Andrew Louth - "Modern Orthodox Thinkers"
9:16PM Jun 25, 2020
Jonathan J. Armstrong
We are very honored today to be speaking with Father Andrew Louth, emeritus professor of Patristics and Byzantine studies at Durham University. Father Andrew is the author of a number of books. He is an expert in the history and theology of Eastern Orthodoxy. Most recently, he authored introducing Eastern Orthodox Theology available from IVP academic in 2013, and is also the author of the texts that we'll be discussing today, Modern Orthodox Thinkers: From Philokalia to the Present, Father Andrew, we're very, very privileged to be speaking with you today.
Nice to be to talk to
father Andrew as we begin, chapter one in your book is entitled The fillo Kalia and its influence and in this chapter, you show how the public of the phyllo kalium in 1782 is a watershed moment for the Eastern Orthodox theology. In a few words, if you would, sir. What is the phyllo kalea? And how did it shape the development of Eastern Orthodox theology over the past two centuries?
To I think I'd rather argue than show. It's not there, not not everybody would, would accept this. The Philadelphia is a collection of
ascetic texts, or mystical texts
in in Greek,
from about the fifth century through to the 14th century, 15th century so overall Millenium it was put together by two monks of the holy mountain father Nicodemus. Now since they both both now regards to the saints in the old structure in Sydney economists of the holy mountain and Since materials who became Bishop currents,
they put it together in the 18th century. I
primarily think to collect the two produces a collected version of the wisdom of the Byzantine orthodox ascetic tradition.
the focus of it released towards the end of the last quarter, I suppose, is concerned with texts relating to the so called he has he has controversy of the 14th century,
when there was controversy in Byzantium,
about all about whether monks who prayed live healthy lives could become united, the God could even see the uncreated light. They were attacked as loosen ating or worse and they were defended by some Gregory palace himself, a monk of ethos, who became artificial Thessaloniki, in whose diocese as I says, In the 14th century. And so the last quarter are concerned with the important thing because just before LMS palace himself, and then a few figures just after Panama to reflect the continuation of this tradition in the century after his death, the first three quarters really represents a sort of a view, if you like, of the Byzantine ascetic tradition from this perspective,
and it goes back.
It starts actually with some texts that are ascribed to Antony of Egypt, but not continue by him. And then there are texts by five famous Byzantine writers. Dad is the third key is one of the earliest quite famous ones. A lot of space is devoted to maximum confessor, the great The great seventh century, still centric religion and, and monk and Ascetic. And so the aim was, I think, to present in contenders for the with the kind of things that it was thought you would need to read, in order to go more deeply into this tradition has just had wanting more one element in the controversy in the 14th century concerned the practice of the Jesus prayer, the use of this short prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God have mercy upon the sinner.
there are texts that are directly concerned with how to do it, what posture to take, and so on in the fidic area. And, and, as you probably know, in the law,
it really is a result ultimately of the publication of
the Jesus prayer is probably more Linear inverted, it's ever been in the history of Christianity. Up to the time of the physical year, it would have been something that monks, some monks, not many of us all would have practiced in the course of the last century, it's translated into science because the last century, it's sped, mainly not directly through the nuclear itself. But through a work called where's the pilgrim? Which was, well, which is that's got a complicated history, but the way the pilgrim is, is, as he says, For tales relating to a pilgrim Stronach, a wonder of hope. There are many in 19th century and earlier Russia. And it's a very, very attractive account of someone's search for true prayer. It's been translated into most languages that were very, very many languages in the course of the 20th century became very Well, no, it's the P Green Book mentioned in jd sangwich Salinas book training Franny and Zooey doing,
And I think the Jesus prayer probably is practice much more widely than ever in the past. And not not, not just an unorthodox,
Father Andrew, this book modern orthodox thinkers from the fillo kalea to the present is an extraordinarily useful book, especially perhaps for those of us accustomed to a more Western theological tradition. You give in this text, a wonderful chapter by chapter introduction to various theologians of the past 200 years. One of these theologians you mentioned and work with is Sergei Bulgakov in the 1930s. In Paris, Sergei Bulgakov penned his theology the god manhood, how is that how is the shape of Buddha dogmatically different from those of Western theologians practicing also in Europe during this time, perhaps say Carl Bart.
Actually, I see the strange thing is that is not that different. What is interesting is that Bulgakov was writing in the 30s just the same time as Bart was turning to write your church dogmatix random at the same time that people like handles from deltas are then still quite young man was beginning to think what a presentation of Christian theology should really look like in the context of the modern culture. And the really striking parallels I think, between what Algar cough is doing, and and particularly what what Colbert is doing, and
they're not traditional.
The the traditional way of presenting a
dogmatic theology is basically on the lines of the creed. You start with God, the Father and the Trinity and then you move on to the question. nation doctrines and spirit doctrines the church in sacraments. This is really following the structure of the creed. But doesn't do this. And Bart really is much more concerned with understanding how it is we hear the Word of God here.
And so the first the first the first
part, the grounds have been $13. And the The first part is concerned with, with, with how what is entailed by seeing theology is hearing the Word of God as opposed to a theology which tries to impose upon the world Word of God. And but remember, actually started off with a volume of work called the Christian dogmatic, which he abandoned after the first after the after he published the first volume, and then went on to church dramatics and part of the point of this I think, that it's so bad is that We only get it right, if we understand ourselves standing within the church to hear the Word of God. That if we think of ourselves as trying to reach out for different ways in which we will sort of grasp the Word of God Well, in the end as you're going to turn the Word of God into the word we want to hear, rather the word God wants us to hear. Now, it seems to me in some ways go dark off is even more radical in this. Dark have gone on God, manhood consists of three lengthy volumes published in the 40s, probably, probably not quite completed when it was really when the final volume was published, he died at the same time. And, first of all, you it's called the Lamb of God, and it's about Christ. The second volume is called the Comforter, which is about the Holy Spirit. The third volume is called the bride of the lab, which is about the experience of recreation within the church must have largest, what's the most exciting what's the most controversial? What's going on in Bali I have the point really is this that we, we start by looking at the way in which God has manifested Himself to us. And the father manifests Himself to us through the sun and the spirit, and that this becomes manifest on the cross. On the cross, we see. We see what is entailed by the word of God, manifested by the word of God communicating himself to us across the sin and destruction and devastation we've made what it is to be human.
And it is the Son and the spirit enabling us
to grasp the significance of this.
And this is the revelation of the Father.
It's actually the Father. The section on the father is an appendix to Volume Two, because the father remains unknown apart from his manifestation in the summary the word in the spirit Since meats completely radical approach to to the way in which you might do theology, and it does seem to me it's very parallel to the kind of thing that Altidore is going to do a couple of decades. Three decades later, in that, in that huge series of volumes, we started off with the glory of the Lord than the few you document. What's it called in English? Anyway, in German, is it hellish Kate,
the settings, the settings, and then the dogmatic economy.
It seems that the two of them are doing very similar things, which I think is extraordinarily interesting. But there's not there's no question of influence. It really is a question or I think it's much more a question of various great theologians in the middle of the 20th century, seeing the same problem that needs to be addressed, if we're going to articulate a theology that will communicate with people. Now.
Father Andrew, one of the early chapters in your text modern orthodox thinkers discusses George Fleur offski, one of the most renowned Eastern Orthodox theologians of the past century, George floor offski taught at Harvard University, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox seminary and Princeton University. What is a floor off skis quote, neo patristic synthesis. And how did this approach notably is it notably different from Bulgakov?
It's much less different from the guard coughs Ostrowski wanted to believe. And, and one thing I didn't answer in the first to the first question, why is the the physically a kind of watershed, if you will. So if you look at modern orthodox theology, as we read it now in the diaspora,
whether orthodox or non orthodox, the most crucial sort of
group we're going to look at up The people who lived in Paris, in from the 20s onwards after the intellectuals, were unacceptable to the Bolsheviks were expelled, or the so called steam shifted the philosophers. If you trace their ideas back, you find yourself going back into the 19th century, and going back into the whole revival of religious life and theological life in 19th century Russia. And this I think, could be traced very directly back to the physical layer, the physical layer with its encouragement of
spiritual life based on practice of prayer and practice of the sacraments, the introduction into Russian life again of the Spirit of the institution of spiritual father Woodstock Festival. These are events that I think water the roots of a new approach to theology, which which blossoms in the West in Paris now
the way they got there
In the 19th century was
partly through trying to catch up with the West and enormous there's enormous interest in philosophical developments in the West as a pass rusher by.
And, and much of this was
a German idealist tradition. People like Hegel, though shelling actually was far more important, I think, for the Russians and Hegel. And it was a philosophical tradition that, though, has always been controversial, and for offski thought that the Russians think is subject to an alien Western philosophy. And the Garko he regarded as the principal representative of this what is often called the the Russian religious renascence at the turn of the century. And he wanted to say, Look men in it, we have to go back up. This is a tradition, which is junk tradition, really, we have to get back to the real groups of Christians or lie in The Greek fathers, vertical Christian Hellenism. And the near Pacific patristic synthesis is a way of articulating this sense that orthodox theology is only genuinely orthodox. If it is the theology of the Church of the fathers. This means going back to the fathers, it means listening to them, articulating them in the modern world in a modern context, it's not a question. It's not certainly not a question of simply repeating the teaching nowadays. And they in the 20s, and 30s and 40s, particularly the controversy, which led to condemnation by the Moscow to truncate in the Russian Orthodox Church abroad. And the notion of sphere was sociology. It looks as if there's a big contrast between something which has got roots that would be quite unorthodox evidence that a deep medical doctor for But I think more than scholarship, if you read more and more and more about the more, you'll find that there is actually far more in common. Russia had had a huge logistic revival partly inspired by the military. In the 19th century. By the end of the 19th century, there were translations of the Russian of virtually the
of the Greek and that in fact, this is a great huge project masterminded by a metropolitan forget the Metropolitan Moscow, so most of them little different spiritual academies will give them different folders to translate all came out in Russian. Somebody like Google, actually did need reading and translation is Latin and Greek is very well educated man could read in that country perfectly well, but he had it all in Russian. And he's, he's when he talks about how to do theology is first we first we go back to the vault, we see what the Father said. And then we try to understand in the context of the questions that We're facing nowadays, what this means. Now this is, this is not very different from live just expenses, but the people who we associate the nutrition side for offski and particularly Vladimir lossky, who's I think been
more influential than any of those
of you in India. And
they do present themselves as cutting away the, the religious traditions of the 19th century. Whereas in reality, they're very, very deeply indebted to it. didn't see anything I didn't see this huge contrast that that certainly draws he wanted us to believe in Hmm.
Father Andrew as one who's been directly influenced by the nobility ology many evangelicals today are working in the resource Mark movement which traces its history back to the 1940s in Paris, with scholars Jesuits Scholars like to lay the loop back and so on. Is there a direct correlation between this Russian religious Renaissance that you're speaking of with Bulgakov and others, and this movement in Paris in the 1940s that ultimately develops into what we know is resource month theology.
Origins they are completely intertwined, it seems to me.
I wouldn't switch to the roots register nice and that's it's just a sob that the Russians and the Russians who arrived in Paris in the in the 20s they soon they were talking to their Catholic compares.
There was a thing which is usually referred to as the Jaya
colloquy, which is a group of originally
orthodox Catholic and Protestant theologians that naturally became just orthodox and Catholic after Vatican expressed deep distress talking to Protestants. This was this was this was organized by Nicolas Cage is one of the we think of it more as a philosopher and he would certainly think of himself as a philosopher.
Jacques Maritain would also think of himself as a near term is philosopher. And they kind of the group that came together must have been maybe about 20 people. It included for all skating to block off with the Giants obviously. And there's other people on the Catholic side is that a chance sometimes she'll song that was one year, continents names tag with people like that. It is a Paris based group.
And so that's the first thing the first the first link.
A very important figure in this is a financial factor. The book is very little known as a woman. Madam Mirror Mirror quality. She was rather different from the rest of the emigrates. She lives in Paris. 1900 and six.
The study at the Sorbonne
subject was medieval troubadour poetry. She wrote a book her thesis was on the figure of the woman in creating the truck, which is still in print hundred years later. And 10 years later, it's still in print, which is amazing. She married a lot, who was the the great medieval theologian, person, so
many historian in Paris at the time,
and she was there as a sort of
grand lady. When the immigrants arrived and encountered the immigrants drew her back to her native orthodoxy. She sort of drifted off into nothing much interested in Catholicism a bit. She was in the bedroom. And we have very interesting testaments, john. JOHN, Daniela was also occasionally in this He heard her talking. And he said that the thing about matter about middle of it was that you heard you heard a voice. It was really,
it really wasn't the way the voice of the founders
and whether she was talking with she was writing and it was it was her he said the persuaded him. The study of defaulters was not just a sort of archaeological just as a way of reviving theology itself. So in a way Daniella is saying right at the heart of resource law. Is this
this Russian lady, middle or a team? No.
I think I think I think you're probably right. The one of the reasons we're interested in the fathers
among young Roman Catholic theologians in the 20s 30s
was because it wasn't as dangerous possibilities. New Testament theology dogmatic theology, you Be the vertical beyond to innovate in immediate if you stepped out of line Chris's club representatives just history, but you're saying what they said we're not saying we agree with just expanding what they said. Of course they go far beyond this Danny Andrews famous thesis dummies intelligent Mystique to click transforms our understanding of
mysticism the piston
is wanting to genuinely change the way we do things.
And Danny, there is a lot of people
associated very closely with the resources he and
what is their
founded source criterion. And so it's critical is it worthy. The kind of public manifestation is also known as hundreds of volumes identified 600 volumes and these are works nowadays they're a good critical addition to the fathers with financial insulation and decent Coventry. They've transformed access to the father's. And I would argue in fact, I have argued that, that we should see a kind of symbiotic relationship between really the near patristic synthesis, endeavor
On the one hand,
I think it is the case that the the Orthodox theologians in Paris in the 30s did inspire Western religions, like, I don't know about to do that. But certainly like Daniel and Louie do a reply that inspire them with the idea of the resource that to back to the founders was a way of reviving modern technology. In fact, one of the things, one of the people I mentioned in my book, this back to the fathers, and I say this, it's often said that you did in his case, and I think in the case of Holland, it was just better put as much revive a pair formed with the fathers not back
to the fathers.
And the the other thing is that resources are
made available to orthodox theologians a huge amount of patristic material that, yes, they could read, but proper critical additions, a sort of click sort of cleansing of the tradition so that we are really, really what the Father said. And not the way the tradition has sort of misheard them. He says there's a profound symbiotic relationship between resources and the particularly orthodox theology in Paris, and I am further afield, and the people are named off Shem and others belong to patristic tradition, though they had both of them had quite a lot of doubts about making too much programmatic movement, but they belong to tradition, which, which is an enormous amount. There is a small movement is a tradition which I think in some ways, it's fine to resist.
Father Andrew, you also address in your book, modern orthodox thinkers a chapter to Vladimir lossky. We remember that lossky publishes the mystical theology of the Eastern Church in 1944. And it is in this book that lossky directs Eastern Orthodox theology towards an apathetic approach. Has Eastern Orthodoxy always been apophatic? Or is loskis inside something new in this regard?
It's not not it's not new to Orthodoxy, theology, and articulates itself, perhaps the first half of it telogen obviously effect logins come to Alexandria under the second century. The classic texts about static theology would be found in the fourth to the sixth century, second century. The terminology is introduced by Dennis is the object in the sixth century, and becomes normal Greek patristic theology thereafter, was entitled thereafter.
On the other hand,
the way theology was taught in seminaries both in Greece and in Russia, in Russia from the 17th century in Greece,
from the end of the 19th century,
was based on textbooks that really grew up out of an attempt to explain where orthodoxy stood in relation to Catholicism and Protestantism.
In the course of the 17th century,
both Protestants and Catholics wanted to maintain
the orthodoxy with us as well. They're
different between one another. And there was one famous Patriarch of Constantinople, kilocalories, who was actually a Calvinist and presented to those small stones.
Yeah, in some ways Calvinist I mean, I think
we're not going to this now. I think this is nothing like this absurd notion as it seems. There are many extraordinary many extraordinary things in Calvin that do ring very, very
well with the Orthodox tradition, particularly his innocence spirit. That's nothing.
This led to a reaction and a whole series of symbolic books which we call the symbolic books that were drawn up, which defined orthodoxy in relation to the west in a largely Catholic way, except certain sacraments of transubstantiation, stuff like that.
And it was still really based on this
was very like less than 70 and not in the least prophetic. That was perhaps the norm in people who studied theology in the academies and the universities
in the period well up to
the present date in comas. And some of the textbooks from this, from this scholastic movement. It is reaction against them often lies behind some of the representatives in the census, for instance, the the the Romanian tillage, great great demand intervention, found to Tristan right. He was asked to translate into Romanian and root sources and complex, but actually finished decided this is not the way to do theology. And then they bought his own study the Zen study of elements and his own developed Romanian neighbors to synthesis which is now available in English and is it taked is going to have a huge impact on psychology in the West.
And not just Australia. And
So I can't really learn.
Cuz I didn't know that what not he does not he does make
a fatty tissue they Central. And he does this in a way, which is, I think, very distinctive. It's not just a matter of privileging the negatives in scholarship, saying that we, we are in one way of putting effort into it, which is to say that actually God is a no, we can't know any much better. And that the first thing we need to recognize is that we know that he little and therefore theology has to adopt a tone manner, which recognizes this and in the book, I've tried to show you This actually goes as this does lead to sort of tentativeness in theology, both dark and lossy, they will likely compared in this way, both actually want to say the essentials are important, but outside the essential there's a lot of scope for speculation for considering different ideas for trying to relate in different ways. In fact, I think, come in the book couple of places. I compare it to what, john Keats the English poet called negative capability, which is the ability not to resolve things too quickly, but remain open to
what, what, what not, what's your face to?
Me, I think that's what he could say as well is that apophatic theology has become almost a signature to have much orthodox theology in the last Part of the last century. There are some exceptions. And john zula is not pretty upsetting to
think much in those terms.
But if you take three great divisions of the last half the last century
and follow them, trust me, Ryan, and crystals, generous, all three of them emphasize the prophetic. I think they do it in slightly different ways. And there's a kind of common sense that effort in theology is, is an essential part of theology, because knowledge is about the mystery of God. And the mystery of God is beyond any human conception. And so there's this leads to awareness. It's not even a rejection of a theology that is too conceptual. If we turn off theology into concepts that we are, we are dealing with, we are organizing we are playing with,
then actually from talking to ourselves.
There's a one Competition in Parliament's which I have used in one of his letters to the beginning of the controversy. And where he says it is very dangerous to talk about God
if you don't know how to talk to him.
So this I think is it like is one way of summing up the essence of the watershed that syndicate the Philadelphia mix the physicality of presents us with a God, who we come to know through a process of prayer, through a process of purification, illumination, and Union as he puts it on the front page. It doesn't doesn't introduce us to theology which consists of concepts, notions and ideas. It doesn't introduce us to the ology which consists essentially of the development of social moral
development as a
moral teaching which is in some way undergirded by it introduces to the mystery of God which calls in question who we are and that in question is the central thing for philosophy. The prophetic way of the Orthodox Church, he says, is the repentance of the human person before the face of the living God is not an intellectual. It's something that concerns the whole of our beings as Christians.
Father Andrew, you also dedicated your text a chapter to john Mayan Dorf, and john mine, Dorf is a name that I heard quite often while I was at Fordham University, as as I should say, for our listeners benefit john mine, Dorf taught as an adjunct professor at Fordham University in the 1960s. Did you know john my Endor personal speak to him?
I didn't know between admitted. I didn't go to states until the 90s.
And I didn't ever come across him when he said
I think his legacy is
Is interest I mean, I convince the questions, you know,
as long as it's
actually mind officer using his work on the injured, I think that is the best of his work. And the most thing that he did is he bought the ologies what is the god digital Parliament's in Paris in the 1950s. At the end of the 19 5069, he published two big ones called an introduction to the intelligent reformers. And the second was an addition of the most important work I think, is the so called triads and defensive he casts quite an early work because before that, there was no x very little access to good text elements when standard lawyers working on panels In Paris, he was working on manuscripts. And so it was mind. If you look at my last articles, the essays that he eventually, the interesting introduction itself is references to manuscripts.
And I mean, I find it was difficult, I thought it was impossible understand
how you do this, you first of all have to do the whole work of preparing the text, reading the text, from the manuscripts, working out what the best meaning reading is. It's not like having printed but somebody's done all that for you. The most of my work has been actually reading the text, the critical additions that people have done
and doing something with
and I think it's an important thing to do, but mind offering something really Absolutely.
Absolutely pioneering and
With these two things he did, first of all, he provided a good a potent introduction to the whole range of sadness as well, not just the stuff of physical hunger ranges as well. And he did this, this provided something that was just simply not ever been available before or is not that easy, though. There was a standardized thesis is very useful. It's still in development, Romanian, I think, the and then an addition. So you could read it for yourself, easily know that it's not going to librarian so making photocopies and things. Now this, I think, had the effect, which has been most profound, I think, in Greece, of giving Parliament's as the Orthodox theology He is the he's the summation of the tradition. I find sometimes very very surprising my background Picasso's manga from originally came to Orthodoxy through the father's I know the father's I know origin and that will produce this reaction to something was easy to father and indeed in some ways he isn't. But I know origin Clement, I know Athanasius I know basil Gregory the two Gregory's several and so on. I mean, an act Maximus in particular. I've read a great deal. That and worked on. So I come from to Orthodoxy with all this as an active knowledge in my head. Total monetary theory. That's something that surprised actually, they get it all from cannabis. Cannabis has become the great Compendium. This I think is strength, even though because cannabis isn't important. I think it's also a weakness because it does mean that You are getting prepared version orthodoxy which may very, very useful 14th century but perhaps it's one needs to unpick it a bit. I see what it's made of. So might have had this huge influence, I think in Greek to the all It seems to me that all his successes in polite studies are Greek crystal, for instance, within a few years, was producing a complete so called critical edition of Parliament's the the main writers on Parliament's often mind old Greeks, and people who don't think studied with him, but certainly read him. The other big influences, that is that in 59, states are making safe threats to his life. He was he was the voice of Orthodoxy such as Hugh Hefner Well he in Florida skip start off with where the two great plus the states have never had this before. I remember years ago talking to
OSHA complete names
and a very well known
Davidson dealer, another very well known Catholic theologian. And he's saying that this is just after my dad died and saying that, we actually feel a lack now. We had frost we had, we had Shima. Now who this a loss he felt to orthodox to Catholic theology in the West in America, not to have this orthodoxy, which was alive and real. So my I think mind is hugely important in that respect. He wrote a lot of most of his books, textbooks.
Very good textbooks, explaining very clear and simple terms, the way authors think.
And I think that had an enormous impact probably more than the state's new
states is a big place. It's an important place.
Father Andrew, the closing chapter of your book is dedicated to Metropolitan justice where what? We're Metropolitan Calista Ross's contributions to the Ecumenical Movement, if you would, sir.
Oh, enormous. I think he wasn't there at the beginning. The the Orthodox contribution to the conventional movement in the 50s and 60s was very, very important, very great. Trotsky in particular is credited by many people write about this with with decisive influence. So it's sometimes said, we'll cancel gestures will do just become a kind of thing, which is just awesome talking shop but it wasn't at the insistence of the doctrine of the Church by calbert, Dostoevsky and Ganga micro remzi. submitting their, their, their combined voices at the beginning of the World Council of Churches that prevented it becoming the kind of world church and kind of society belong. I mean, it kind of sucks to think Bishop counts as a dead thing because
I busted him directly with well kinds of churches and so he didn't come to college.
He's enrolled in much, much more concerned with conversations between the Orthodox Anglicans and Orthodox Catholics. I think he's belong to both conditions at different times. And is he's great, wonderful. He has many, many strengths. What His great strength in that context
is his ability to listen.
And to say something that can be heard by the people he's talking to because you've been listening to them. I one of the dangers in conversations, any kind of conversation or particularly a conversation in churches, is that they aren't actually talking to another. They talk to themselves all the time. Don't mention names. Sometimes it's fake. So what's happening is somebody is saying something to be heard by his own people to make to show that he's really all right.
isn't afraid in that way. I think he's he doesn't need to, because doesn't need to
defend his back. He is. He is.
He's a brave man
and is able to say what he thinks is the truth, even if it seems a bit odd thing sometimes I for instance, Look at the conference next year in some cloudiness, which national councils will be a major speaker is concerned. It's it's purely orthodox occasion but it has profoundly medical implications because it's concerned it's going to discuss questions of sexual or other sexual ethics, an area on which the Orthodox often presents itself as being
uncomprehending of the modern world, and simply thinking
that we could go on and saying things that made sense in a much more traditional society today. And missionary solstice, this whole person who is prepared to think and say and to listen and to respond, not just to repeat, repeat, a kind of uncomprehending understanding of the tradition. Why didn't he do traditional and he speaks from the heart of the traditional Iraqis, so So imbedded in the tradition, so that he doesn't have to worry about what he's saying. He can be quite brave, quite bold, because he's a knife he's on his own. Many, many years as a priest in the past, have rooted in the tradition in a living way to the dead.
Father Andrew, if I can ask one final question, and that is a question. I've been asking all of our interviewees on this program, what would it mean for the church to be united? How would we recognize this unity as Christians, and how can we pursue this unity?
Do you think is a very difficult question? Or the answer to the the the traditional answer, or the answer that I think most orthodox would think immediate to come up with? I think, and in some sense, this is the this is the truth is the church would be united would mean First of all, the pope will be recognized as traditionally he was in the first millennium as the premier center Perez of the patriarchs. He would be the first of the patriarchs being a father relation to the church, but along with the other patrons, not against the patrons. So the church would be united in the sense that we will be back with something like that obviously changes the remote nature of nowadays needs to be back with something that would make canonical sense. We would all be in communion with each other because we would all acknowledge a group of patriarchs who are all in community with one another. I'd be recognized in good positions priest The Catholic Church the thing getting there, and what would what it would look like to get there, I think is is just terribly difficult because there are
at least 1000 years of history
that we have to sort of come to terms with and thinking of it like that the way I put it. You might well say, what about the POTUS? is where do they fit into this? Because they've developed a kind of ecclesiology which doesn't think in terms of community in the same sense. It's very striking, it seems to me the web's the Anglican Church, you trace along to used to think of communion exactly those two, communion with the recognition of unity. That's completely gone though. The touch of England and all the other end contingencies and tons of intercommunication between bodies that are not united.
And I think the danger of that is that they will never do it because wait what what are you going to achieve?
You've got communion factories.
What health system well actually is a great deal
that is Disney, how we get there. I really know I think
a weather when we got there we can look different I think it might because the system of patriarchs is pent up is we, US recently we had to fit it into a society that consisted of basically solicitors with their own their own world, quite self sufficient in many respects certain economic self sufficiency, all is is grouped into it provinces, and then the whole lot sort of in some ways together in transit, but it was based on it on a on a society which is very different. What we have now I think,
you know, the
way we live nowadays large cities inside the cities are absolutely vast compared to thinking in terms of first name and their, their cities that both have their strengths. There's, they're all multicultural start. Most of them very deeply multicultural. And that multiculturalism is in twined. With the religious differences that have occurred over the last off cops in New York, go back to some places 1500 years ago
Protestants in New York, belong to a whole range of different groups. The Orthodox in New York, they're nothing, they're not united. They're the Orthodox Church for America, which is one of the things that mind offers deeply committed to an attempt to create an Orthodox Church. So all the different orthodox would actually belong to the same church, never worked with the Greeks didn't go into the Greeks and more than anybody else. So there was a split right from the beginning. And it hasn't worked, because as far as I can make out what has happened over the last 819 17, nearly 50 years. What's happened in 50 years is there's been in fact, if anything, drifting back into the traditional artistic groups, they've become stronger as last week, and it's not a question of putting blame back. This is this is something about the The complicated ways of belonging that the passport is to the entity in us in a modern city. It seems that our our structures that simply match the society. And if he was going to say, but if he would say to me, Well, look, the church shouldn't match, this is the structure This is it. This is the, this is about season or something. I seem to have this precisely what the judge did in the early century, church was preaching world consisted of semi independent city states, the bishop in the city, which is the kind of fundamental element in orthodox ecclesiology Catholic physiology, that that's that fundamental element simply reflected the site in their day and grouping into provinces with metropolitans tryouts and all of this represented structures that there I it's and so the structures that were there then aren't there now, we live in a different kind of world. We've no nowhere near beginning to think, what this entails. And this, I think applies to everybody plus the Orthodox in a very dramatic way. It applies to the Catholics as well. I don't think I don't think consulted and in fact they're not even attempting dissolve now by saying well those peoples are which represents the unity of the church but he likes but doesn't ensure the image.
What he does, what the ways in which you need to do this has been
I've been crippling the chance to get back to
one thing, cancel dancing to the temperature a very, very important that he came to me get anywhere. If
the email conversations lead to personal friendships that the that the bridge the divide these personal friendships, they're beginning to understand what it is to the capital.
These are as important
as any official moves by the institution.
It's been our tremendous privilege and honor to be speaking with Professor Andrew Louth emeritus professor of patristic and Byzantine studies at the Department of theology and religion at Durham University, and also author of the texts that we've been discussing today modern orthodox thinkers from the fillo Kalia to the present. Father Andrew, thank you so much for being with us today.
It's been a great pleasure. Thank you.