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Orthodoxy and ecumenism: towards active metanoia

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posted on 2023-08-30, 14:11 authored by George R. Porumb
The questions that underlined and motivated this research project have been: Why do members of the Orthodox Church participate in the ecumenical movement, and how can they negotiate an involvement in ecumenical contexts, together with their non-Orthodox counterparts – considering that the Orthodox see their Church as the one and only true Church? The background of this exploration has been the context of hostility and prejudice, which some groups within the Orthodox Church have manifested towards ecumenical encounters, which has marred and obstructed a genuine dialogue between the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox Christian communities. This project is based on the analysis of sources from contemporary Orthodox and Western theological milieux. It has interpreted these sources with a view to determining how they interact and coalesce into visions that inform the relationship between Orthodoxy and ecumenism. The interpretative stage of the discussion reveals the necessity of delineating paradigms for Orthodoxy and ecumenism that will enable future ecumenical interactions of greater efficiency and integrity. Such paradigms outline a vision wherein central aspects of Orthodox theology would move away from a paradigm of ‘passive conservatism’ to one of ‘active metanoia’ (transformation), while ecumenism would come to be seen as a perennial process and intrinsic aspect of theology. These vantage points define a new Orthodox vision of ecumenism as an ever-enlarging catholicity, by bringing back to the fore the common theological core of both Orthodoxy and ecumenism.



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