Orthodox Buzz Words 2: “God willing”

The next Orthodox catchphrase that I want to take up is the often-heard refrain, “if God wills,” or more often just “God willing.” This phrase and its many variants are so numerous that compiling a catalog of examples would require more space than we have allotted to us here. So, consider just a few examples: Have a safe trip home. OK, God willing. Get a good night’s sleep, I’ll try, God willing.…

Orthodox Buzz Words 1: “Come and See”

A few years ago I read a humorous article that suggested that we could identify the make of the motorcycle a person rode by looking at their clothing. Those with fine, color matched, full body leathers, and the latest hi-tech gear were put into the BMW category. Those who favored jeans and t-shirts were thought likely to prefer Asian sports bikes. Those who wore heavy, black, mismatched, tattered, and low-tech equipment were…

Participation During a Time of Crisis

How do we live with our deepest differences, especially when those differences are religious and ideological, and very especially when those differences concern matters of our common public life? In short, how do we create a global public square and make the world safer for diversity?[1] There can be little doubt that the Enlightenment concept of individual freedom is one of the key building blocks of our society. In fact, it is…

From Post-Truth to Post-Nous

A Reflection on the Incarnation (Mt. 2) One of the more positive elements of the Enlightenment was its insistence that we are free to use our minds. Immanuel Kant, for example, encouraged every individual to have the courage to use their own understanding, that is to freely apply reason publicly and in all matters. From a biblical and theological perspective, there is, of course, nothing wrong with that idea, since the mind/thinking…

Monasteries and the Modern Social Imaginary

In the posts that were to have followed the previous one, I had intended to discuss two additional aspects of human interaction and the ways in which they impact the Church. On the one hand, there is public discourse, which is essentially difference-overcoming dialog or discussion that takes place in our common spaces and works toward consensus-based policies that benefit the majority. While this activity is essential to the wellbeing of society…

2. Management/Administration: 2.7 Consumption / Participation

It has been some time since I have been able to post anything to this site. All of us have been battling the many consequences of the pandemic gripping our country. I would now like to take this work up again, but not exactly where I left off. I had been discussing various ways in which the Church has been affected by North American consumerism and I would like to bring that…

2. Management/Admin.: 2.6.1 Publicity (Part I)

When I think of publicizing the presence and work of a parish, what I have in mind is that its members and clergy are going to be so excited by what they experience in the Church that they will go out and spontaneously talk to some of their neighbors, colleagues, and friends about what they have seen and heard. They won’t be able to help themselves. Some have called this “The Spontaneous…