Monday, December 10, 2012

Ethnic Churches

Ancient Faith Radio: Ethnocentrism in the Orthodox Church
Fr. Theodore Paraskevopoulos, Ancient Faith Radio podcaster and the parish priest of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Winnipeg, Canada, and Matthew Namee, a Founding Director of The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas, speak about this vexing and all-too-pervasive reality—and obstacle to evangelism—in the Orthodox Church.


(via Byzantine, TX)

I haven't listened to the episode yet, but I suspect that if the parish were "American" and ethnocentric in that way, this ethnocentricism would not be a problem. Rather it is the question of how people who are not of the same ethnicity, nor share the same language, are to be welcomed in a parish that is of a particular ethnic background. Do the Orthodox need to develop an Anglo-American rite? And what tradition of sacred music or chant should be preferred? Would it be possible to create one based on some Western tradition? And isn't this problem related to there being multiple Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States, rather than a single one, as each of those jurisdictions has a particular ethnic identity?

Or is this just a problem centered on language - the use of a language other than English? I think even the Antiochian Orthodox Church, which has attracted a lot of converts, retains some of its liturgical heritage, but because of the number of converts, the liturgies are generally in English?

Downloading the podcast now...

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