Christian Orthodox Political Philosophy: A Theological Approach [Paperback]

Pavlos M. Kyprianou (Author)

ISBN: 9781942699491 | Published by: Holy Trinity Seminary Press | Year of Publication: 2023 | Language: English 128p, H216 x W140 (mm)

Christian Orthodox Political Philosophy


The Church is commonly spoken of as an institutional reality, but much less frequently recognized as a spiritual and heavenly reality called by God “to make disciples of all nations.” (Mt. 28:19) This modest work furthers the development of a structured and integrated Christian Orthodox political thought, whereby the Church is neither sidelined as having no relevance to this present life, nor dominated by temporal questions or popular movements at the expense of its eternal salvific mission.

The author seeks to ground the mission of the Church in the present world both on an understanding of God as Trinity and in Her mission to baptize diverse cultures. To do this effectively the Church must recognize and adapt to local and contemporary political and social trends and patterns. It must exemplify the Gospel as a way of communal and social life, not allowing itself to be reduced to an impersonal ideology manifest within the sphere of either imagination, ideology, or a private individualistic existence.

Drawing upon this philosophy he offers proposals for how the Church could view questions of both domestic politics and international relations with a view to bringing the world into the Kingdom of God. He also suggests specific steps that could be taken to heal and strengthen inter-Orthodox relations, addressing in particular the canonical challenges of the Orthodox diaspora and tensions between the Greek and Slavic components of the Church.Though these specific proposals will by no means enjoy universal acceptance, they will serve as a springboard for further dialogue as the Orthodox world seeks to apply these principles in all nations, no matter their current political circumstances.

Extracts from The Bases of the Social Concept of the Russian Orthodox Church are also included as an appendix to aid in further reflection on the questions raised by this book.

Table of Contents

  1. The inspiration behind this book
  2. Aims of the Book
  3. Outline of the Book
  2. Brief History of the Church
  3. The Church is the pre-fall world
  4. The fallen world is the same as the pre-fall world only now under demonic influence
  5. The relationship between the Church and the world after the fall
  6. Unto-the-world integration v Of-the-world secularization
  2. The nation as a post-fall phenomenon
  3. Nationalism as a post-fall ideology
  4. Ideology as division and heresy
  5. Sanctification and self-transcendence of the nation
  6. The Mission of the Jewish Nation to the World
  7. How Christ viewed his own nation
  8. The fall out of Christ with the national establishment
  9. How the Apostle Paul viewed his own nation
  10. The national self-transcendence of the Greek nation for the sake of a Christian World
  11. Christian Orthodoxy vis-a-vis national power, resistance, and liberation
  12. Conclusion: cohabitation, adoption and ecumenization of the nation by the Church within the Church, and through the Church
  2. The state as a post-fall phenomenon B. The recognition of the role of the state by the Church
  3. Relationship of the Church with political power
  4. A person-centered system of government – Monarchy
  5. The relationship of the Church with ideologies and parties
  6. Church and human rights
  7. Church and Person-centered Economic Policy
  8. A Person-centered Legislative System
  9. A Person-centered Judicial System
  2. Priority of local state-national consciousness over ‘supra-state’ national consciousness
  3. Coexistence of Local and Universal (Ecumenical) Awareness on an Ecclesiastical and National Level
  4. Church and national symbols
  5. Preference and support of the Church for the creation and/or strengthening of multinational Orthodox-majority states, upholding Orthodox ‘supranational’ identity above national identity (whether this coincides with state identity or constitutes ‘supra-state’ identity).
  6. ‘Covariation’ with a constructive and not negating effect
  7. Conclusion
  2. Definition
  3. Diaspora and ecclesiastical disorder
  4. The principle of ‘covariation’ and the Orthodox Diaspora
  2. The Geopolitical division between Orthodox states
  3. Russia ‘Protector of Orthodox Peoples’
  4. The granting of autocephaly to a local Church
  5. Transcending the diarchy between the Greek and Russian world
  2. World unity in Christ
  3. Adaptation of the Church to political and state conditions in order to reinforce its spiritual work and influence
  4. The institutionalized protection and implementation of human rights within a person-centered and commune-centered context
  5. The Church should encourage the combined implementation of ideologies to strengthen the state and serve society
  6. The Church - institutionalized and official Advisor to the state but without institutionalized power
  7. The Church should encourage citizens, politicians, and political parties to resist and refrain from identifying with ideologies
  8. The Church in support of the institution of Monarchy within a democratic framework.
  9. The Church in support of a centrist, person-centered economic policy based on a mixed economy
  10. Establishment of advisory bodies with eligibility for membership to those who contribute to the state treasury over and above their tax obligations
  11. The creative ‘covariation’ of the Church with state administrations, and the coincidence and convergence of state, national, and local ecclesiastical jurisdiction, identity, and consciousness.
  12. The creation of multinational states or commonwealths, and the creation of a common national awareness based on Orthodox civilization
  13. The Orthodox Diaspora should become a field of healthy missionary competition and transcendence of nationalism M. Official recognition of the Russian Federation as the Geopolitical Protector of Orthodoxy

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