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Thread: What does православные mean?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by americaninmoscow View Post
    rus,

    I was sadly hoping and expecting something a little bit more intellectual regarding the etymology of Russian words and how they would apply to today's use of said words and what they do or don't mean. At least more about the history of the word.

    As to what you wrote- blah blah blah. It's not true. It's the same as GWBush - you are either a terrorist or you aren't.

    I am not a Baptist, nor Methodist, and we can disagree as to what a baptism should entail, but that doesn't mean I don't see both Baptists and Methodists as Protestants and in the generally correct direction ( as opposed to say, Buddhism or Hindu).

    Also, every Russian Orthodox views others as heretic (what about the Old believers?), and 99% can't defend their faith at all, simply saying- the "priest" said it, so it is so. The perfect case is - everyone is heretic if they don't recognise Kirril as the "ultimate leader". Of course, that is a bit exaggerated, but it isn't far off. Just ask simple questions. It is simply mind blowing to hear the response. And once you do- you realize Russian Orthodox is just another vehicle for an ethnoreligious group headed towards nationalism. The really simple test is this- those that are closest and recognize Kirril as the ultimate leader are friends. Those that don't - aren't. Witness Egyptian Copts. Or the recent split with Ukraine. BFF until not.

    Anyways, I have more esoteric questions and would love to discuss them.

    Such as-

    In the English version of Christianity, the book of Revelation mentions two figures - the dragon and the bear, both near the end times and possibly related to the Gog/Magog war.

    What does the Russian Orthodox Church have to say about this?
    Hi, AIM!
    Iím sorry you see anything I say as ďblah blah blahĒ; I am sincere, I grant your sincerity, and I think the issue of thinking oneself right and even in possession of ultimate Truth about the nature of man and his purpose and life is relevant, as I said earlier. If you are patient, and honestly curious, and would really like to understand how anyone could accept a particular position as true, especially one you doubt the truth of, Iíll be happy to defend my understanding of it all.

    Iím not interested in quarreling, or trying to defend it to people who have no curiosity, and no intention of seriously considering anything I might say. But yeah, I do think Orthodoxy actually The Truth, and I think it despite schisms, despite corrupt hierarchs and laity, and I donít hold faith in myself as wiser than such ancient institutions. If I am (or any one of us is) the wisest resource around, then humanity is in a ton of trouble.

    And yes, I also think Protestants have an awful lot more or less right, at least, speaking about their teachings, when they are consistent and held over time, and not speaking of fallible people who are liable to disappoint us.

    Weíd have to unpack the words ďhereticĒ and ďheresyĒ and establish the most intelligent understanding of the concept; I think most people give the word very little thought, and misuse the word.

    Your admitted exaggeration of Pat. Kirillís role actually is a little further off than you think; it would help if you understood that he canít tell me to do anything at all that is not consistent with Orthodox Tradition, and that my obedience is voluntary, and that he hardly ever tells anyone to do anything except what the Gospel tells us to do, and itís even conceivable that disobedience might be necessary if any fallible human leadership actually contradicts that Tradition.

    It is certainly true that people with no scruples can use any religion as a vehicle for something else (such as nationalism). But that doesnít free you of the question of whether the teachings of the religion are true or not. People who do such things are putting the cart before the horse, and actually making themselves their own gods.

    Based on your words, I donít think you have a good grasp of the divisions within Orthodoxy. You have to have a good grasp of what canonicity is, and the reasons why it matters.

    Regarding your question on the book of Revelation, the one thing I can say for certain is that we admit a lot of agnosticism about it. Yes, there have been comments by saints and Church fathers, but it is telling that it is the one book of the New Testament that is not read in the Divine Liturgy. We donít pretend to understand absolutely everything in Scripture, and that is by far the most mystical book. (But I think such questions far less important than the issues of whether A) Christianity is true or not, and B) whether the Orthodox Church is the most authentic and faithful expression of Christian tradition or not.)

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    Quote Originally Posted by rusmeister View Post
    It is certainly true that people with no scruples can use any religion as a vehicle for something else (such as nationalism).
    Well, they did, do and will do. The instrument is rather handy and convenient.
    In the application to the Russian history - Duke Vladimir for tribes unification and strengthening his power, Peter The First to get materials and money for armament and again strengthening state power, after-revolution bolsheviks to get funds and human resources for industrialisation and collectivisation, Uncle Joe to get moral support for Red Army fighting against Nazis, Gorby-Yeltsin-Putin to substitute going communistic state ideology with religiosity and building chirches otherwise mosques...
    All the world's Kremlin,
    And all the men and women merely agents

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  5. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusmeister View Post
    Hi, AIM!
    Iím sorry you see anything I say as ďblah blah blahĒ;
    Rus,

    I am glad you responded.

    I really like to read your comments and although I don't agree with some of them, others do open up new areas to ponder and a possible direction to think in. Furthermore, you are not a god-hater, so I can see that the path your life has taken has given you a very unique perspective that only serves to enrich others when shared.




    Quote Originally Posted by rusmeister View Post

    Your admitted exaggeration of Pat. Kirillís role actually is a little further off than you think; it would help if you understood that he canít tell me to do anything at all that is not consistent with Orthodox Tradition, and that my obedience is voluntary....
    Sorry mate. I disagree.

    In Russia, and regarding the Church- you are either nash or not. You can't sit on the fence. If you are not nash, then you are heretic (and get figuratively buried in the forest). It is that simple. And by being part of the group, you do whatever the group is doing (and with a smile).

    The order comes from the top down, and that is the very definition of a patriarchal society, which by the way, is the very official name of Patriarch Kirril.

    On a slightly different note, Pat. Kirill's role is two-fold: inward and outward facing. The role that he plays as leader to his flock and that which he plays as an ambassador of Christ on the world's religious/political stage. I am not really sure where I mentioned that he could force you to do something you don't want to do, but the projection of power that the Russian Orthodox Church, and by default, Russia, has on the world stage, is reflected in various ways.

    Here is an article from Vox with some interesting points (I really, really dislike this website but....).

    https://www.vox.com/2018/10/17/17983...sm-autocephaly

    A schism is brewing among Orthodox Christians.

    Leaders within the Constantinople Patriarchate, historically the most influential center of the global Orthodox Church, recently took several administrative steps toward granting ecclesiastical independence ó also known as autocephaly ó to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, which is currently under the authority of the Russian Orthodox Church. The move comes after years of increasing tension in Ukraine over the status of its church in the wake of Russiaís occupation of Crimea.

    In response, the Russian Orthodox Church announced on Monday following a synod, or gathering of bishops, in Minsk that it would sever all ties with Constantinople. That move would prevent the Russian Orthodox faithful from taking part in any sacraments, such as communion or baptism, at any churches under the aegis of the Constantinople Patriarchate worldwide.

    .........


    In recent years, the Russian Orthodox Churchís alliance with Vladimir Putinís nationalist government has essentially rendered it a form of Russian ideological soft power , with the church and its head, Patriarch Kirill, often serving as a mouthpiece for Russian nationalist ideology.

  6. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    That Anglican priest sounds not representative
    He represented the Anglican Church here in Moscow for many many years.

    It gets even better- when that guy left, the Church presented him with a massive framed oil painting of himself as some saint. or maybe it was a hero. or a knight. I honestly can't quite remember the exact style it was painted in, I was just shocked that as a going away present, they gave him a big picture of himself. But he loved it. So, well-played?

  7. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by americaninmoscow View Post
    with Vladimir Putin’s nationalist government
    That's the joke of month, definitely...
    All the world's Kremlin,
    And all the men and women merely agents

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  9. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by americaninmoscow View Post
    He represented the Anglican Church here in Moscow for many many years.
    Since you are basing your claim on etymology in this thread, I believe I can allow myself to be a grammar nazi and note that I was clearly using the adjectival form of 'representative', not the noun form.

    Yes, he _represented_ (was chosen to act or speak for the church in this instance); he was _a representative_. That doesn't mean he was _representative_ (typical of the class of Anglican ministers or Anglicans).

    Don't know the guy or why he was chosen to lead the parish.

  10. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post

    Yes, he _represented ; he was _a representative.
    No, he was all of the above.


    But thanks for taking the time to respond.

  11. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by americaninmoscow View Post
    No, he was all of the above.


    But thanks for taking the time to respond.
    It's a simple point: he sounds like a douchebag (although again, no personal experience with him); doesn't mean that's normal for Anglican ministers.

    Your sample size seems rather small.

  12. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    he sounds like a douchebag (although again, no personal experience with him); doesn't mean that's normal for Anglican ministers.
    Who knows. I'll take your word for it. I'm not Anglican and have no desire to be. Nor do I wish to be British.

    Thanks for posting.

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    My apologies to all; Iím finally on vacation with my family. Hopefully Iíll have time now to address the comments...

    Quote Originally Posted by FatAndy View Post
    Well, shamanism is considered to be the Siberian and Northern religion type, so in European part it was more or less spread only to the north from modern SPb (Finland, Laplandia, saams/lopari with their "godi"), and the territory wasn't under Russia till 19th century. The expansion to Siberia has started only in 16th century with orders of Ivan Grozny (IVth, Great Duke, then Tsar). Paganism existed in Russia for centuries after "baptising" and step-by-step was included/adopted by Orthodox church by assigning "prophet aliases" - for example paganic cattle god Veles/Volos has became St. Vlas, while military god, lightnings slinger Perun has became St. Ilia, paganic spring equinox celebration has became Maslennitsa, summer solstice (Solntsevorot) has became Ivanov den' (Ivan Kupala) with Ioann Predtecha /John the Forerunner, etc. After the crush of USSR these strange people have appeared again, plus the modification of it as rodnovery.


    I think pravoslavie name has appeared after the break between orthodoxes and catholics (1054), before it was smth kinda вера христианская. But it's better to ask Rus or smbd who is "deeper in the theme".


    Smth regarding different processing of chirch rites, putting the cross on themselves by 2 fingers instead of 3, priests roles/rights etc. Ask Rus as well.

    In general, this break (after patriarch Nicon modifications in 17th century), and the latest buzz about autocephaly on the territory of former Ukrainian SSR looks for me like the crowds of slightly crazy fans of different football teams running around, yelling strange slightlt crazy slogans, waiving differently coloured flags etc.
    I think you are certainly right about some things here, Andy, particularly the expansion of Christian faith and its VERY gradual acceptance. One leader CANíT really make a large nation of people believe something they donít want to; even in Western Europe it was a pretty long leap from Constantineís Edict of Milan to the general acceptance of the Faith by the common people. Itís interesting to note that slavery didnít really die out there until that had happened; it became impossible to maintain in the face of a philosophy that teaches the equality of all men before God, and only became possible (in the US, centuries later) when people found a way to dismiss that conception of equality through an individualist interpretation of Scripture and the development of ďpersonal religionsĒ, where the individual decides for himself (based on his knowledge, or lack thereof) what the proper understanding of things is. But I digress.

    It is certainly true that wherever the Christian Church found truth in paganism, they ďbaptizedĒ it; confirmed that it was true, and while it may be true that some Christian holidays replaced pagan ones, it is not true that they were invented for that purpose. I think your sources, in some, if not many or all of the cases, embrace that idea out of a desire to denigrate, the religion to dismiss it as false without further examination.

    And yes, the term WAS emphasized after the Great Schism, so youíre right again.

    And I DO understand how the conflict can look like different football teams to people on the outside who donít know the bases of the conflict. Most outside people donít really understand conflicts between different peoples of the Middle East, Sunni vs Shiite, Iraq vs Iran; most of even ďeducatedĒ people have only sketchy understandings of such things. Iím on the inside, and it has only been in recent months that I have slowly come to understand more, myself.

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  15. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusmeister View Post
    It is certainly true that wherever the Christian Church found truth in paganism, they “baptized” it; confirmed that it was true, and while it may be true that some Christian holidays replaced pagan ones, it is not true that they were invented for that purpose.
    It's pretty much a documented fact that the Christian church 'transposed' its holidays, adopted saints from local (i.e. pagan) traditions, and similar steps to increase acceptance of Christianity - not just in Russia but throughout the world, including most of Europe. And sorry, the line that the church 'found truth in paganism' sounds like nothing more than after-the-fact theological sophistry - it's just plain silly, frankly.

    How this connects to 'right-believing' or 'right-praying' though makes this not so obviously a put-down, however. If you wish to be generous, it was a conscious decision by the church to 'save' the local populations (and I won't denigrate that desire or faith by anachronistically imposing concepts such as colonialism - they believed, in many cases at least, that it was the 'right' thing to do. Probably one of the first utilitarian morality plays - by making some rather trivial (in theological terms) compromises about things like having easter coincide (more or less) with spring festivals present in every culture (repeat for the solstices and the equinox, etc), they (thought they) were doing Good.

    Now, I don't fully buy into that- there were a lot of other things going on like the expansion of state power - which was often inseparable from religion and church hierarchies.

    But it was a conscious decision and strategy, repeated time and again, and done for reasons that were at least partly intended to achieve a positive benefit in that they saw the wholesale adoption of christianity as a very good and right thing indeed. It seems to me 'denigrating' them to imply they weren't capable of such.

    The 'confirming the truth' of paganism stuff is laugh-out-loud absurd, though. Clearly post facto quasi-religious ramblings to resolve some perceived theological inconsistency. If anything denigrates the church, it's that anyone would believe such claptrap.

    No, it was a strategy and a highly effective one, and I don't know why you think that makes the church sound bad.

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  17. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armoured View Post
    It's pretty much a documented fact that the Christian church 'transposed' its holidays, adopted saints from local (i.e. pagan) traditions, and similar steps to increase acceptance of Christianity - not just in Russia but throughout the world, including most of Europe. And sorry, the line that the church 'found truth in paganism' sounds like nothing more than after-the-fact theological sophistry - it's just plain silly, frankly.

    How this connects to 'right-believing' or 'right-praying' though makes this not so obviously a put-down, however. If you wish to be generous, it was a conscious decision by the church to 'save' the local populations (and I won't denigrate that desire or faith by anachronistically imposing concepts such as colonialism - they believed, in many cases at least, that it was the 'right' thing to do. Probably one of the first utilitarian morality plays - by making some rather trivial (in theological terms) compromises about things like having easter coincide (more or less) with spring festivals present in every culture (repeat for the solstices and the equinox, etc), they (thought they) were doing Good.

    Now, I don't fully buy into that- there were a lot of other things going on like the expansion of state power - which was often inseparable from religion and church hierarchies.

    But it was a conscious decision and strategy, repeated time and again, and done for reasons that were at least partly intended to achieve a positive benefit in that they saw the wholesale adoption of christianity as a very good and right thing indeed. It seems to me 'denigrating' them to imply they weren't capable of such.

    The 'confirming the truth' of paganism stuff is laugh-out-loud absurd, though. Clearly post facto quasi-religious ramblings to resolve some perceived theological inconsistency. If anything denigrates the church, it's that anyone would believe such claptrap.

    No, it was a strategy and a highly effective one, and I don't know why you think that makes the church sound bad.
    One can laugh out loud at anything that seems absurd. But sometimes, absurd can mean an aborigine seeing a European for the first time pointing a tiny pistol at him. The aborigine might laugh, but his laughter would be in vain. It is his lack of knowledge which makes the pistol seem inferior to his long spear.
    You can talk about documented facts, and a great many ďfactsĒ are documented today by skeptics with college degrees and very little real education. You really donít know much about what people in the Church knew if you think it silly that they found truth in paganism. They knew all about Aristotle, Plato, Virgil and the rest, and they did not think them completely wrong on everything. Youíre wrong about the Church, but I can still find things that you are right about and praise them. You are right that secular rulers have always tried to use the Church for their own ends, and even that there have been plenty of corrupt hierarchs. I can even grant genuine cases of what you describe. But you go wrong when you suggest that it was primarily or entirely the case. The rule was that legitimate theological ideas were honored and celebrated, and legitimate saints who actually did live in various places and times who actually did feats of faith, asceticism and evangelization worthy of honor and veneration. Youíve got the rule and the exception completely reversed. As to how your view paints the Church, it is obviously a negative sweep of the brush, saying that (the rule was that) they engaged in deception and making up their religion in order to advance it. I donít believe that for a minute. People who believe the Thing was true do not think they need to deceive and invent in order to advance the Truth; the Truth can take care of itself.

    Really, I would discover CS Lewis if I were you. He was the chair of Medieval Studies at Cambridge, and a lifelong student of literature and history, even if he had a western bent. And you would find him demonstrating again and again the confirmation of pagan ideas among the Christian saints and Church fathers.

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