the molding of character within community, where rough edges and prideful independence are transformed into gracious service to the neighbor. Illustrated with calligraphy by the author herself, this book contains insightful observations about the natural and spiritual realms.
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