The Church is commonly spoken of as an institutional reality, and is much less frequently recognized as a spiritual and heavenly reality called by God “to make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19).
This structured and integrated work presents a Christian Orthodox political thought in which 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 grounds 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 imagination, ideology, or a private individualistic existence.
Drawing upon this philosophy, the author proposes a way for the Church to understand questions of both domestic politics and international relations with a view to bringing the world into the Kingdom of God. He 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.
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