LET’S FEED THE HOMELESS TOGETHER ON CHRISTMAS

homelessjesusjpg-55c08e8ca366cdc0

Christmas Eve will soon be here.

That afternoon, we hope to deliver $100 each to 50 homeless men and women—some of them having a dog or two with them—who spend our frigid Canadian nights out of doors and don’t know how they’re going to eat from day to day.

For reasons unknown to us and none of our business anyway, they don’t make it into the shelters or the soup kitchens.

It is especially disheartening to them to see the well-dressed and the well-fed hurrying by on their way to church, to a family dinner, to a pricey restaurant, to a party…while they go hungry on Christmas Eve.

Can you fit $5, $10, $50, $100, $500 to feed the hungry into your Christmas budget this year?

In past years, several thousands of readers have seen our Feed the Homeless on Christmas appeal over the course of the Nativity Fast, yet only three or four dozen responded. Can you help this year?

Please help us help.

Click here to contribute to Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s 3rd Annual Feed the Homeless on Christmas Campaign

holly


SCIENCE FICTION: BEARER OF FAITH IMAGES by Alexandra de Moffarts

pjimage (30)Science fiction is a branch of literature which, with its far-reaching images, stimulates the reader to look at reality in an original, unexpected way. This genre may often “bring heaven down to earth,” and may seem demythologizing by transferring concepts of transcendence or numinous mystery—such as other worlds, fantastic beings, fairies, gods, etc.—to a material world of “other planets” or to a hypothetical (but materially not impossible) future.

But all these instances may be seen as figures, too. And even when they are not consciously used as symbols by an author, they circulate universal images that may awaken the imagination of the readers to Something Else. They may give flesh to something more mysterious, and generate a longing for the transcendent. Some authors deliberately use science fiction images to express higher things, but many probably don’t; the images then speak for themselves.

I will briefly outline two types of science fiction images loaded with symbolic potential. Both belong to very frequent—we may even say, prototypical—themes of science fiction: first, other worlds, and second, time travel vs. alternative history (uchronia). Read More


THEOLOGICAL CONFERENCE IN TORONTO: CALL FOR PAPERS

TST What Matters Poster Final-page-001

On May 7-8th 2020, the Toronto School of Theology (TST) is hosting a conference concerning:

What Matters? On Value and Valuing

Call for Papers

What is value? How do we come to value what we value? At multiple moments in any given day, individual and collective action is influenced by the mechanisms of valuing, even when—or perhaps especially when—those mechanisms are invisible to us.

For this conference we invite papers and panel proposals that move beyond simple descriptions of values and instead address: (1) how value is made and maintained in both contemporary and other historical moments, or (2) the effects and implications of these value systems upon society, culture, philosophy, and/or theology.  Read More


MEMORY ETERNAL: PRIEST PAVEL FLORENSKY (+DECEMBER 8, 1937)

Image result for pavel florensky

Priest Pavel Florensky
January 22, 1882 – December 8, 1937
Memory Eternal ~ Вѣчная Память

“What none of them knew positively but many felt instinctively was that, precisely for the more educated and this politically undesirable prisoners, Solovki was now a death camp. An order…required that STON be decreased by 1,200 people, all to be properly bureaucratically processed and done away with extraterritorially, as though they were simply being moved elsewhere. In the meantime, they were expendable. [A] letter of 19 September 1937 records a desperate shortage of food and money for the prison shop.

At the end of October 1937, this twilight existence came to an end. There was a hurried evacuation of more than a thousand men to the mainland. A witness recalls seeing Florensky…among the lines of four who were marched out to the Bay of Content. Weighed down with cases and rucksacks, they could only nod as they passed. They were conveyed to the so-called Workers’ Island where Florensky, with 12 others, was brought up before a troika, accused of counter-revolutionary Trotskyite propaganda and condemned to be shot. Read More


MOSCOW PATRIARCHATE NOT INTERESTED IN PROTECTING ABUSED CHILDREN AND WOMEN

The following report should be read in conjunction with our On “Orthodox” Wife-Beating / О «Православном» избиении жены.

The Russian Orthodox Church Now Formally Opposes New Legislation against Domestic Violence

Source: Patriarchal Commission on Family Issues
mk2

Patriarch Kirill of Moscow

The Russian Orthodox Church now formally opposes new draft legislation in Russia that would increase penalties on domestic violence. In an announcement by the Patriarchal Commission on Family Issues and the Protection of Motherhood and Childhood, the Church argues that the bill recently published by the Federation Council “contains a number of legal defects that make its adoption unacceptable.”

Specifically, the church commission says the legislation “disregards universally recognized legal principles of common sense, justice, and equality,” and warns that its implementation “can and will lead to grave and mass violations of the rights of individuals and families.”

The commission also says the bill has a “clear anti-family focus, diminishing the rights and freedoms of people who choose a family lifestyle, childbirth, and child-rearing that differ from others.” According to the Russian Orthodox Church, the legislation “effectively introduces special punishment for family life.” Read More


GOOD OMENS reviewed by Monica Spoor

goodomensThere are two things I must confess from the start:

  1. I love Sir Terry Pratchett’s (1948-2015) books. If I were going to be sent to an uninhabited island and could pick only one series of books to bring, it would be his Discworld series.
  2. I hate, overall, watching movies or TV series after I’ve already read the book. Lord of the Rings was one of the few exceptions. Good Omens is another.

So, why did I make another exception? I love the book, after all. Well, for one, Neil Gaiman, who wrote the script and was heavily involved in the production, co-wrote the book with Pratchett. Obviously the script was safe in his hands. The book is 30 years old, so there were bound to be some changes, but when the original author makes them, that’s okay. Second, the casting is amazing.

So, on I went to the Apocalypse.  That’s not a spoiler, by the way. It’s the premise. The angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley have been hanging out on earth since creation, and over time, being the only ones of their kind stationed here permanently, developing something of a friendship. And some business arrangements. (Since they cancel each other out anyway, it makes no sense whatsoever for them to go out and do their respective jobs in the same place. It’s much more convenient for one of them to go and just do both. As long as the proper paperwork is filled out, no one’s the wiser.) They rather enjoy the perks of living on earth—cars, Queen, quaint little bookshops, and crêpes. Read More


PSA: THE UNION OF ORTHODOX JOURNALISTS ≠ JOURNALISM

logo_uoj_enWhatever Russia’s so-called “Union of Orthodox Journalists” (Союз Православных Журналистов) has on offer, it’s clearly not journalism.

Orthodoxy in Dialogue has followed UOJ’s “reporting” closely over the past two years. So far as we can tell, it serves as little more than one of the two arms of the Moscow Patriarchate’s disinformation apparatus—the other being the Department for External Church Relations under the chairmanship of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk.

UOJ’s “reporting” on the Moscow Patriarchate is unfailingly glowing; on the Ecumenical Patriarchate, unfailingly disparaging—and often borderline mendacious; and on the autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine, unfailingly as “heretics” and “schismatics.”  

This isn’t how journalism works. This is propaganda, plain and simple. Read More