August 20, 2014

The Real Byzantium?

In late January, Russian television showed "The Fall of an Empire: The Lessons of Byzantium," a film by Archimandrite Tikhon Shevkunov. The film has sparked a controversy in Russia about the role that the West played in the collapse of the Byzantine Empire, whether modern Russia faces similar dangers, and whether the Russian Orthodox Church could help prevent a similar collapse. The Moscow Times published two opposing views on the documentary today. Mark Urnov, dean of the political science department at the Higher School of Economics, had this to say: This is not a historical film but a mythological one. It appeals to a myth deeply rooted in the consciousness of many Russians -- one that combines the bold ideas of Moscow as a "Third Rome," the greatness of the 18th- and 19th-century Russian Empire and the Communist fairy tale of a flourishing Soviet superpower that was destroyed by insidious and subversive liberals. The film uses the Byzantine model to advance another myth -- … [Read more...]

OCN: Fighting for Life

Here's a great resource for Orthodox Christian educators. The popular Come Receive the Light programming on the Orthodox Christian Network is archived along with a one-page study guide. These could be used in religious education classes and adult study groups. Those of us with wireless access at churches could listen to the archived program on a laptop and work through the study guide afterward. In this recent program, host Fr. Chris Metropulos speaks with Frederica Mathewes-Green about the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Orthodox Christian understanding of life, and how Orthodox Christians throughout the centuries have turned belief into practice by reaching out to women and children in need. Listen here: Here's what Brad Borch wrote in the study guide: In 1973, the US Supreme Court ruled to confirm a woman’s right to an abortion. Since that time, the conflict over this decision has, in many ways, cast a dark pall over our nation. Some have likened the babies lost to … [Read more...]