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Greek-Orthodox religion - Research Paper Example

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Greek Orthodox religion is the terminology used to represent all the Christians “whose liturgical practices and language are derived from those of the Greek-speaking Byzantine empire” (Laderman and Leon, 294)…
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Download file to see previous pages Byzantine Christianity, which is the base of Greek Orthodoxy, is built with a combination of Christian and Hellenic heritage and is marked by “its liturgy, use of religious images (icons), veneration of saints and relics, monastic practices, and imperial grandeur” (Laderman and Leon, 294). The term orthodoxy represents, “proper glorification of God through appropriate worship” (Makrides, 66). The “defining feature” of Orthodox Christianity can be put more precisely as, “doctrinal correctness” (Makrides, 66). It also has its own “ritual tradition and institutional structures” (Makrides, 66). The basic theological premise of this strain of Christianity is not completed simply with a “belief in one Christian God” but has to be “the correct (“Orthodox”) belief in the one true and Trinitarian Christian God” (Makrides, 66). For Greek Orthodox religion, the ultimate salvation of the faithful is “dependent on upholding the sole correct Christian faith, uncontaminated from deviant interpretations and influences” (Makrides, 66). The Greek Orthodox believers declare that they are the preservers of Christianity in its pure and correct form. They have drawn their theological beliefs and rituals from the seven Ecumenical Councils held between 325 and 787 and claim that they are preserving Christianity in the pure form as established by the Apostles (Makrides, 67). When a deep study is made into Orthodox Christianity, it can be seen that Greek Orthodoxy has a more profound sense of ecology than any other Christian religious system. In the present scenario of environmental destruction and predictions of global warming, it is the theology of Greek Orthodoxy that can lead human kind to evolve a comprehensive Christian ecology, which can impart a platform for our interactions with nature. The Trinitarian relationships as is delineated in Greek Orthodoxy can become the basis for deriving an ecological perspective based on Orthodoxy. The “relationships” itself establishes the relational aspect of the “very being of things” (Edwards and Worthing, 99). These relations are again, profoundly anchored in the “Trinitarian relationships of mutual love” (Edwards and Worthing, 99). The logic behind this supposition is that “if the Creator’s being is radically relational, then this suggests something about the nature of created reality” (Edwards and Worthing, 99). This is why Greek Orthodox theologian, John Zizioulas is quoted as saying, “it is communion that makes things be: nothing exists without it, not even God” (as cited in Edwards and Worthing, 99). From this theological background arises the notion that human and all other living creatures are “radically inter-relational and interdependent” (Edwards and Worthing, 100). And God is defined as all creatures in communion (Edwards and Worthing, 100). Hence, Orthodoxy states that “the distinction between creator and creation is dissolved” which presents humans as embedded in nature, in God (Edwards and Worthing, 114). It is evident from the above discussion that while Western Christianity is rightfully criticized for being created the human-nature duality, and the notion that God has created nature to serve the humans, Eastern Orthodoxy resolves that dualism. It has a more environmentally realistic notion about this topic, as is delineated by White who wrote about this subject in the website, www.asa3.org. White has elaborated this argument by putting Greek Orthodoxy against Christian anthropocentrism. He (White) said: The Greeks believed that sin was intellectual blindness, and that salvation was found in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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