Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ethnic Nationalism in the Orthodox Church

Ethnic Nationalism is a reality within the Orthodox Church. It has created numerous problems, especially in the diaspora, where many Orthodox jurisdictions co-exist. This, however, will have to be one of the issues discussed during the future Pan-Orthodox Synod, because if it isn’t, then the situation can get out of hand. John Meyendorff, in his book Living Tradition claims that:

‘The reality which is particularly harmful to orthodox witness in the present world, and also to the true manifestation of Orthodox ecclesiology . . . is ethnic nationalism (as distinct from sound and legitimate cultural patriotism), inherited from the nineteenth century. Because of this, contemporary Orthodoxy looks like a loose federation of ethnic churches, frequently quarrelling with each other, rather than the One Catholic Church of Christ. Doctrinally this ethnic nationalism has been officially condemned by the Orthodox Church of Constantinople in 1872, but it still dominates in practice much of the relations between the Orthodox autocephalous churches.’ (pp. 112-113).  


  1. So long as it is possible to think of a "diaspora", the Orthodox Church has condemned itself to being nothing more than an ethnic museum and political club.

  2. Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater

  3. This has existed in one form or another for centuries.