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The Russian Path Not Taken

Alexander Men knew something about spiritual voids, and he might have proposed filling that post-communist Russian emptiness with something beautiful and spiritually enriching, rather than with the ugly nationalism promoted by Kirill and other Russian Orthodox leaders. Continue Reading »

The Ultimate Love

As the sacrifice of the Mass is being offered, the priest pours a drop of water into the chalice, praying sotto voce, “By the mystery of this water in wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity.” At the heart of Christ’s oblation is . . . . Continue Reading »

Letters

East and West In his memoirs of growing up in the U.S.S.R., Wolfgang Leonhard recalled how he and his mother, a German Marxist-Leninist, emigrated from Germany to the communist paradise. When they looked for a map of Moscow, their new home, they found only useless, outdated ones and official plans . . . . Continue Reading »

The Cross and the Machine

We must have been fifteen or sixteen when we discovered the church visitor’s book. It was an old church, maybe medieval, and I would pass it with my school friends on our way to the town center. I’m not sure what possessed us to go in; it might have been my idea. I’ve always loved old . . . . Continue Reading »

Pro-Life Liturgy

An icon of the Annunciation appears on the central altar doors of every Orthodox Christian church. The “royal doors” are double doors, so the icon is a diptych, with Gabriel on the left and Mary on the right. As a young child, I found the movement of this icon mesmerizing as the doors opened and . . . . Continue Reading »

From Crete to Romania

In Iași, Romania, in January 2019, some three hundred Orthodox scholars gathered for the inaugural conference of the ­International Orthodox Theological Association (IOTA). Pioneered by IOTA’s president, Paul Gavrilyuk, the gathering overcame forces that have prevented intra-Orthodox dialogue . . . . Continue Reading »

Dispatches from Russia

Some little while ago, I found myself sitting in the grounds of the Danilov Monastery in Moscow, delighting in the spring flowers and being treated to a prodigious display of bell-ringing. I reflected at the time that the Russians have few peers among other nations in their great love for church . . . . Continue Reading »

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