Dr. Meic Pearse, professor of history at Houghton College, recently published a chapter in Orthodox Christian Renewal Movements in Eastern Europe.
Pearse’s chapter, “Looking West, but Walking East: The Dilemma of Orthodoxy in a Modernising World,” introduces the challenges that Orthodoxy often faces in the modern world, including a need to adapt while also remaining true to Orthodox tradition. He discusses what he believes is the greatest historic strength of Eastern Orthodoxy: the idea that the church is timeless and unchanging. This very concept is a weakness as well, however, and is limited in its ability to reach people in new places.
The book expands on similar topics, noting the changes that occurred among Orthodox churches of eastern and southeastern Europe as they came into contact with modernity.
“The modern world has been dominated by the West and its ideas. Failing to respond to the challenges of that situation is hardly an option,” notes Pearse. Often, he says, the responses of some groups within Orthodoxy are controversial. For some, renewal movements are a compromise of beliefs, while for others adaptation seems the only way to continue to move forward.
Orthodox Christian Renewal Movements, published by Palgrave Macmillan, is available on Amazon.