FATHER SERAPHIM OF MULL MONASTERY FORCED TO ADDRESS ORTHODOXY IN DIALOGUE’S SUPPORT FOR HIM

This video was brought to our attention this evening by one of our readers. Starting at 16:00 Father Seraphim addresses—without naming Orthodoxy in Dialogue or editor Giacomo Sanfilippo—our article Father Seraphim (Aldea) of June 16, 2020.

It saddens us deeply that our support for him and the monastery has caused some of our brothers and sisters in the Orthodox Church to hate him by association. Read More



SPIRITUAL SOCIALISTS: RELIGION AND THE AMERICAN LEFT reviewed by Jan Michael Ostrowski

Spiritual Socialists: Religion and the American Left
Vaneesa Cook
Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019

spirsoc

Though I was still a kid at the time, I remember when it was announced on the evening news that Norman Thomas, the perennial presidential candidate for the Socialist Party and the “conscience of America,” had died. Aside from the fact that a third-party leader drew the attention of the major news networks, this was surprising for another reason: the use of the word Socialist and conscience in the same sentence. This was in an America that, not too much earlier, had found itself in the grip of the hysteria of the McCarthy Era. To most Americans, the word socialism was laden with images of gulags and the crushing disincentive effects of a sprawling state-run economy, as well as an official—and often brutally enforced—atheism. To many, linking the word conscience to a concept such as socialism would have seemed improbable and an oxymoron.

Yet Thomas, the erstwhile Presbyterian minister, was able to rise above the fray and present socialist ideals as not only compatible with equality, pacifism, democracy, and yes, Christian values, but the logical extension of such objectives. While many Americans viewed his opinions as naïve and quixotic, he was able to avoid being associated with the harshness of the Soviet system, and was a reminder of the existence of the non-Marxist left in the US political landscape. Read More


DISCERNING THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES: THE VISION OF ELISABETH BEHR-SIGEL reviewed by Giacomo Sanfilippo

Discerning the Signs of the Times: The Vision of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel
Michael Plekon and Sarah E. Hinlicky, Eds.; Lyn Breck, Michael Plekon, Deno Takles, and Rachel Mortimer, Trans.
Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2001

discerningthesignsofthetimes-cover__01542.1587741156 (2)

Orthodoxy in Dialogue normally reviews books no more than two or three years old. Yet Discerning the Signs of the Times is such a treasure that it merits an exception and whatever renewed attention we can bring to it from a new generation of Orthodox readers.

The title, taken of course from Mt 16:3, reflects a recurring theme in the ten brief essays by Behr-Sigel (1907-2005) collected between the covers of this slim volume. Repeatedly she appeals for the recovery of a more authentic Orthodoxy, an Orthodoxy irreducible to ritualism, moralism, or nationalism, a truly catholic Orthodoxy, vibrant and alive, fully engaged in reading the signs of these times and these places in which God has placed the Church for our salvation and the salvation of the world.

I must begin, however, with a confession. When I submitted the proposed reading list for my upcoming comprehensive exam on modern Orthodox theology, one of my examiners objected: “There are no women theologians on your list!” He gave me three names to add, of which Behr-Sigel — “the grandmother of western Orthodoxy” — stands out indisputably as the most influential. My only regret (and here I am truly embarrassed) is that it has taken me forty-five years of reading and internalizing Orthodox theology to meet her at last. I have no idea why it has taken me so long. I’ve known her name since forever. Read More