Orthodox Canon Law, A Casebook for Study

Orthodox Canon Law, A Casebook for Study
Rev. Dr. Patrick Viscuso
When the average Orthodox hears the words "canon law," among the things that may come to mind are a dusty code or a set of severe regulations resulting in excommunication for the slightest infraction. Far from it, Fr. Viscuso conveys the point that canon law, as the tradition of the canons, is an incarnational reality. The canons are pastoral standards manifesting God's saving Truth, rather than a set of harsh authoritarian rules. The author uses a unique approach with case studies to elicit answers from thereaders, while including an answer key at the end of work to provide an extermely enlightening and livelycommentary. This book will initiate dialogue and will be an exciting resource for all interested in the Life of the Church.
The Rev. Dr. Johseph Allen
Director, Antiochian House of Studies
Professor, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Among the most misunderstood and least apprecaited dimensions of the life of the Orthodox Church is its canon law. This fact applies to the laity and, to a lesser degree, also to the clergy. The reason for this bias is the degree of misinformation which abounds regarding the Church's canonical tradition.

Fr. Viscuso has attempted to put to rest such misgivings. The book Orthodox Canon Law, A Casebook for Study offers a real life view of central issues involved in Orthodox Canon Law. Since the analysis of cases plays a critical role in this study, Fr. Viscuso has assembled a broad collection of cases encountered in his work as an educator and canonist. The cases are developed in sustantial detail to reflect the rich theological and pastoral dimensions involved., and each brings the reader to an understanding of their underlying fundamental principles. Among the issues examined are the nature of canon law, its relationship to the salvation of the People of God, methods of study, marriage, gender issues, divorce, the reception of Holy Communion, autocephaly, and the problem of Orthodox unity in theAmericas. In view of the fact that the methodological approach of the case studies lends itsel ideally to the study of canon law, the reader gains valuable insights into the Church's canonical tradition as it relates to contemporary life.
Dr. Lewis Patsavos
Professor of Canon Law and
Director of Field Education
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

About the Author:
The Rev. Dr. Patrick Viscuso is a professor of canon law, a past president of the United States Byzantine Studies Conference, and a specialist in Byzantine and Oriental ecclesiastical legislation. His most recent writings focus on the relationship of marriage to ordination, purity issues, divorce, and women's superstitions in Late Byzantium.
 

Evolving Visions of the Priesthood

Evolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood in America
"Evolving Visions of the Orthodox Priesthood in America" by Alexey D. Krindatch presents results of the first ever national survey of the American Orthodox clergy completed by the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute in 2006. This unique study provides an insight into the crucial question "What does it mean to be an Orthodox priest in America at the beginning of the third millenium."

Based on the responses of 230 parish priests from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the Orthodox Church in America, the study examines the following subjects:
* The sources of satisfaction in the work of Orthodox priests in America
* The challenges and problems faced by parish clergy
* The sources of support that Orthodox priests can rely upon
* The issues in Church life that Orthodox priests believe should be openly and urgently discussed

The second part of the book presents Orthodox clergy opinions on the issues of:
* Notion of priesthood and status of priests
* Democracy and openess in the Church
* Changes and innovations in the Orthodox church
* Ecumenical attitudes and relations to the outside, non-Orthodox community.

For more information about the author:
Alexey Krindatch
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A Quest for Reform of the Orthodox Church: The 1923 Pan Orthodox Congress

A Quest for Reform of the Orthodox Church is a translation of the acts and decisions of the Pan-Orthodox Congress of 1923, which was held in Constantinople. The book contains a full transcript of the discussions held during the sessions, including the reports to the Congress. The 1923 Congress was called by Ecumenical Patriarch Meletios IV (Metaxakes) to deal with the issue of calendar reform for the entire Orthodox Church. This Congress recommended the adoption of a Revised Julian Calendar, which is in use in many Orthodox Churches today. The Congress also discussed the remarriage of widowed clergy, the appropriate ages for ordination, attire of the clergy, fasting guidelines, the situation of the “diaspora” in North America, and the still-unfolding events in the Russian Orthodox Church in light of the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution. Fr. Viscuso also provides an excellent and thorough introduction, overview, and analysis of the Congress, the attendees, the issues it discussed, and the reception of the Congress’ decisions by the Orthodox Church worldwide.


 

About the Author
The Rev. Dr. Patrick Viscuso is a professor of canon law, a past president of the United States Byzantine Studies Conference, and specialist in Byzantine and Oriental ecclesiastical legislation. His most recent writings focus on the the relationship of marriage to ordination, purity issues, divorce, and women's superstitions in Late Byzantium.

Persons in Communion: A Theology of Authentic Relationships
Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald
Theologian and psychologist Kyriaki FitzGerald explores the implications of Eastern Orthodox Trinitarian theology for human relationships. Drawing on the wisdomof the Church Fathers and her years of clinical experience as a therapist, she both explains the teachings of the Orthodox Church for a contemporary audience and presents a way for the reader to look deeply into his or her life and relationships so that they might be transformed.

The second part of the book presents the contemporary discussion on the role of women in the Orthodox Church, including the restoration of the order of women deacons. Here, she connects the ministries of women to the authenticity of relationships that women (and men) have and are called to have with the living God in the life of the Church.

Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, M.Div., Ph.D. is an Orthodox theologian, author and licensed psychologist. Her publications include Women Deacons in the Orthodox Church: Called to Holiness and Mininstry, Orthodox Women Speak: Discerning the "Signs of the Times' (ed.), Encountering Women of Faith:St. Catherine's Vision Collection vol.1 (ed.), Living the Beatitudes:Perspectives From Orthodox Spirituality (co-authored with her husband, Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald). Dr. FitzGerald is the Founder and Coordinator of St.Catherine's Vision (www.orthodoxwomen.org), a working group of persons committed to studying and supporting the many ways women and men are called to serve within the life of the Church, today.

Encountering Women of Faith

The stories of St. Susanna, St. Elizabeth Feodorovna, the New Martyr, St. Melania the Younger, St. Olympias the Deaconess, St. Xenia of Petersburg and Fool for Christ, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine, and the Myrrh-bearing Women told by women who share their stories. Inspiring, revealing, funny, and sad, the authors explore how the witness of these women have influenced their lives.

Authors included are Susan Ariada, Hilary Chala, Julia Corduneanu, Barbara K. Harris, Kyriaki Karidoyanes FitzGerald, Nikki Stournaras, Eleni Simmons, Valerie G. Zahirsky.

Table of Contents

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The Church in the Modern World
Stavros S. Fotiou

In this three part work, Stavros S. Fotiou proposes a new ethos for the Church in the modern world. The first section explores the meaning of personhood and the implications of a person-centered society. The second looks at the historical relationship of Church and State, within the context of human free will, and the Church’s ongoing call to witness God’s salvific plan. The third considers Humanity and Nature in light of Theology, Classical and Modern Physics, and the restoration of Creation’s proper dignity through the Church’s liturgical sanctification of the world.

Contents
1. Toward a Person Centered Society: The Great Challenge of the 21st Century
2. Church and State: Symphony or A-Symphony
3. Liturgical Sanctification: The Creation as God’s Gift

About the Author
Stavros. S. Fotiou is Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Education at the Department of Education of the University of Cyprus.

ISBN 1-932401-03-2

One Calling In Christ: The Laity in the Orthodox Church
Edited by Anton C. Vrame

The Orthodox Theological Society in America took up the question of the laity at its 2004 Annual Meeting. Papers and responses from that meeting are presented here as a way to stimulate further investigation and discussion of the issue.

Table of Contents

ISBN 1-932401-04-0

The Church in Post-Communist Europe

Christos Yannaras is the leading philosopher in Greece today. While many philosophers have not involved themselves directly with ecclesial issues and theology, Yannaras is a notable exception. He is very concerned about the "westernization‚" of Orthodox Christianity, that is the captivity of Orthodox Christian theology to non-Orthodox or western categories of thought and expression, preferring a "purely‚" Orthodox or Hellenic mode of thought. In this book, Yannaras presents the reigning consumerism of our day as a cause not only of the fall of communism, but also the dysfunction of the Orthodox Church. He suggests that Orthodox Christians have lost their sense of relationship or communion, preferring a consumerisy approach to faith. Religiosity has become just one more entertainment for consumption, rather than relation. This presentation was originally delivered as the Distinguished Lecture series at the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, Berkeley, Califonria.

Christos Yannaras is Professor of Philosophy at the Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens, Greece. To English readers, he is best known for his books The Freedom of Morality and Elements of Faith: An Introduction to Orthodoxy, although he has published extensively in Greek.

ISBN 1-932401-00-8

Essays on Ecumenism

Tertullian's question, "What has Athens to do with Jerusalem?‚" best sums up the challenging discussion of faith and culture. This discussion has been of particular concern to Orthodox Christianity, especially in contemporary North America, but also in history. Four Essays contained in this volume examine historical and contemporary aspects of the issue.

Speros Vryonis points out that the topic was "one of the burning issues in the early church‚" and he explores this topic in Basil the Great's famous "Address to Youth.‚" Sir Dimitri Obolensky examines the issue of how Orthodox faith was incorporated into the cultural milieu of Russia once Orthodoxy was adopted from Byzantium by the Slavic people.

A first contemporary challenges of faith and culture is discussed by V. Rev. Leonidas Contos, who examines the task of translating Greek liturgical texts into modern English, in a manner which retains their theological content and poetic language. The second is presented by Eva Catafygiotu Topping, who argues that the status of women in the Orthodox Church was culturally determined, thus should be theologically challenged and ultimately changed to reflect the dignity of women. Each of the presentations remains relevant in the life of the Orthodox Church.

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ISBN 1-932401-01-6

Essays on Faith and Culture

Over the last few years, the challenges within Orthodoxy about ecumenical dialogue, participation in the World Council of Churches and the various bilateral dialogues have made headlines in ecclesiastical circles. This phenomenon is surprising, because the Orthodox Church has been at the forefront of the Ecumenical Movement of the twentieth century. The Ecumenical Patriarchate” “letter to the Churches of Christ Everywhere‚” in 1920 inaugurated the modern effort for rapprochement among the various Christian communions. His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and his successors Dimitrios and Bartholomew follow a long tradition of dialogue.

The papers presented in this volume predate the headlines by just a few years. They reflect some of the issues that were causing consternation initially among Orthodox involved in ecumenical dialogue. The authors are some of the leading thinkers in ecumenical circles of the day. Their insights into issues are based in years of study and experience. Thus, they are presented here as a “snapshot‚” of Orthodox thinking in this period (1991 - 1993), as a record of the times, and to further dialogue among the Churches.

Table of Contents

ISBN 1-932401-02-4

 
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