Lessons from Byzantium

fall-of-constantinople

Excerpt: George Ostrogorsky in his magisterial History of the Byzantine State shows how the people of Byzantium rose time and again to create wealth, cultivate their intellectual capital, and achieve military success. Ultimately, though, they could not overcome the bad policy decisions that, made over the course of generations, ran counter to the proven path of political strength, cultural … [Read more...]

EP Fast Track? Homily of Met. Elpidophoros of Proussa at His Ordination

elpidorphoros-ordination

Readers will remember that Met. Elpidophoros gave the controversial speech at Holy Cross a few years back extolling the virtues of Constantinople and castigating America for ignoring it (see: Ecumenical Patriarchate: American ‘Diaspora’ must submit to Mother Church). It didn't go over well at all. The next year he was invited to St. Vladimir's Seminary and while not clarifying his remarks he … [Read more...]

Bureaucratic Church and Imperial State

In response to comments here on this blog about whether the Byzantines will one day "save" the American Church, the answer to that, as has been observed, is that there are no Byzantines remaining to save us. What's more, there would be little support among American Orthodox Christians for the sort of deep involvement by the state in Church affairs that was typical of Byzantium. The American … [Read more...]

Review: How the Byzantines Saved Europe

The Surprising Life of  Medieval Empire

The Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies. Edited by Elizabeth Jeffreys, John Haldon, Robin Cormack. Oxford University Press (2008) Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire by Judith Herrin. Princeton University Press (2008) Ask the average college student to identify the 1,100 year old empire that was, at various points in its history, the political, commercial, artistic and … [Read more...]

What is the first responsibility of a Bishop? To preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

The Apostolic Mission of Bishops: A Short Reflection By Bradley Nassif, Ph.D. The purpose of this brief, and incomplete, reflection is to focus on the centrality of the gospel in the ministry of a bishop. It is not intended to promote a partisan perspective on any issue facing the contemporary Orthodox Church – Antiochian, Greek or O.C.A. It simply spotlights what the calling of a bishop is … [Read more...]

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 … [Read more...]

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