Today marks the fourth anniversary of Orthodoxy in Dialogue’s official launch on August 22, 2017, with the publication of our maiden article, The State of Orthodox Theology Today. Written mainly by one of our former editors, it reads in part:
So one must ask, “What is the state of theology today? What is really going on?” Theology is the sound of the breath of the Spirit passing through the lungs of the Church. The Orthodox Church is not an institution, she is not confined to being merely a visible organisation; rather, she is nothing less than the Body of Christ, existing throughout all of time and space, and firmly rooted in the eternity of God. Theology is thus the visible sign of the pneumatic life of the Church.
In the last thirty years there has been an influx of converts to Orthodoxy in North America, many of whom have come to the Orthodox Church seeking a haven for their conservative values and political sentiments, without fully inquiring whether Orthodoxy is really speaking to their provincial values.
We hear enough political and moral sentiments from the ambo already. Where is the genuine theology? Where are the words of life being uttered? What is being said theologically today…and more importantly, what is not being said?
We at Orthodoxy in Dialogue would like to present a forum in which there are no taboo subjects, no political correctness that creates defining lines of territory, no cultural barriers misrepresented as Holy Tradition. In this new blog we would like to explore Orthodox theology as it actually is today, its consequences, and where it is going.
We extend a hand of welcome to our partners in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. From the late 19th-century Russian religious thinkers and the émigré theologians after the two world wars, we have inherited a tradition of openness and encounter with the Western Christian and non-Christian world in which God has placed us.
Our readers may remember our three pre-launch articles published on August 16, 18, and 20, 2017, in response to the racist violence in Charlottesville: Open Letter to Our Beloved Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America, Response to Racist Violence in Charlottesville, VA, and Editorial: Our Response to the Assembly of Bishops. From the beginning, our commitment to social justice issues—racism, white supremacy, neo-Nazism, nationalism, refugees at the US-Mexico border, LGBTQ issues, women, etc.—has stood front and centre of our mandate.
In fact, in the first few months of our existence, Orthodoxy in Dialogue became the Orthodox Church’s most popular independent blog in the world—currently approaching 820,000 views—and the primary Orthodox voice for LGBTQ-advocacy theologically, pastorally, ecclesially, socially, and politically. We’ve lost count of the number of LGBTQ Orthodox Christians, inquirers, and Christians from other traditions who reach out to thank us for saving their lives and for reassuring them that they and their voices have a place in the Orthodox Church. We will not be silenced.
We extend our most heartfelt thanks to our readers, writers, and Patrons, and to those who have contributed to our several charitable appeals over the past four years. We ask forgiveness of any whom we have offended, and offer unconditional forgiveness to any who have sinned against us. We rely on the prayers of those who love us and those who hate us, even as we pray in our unworthiness for each and every one of you.