April 20, 2014

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at Fordham

(sigh) Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was at Fordham University in New York to receive an award yesterday and give a speech. A number of things jump out. First, a recap. In his post, "The Patriarch, the Enlightenment, and the Environment," here on the Observer, Fr. Gregory Jensen reminds us that the human heart needs communion with a person, not an inanimate object. Whether in the Holy Trinity or in the human family, personal communion is radically different then the union possessed by “molecules of water” or by “particles of atmosphere.” The union of the physical creation is impersonal. There is no communion between molecules of water or particles of air. Thus the comparison of the human to the non-human world in these terms makes all conversation about what is in our best personal or national interest meaningless. When particularity is subsumed into an abstraction, the differences between people ultimately have no meaning. But, in his Fordham speech, Patriarch … [Read more...]

Fr. Harakas: St. Athanasius the ‘supreme model’

St. Athanasius

Orthodox Christians have "a message and a way of life" that they must present as "an alternative to the morally and spiritually down-spiraling contemporary American lifestyle," says Fr. Stanley Harakas, Archbishop Iakovos Professor of Orthodox Theology Emeritus at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. Fr. Harakas was the keynote speaker at Fordham University’s Orthodoxy in America lecture on Feb. 17. He said that St. Athanasius is a useful model for Orthodox Christians as they anticipate their future in this country because "his battles for the Orthodox faith, his acceptance of repeated exiles and his unrestrained resistance against opposing forces in high places earned him in history a description as Athanasius contra mundum, or 'Athanasius against the world.'" Also, Alexandria, the city in which St. Athanasius was born and raised, was, in the first few centuries of Christianity, "a pluralistic place, full of variety and within the Christianfold of a wide range of … [Read more...]