In particular, Martyr used the Greek concept of internal and external thought to illustrate Jesus Christ'… A. G. Hebert (Eugen, OR: Wipf & Stock, 1931); Gregory A. Boyd, “Christus Victor View,” in The Nature of the Atonement, ed. Icons and fasting periods are unique aspects of such communal worship. [16] Payton, 126; Ware, Orthodox Way, 80-81. [23] Fairbairn, 43; Ware, Orthodox Church, 300; Fortescue, Orthodox Church, 426; see Bartholomew, 81-84. Clement of Alexandria, demonstrated Greek thought in writing, .mw-parser-output .templatequote{overflow:hidden;margin:1em 0;padding:0 40px}.mw-parser-output .templatequote .templatequotecite{line-height:1.5em;text-align:left;padding-left:1.6em;margin-top:0}, "Philosophy has been given to the Greeks as their own kind of Covenant, their foundation for the philosophy of Christ ... the philosophy of the Greeks ... contains the basic elements of that genuine and perfect knowledge which is higher than human ... even upon those spiritual objects." Christianity - Christianity - The early liturgy, the calendar, and the arts: St. Paul’s letters mention worship on the first day of the week. That at least two of the Christians mentioned in Acts 13 are from North Africa is perhaps a hint some Hellenists moved to Antioch rather than Egypt. [41], The Orthodox Church, with its resistance to both doctrinal and liturgical change, has subjected itself to the charge of being “an ossified relic of the Christian past.”[42] Far from being a dead institution, however, the Church has preserved a very early form of Christianity and stands as an ever-present witness to continuously modernizing Western churches. Hellenistic (2 Occurrences) Noah Webster's Dictionary (a.) [45] See, for example, Gustaf Aulén, Christus Victor: An Historical Study of the Three Main Types of the Idea of Atonement, trans. “We did not set out to discover Orthodoxy. [25] Ibid., 275; see also Bartholomew, 86. Almost 200 years later, Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologiae, article 3, wrote succinctly: "By 'God', however, we mean some infinite good". Ethnic divisions have made the establishment of a uniquely American Orthodox Church difficult. As Christianity spread throughout the Hellenic world, an increasing number of church leaders were educated in Greek philosophy. 11, no. Through stumblings, shortcomings, and adversities, the Orthodox Church has persisted, safeguarding the traditions handed down to it and persevering as an ever-shining light from the too often forgotten Christian East. Therefore, the ecumenical nature of a council can only be determined after the fact. Churches that have not achieved autocephalous or autonomous status, however, generally fall under the Ecumenical Patriarch’s jurisdiction. [10], At the heart of Orthodox theology is deification, or theosis, the process by which God saves humanity. Ware, Orthodox Church, 2, 13, 51, 291; John Garvey, “Eastern Orthodoxy,” The Atlantic, May 1989, 34; Bartholomew, 3, 57. For all its faults, it has persevered in the faith of its ancestors, both as an established church—as in Greece today—and as a persecuted church—as in the Soviet Union. As a result, the Orthodox Church is particularly susceptible to losses caused by demographic changes in Europe where both population and religious participation are declining. While it has at times emphasized too heavily the Greek over the Orthodox aspect of its identity, it still has not neglected the latter. The ontological argument is a defining example of the fusion of Hebrew and Greek thought. The Hellenistic Jewish Christian Witness. A common criticism of historic orthodox Christianity is the claim that early Christianity was corrupted by the intellectual forces of 'Hellenism.' While other churches with a strong global presence—notably the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches—can make up for losses in Europe with gains elsewhere, the Orthodox Church lacks such a firewall. George D. Smith, The Eastern Churches Trilogy (Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press, 2001), 1, 3-4, 7-8. It was my final paper for the World Christianity class that I took during my first semester at Yale Divinity School. Hellenistic Paganism Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! Justin Martyr was a key figure during this period who helped reconcile Hellenism with Christian teachings. [41] Ware, Orthodox Church, 174-75; Garvey, 34. We set out to find out what the ancient Church was really like, and in doing so we discovered Orthodoxy.”[49]. All animal products, oil, and wine are forbidden during these times. [47], The Church has likewise attracted converts in the United States from a variety of backgrounds who found the Church on their own. Adrian Fortescue, The Uniate Eastern Churches, ed. [28] See Ware, Orthodox Church, 3-4; Bartholomew, 2-3. What is often missed is the Greek influences on Christianity, that Christianity is as Hellenistic as it is Jewish. From the chapter on “Liturgy and Theology and Byzantine Culture” in The Formation of Christendom by Christopher Dawson (Sheed & Ward, 1967): The essential achievement of the patristic age was the synthesis of Eastern religion and Western culture, or, to be more precise, the uniting of the spiritual traditions of Hellenism and the … Many schools of thought made up Hellenism. [6] Ware, Orthodox Church, 14; Fairbairn, 31. [37], One Catholic scholar criticized the Orthodox Church’s missionary apathy toward the Arabs, arguing that Orthodox leaders “allowed [the Arabs] to remain pagan, while they quarreled over abstruse points of theology, and intrigued for the Emperor’s favor at the court.”[38] A successful mission among the Arab peoples would have required an “adaptive response to the message,” which the elites of the Imperial Church could not abide. Commentary from Sir William Smith, Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870, p. [17], It seems strange that a Church that places so much emphasis on the authority of councils has not called an ecumenical council since 787, particularly considering that the Roman Church has called many in the intervening years—one as recent as the 1960s. What follows below is, with some minor modifications, a copy of my paper on Hellenistic Christianity. Indeed, Orthodox missions in Africa began when Anglican converts came to the Church, not as a result of contacts with Orthodox believers, but through personal study. Ibid., 27; see also Fortescue, The Orthodox Eastern Church, 10-11. Hellenistic Christianity could also arguably include some of the Uniate Churches, which are churches with heritages in the old Patriarchates of Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem that are today in communion with the Pope. [35], Such nationalistic missteps are rooted deep in its early history as an established church of empire. Orthodox theologians have argued, for example, that God, in His love for humanity, would have become man even if humanity had not fallen. [15], Instead, “Christ is the victor over death.”[16] Therefore, in Orthodox theology, there is no salvation apart from the resurrection. James Ridgway (Oxford: James Parker and Co., 1880), 54. [1] Timothy Ware, The Orthodox Church: New Edition (London: Penguin Books, 1997), 4. Concerning the Eucharist, while the Orthodox Church affirms the real presence of Christ in the elements, it eschews attempts to explain exactly how this happens. In addition, infants receive both confirmation and the Eucharist. http://www.theaudiopedia.com What is HELLENISTIC JUDAISM? While these are the same sacraments as those found in the Catholic Church, the Orthodox administer them in unique manners. In essence, if God could be imagined, God existed. The dominant philosophical traditions of the Greco-Roman world then were Stoicism, Platonism, Epicureanism, and, to a lesser extent, the skeptic traditions of Pyrrhonism and Academic Skepticism. [23], The Orthodox Church emphasizes sacraments (or mysteries) as “the means whereby God’s grace is appropriated to every Christian individually.”[24] It recognizes seven: “(i) Baptism; (ii) Chrismation (equivalent to Confirmation in the West); (iii) The Eucharist; (iv) Repentance or Confession; (v) Holy Orders; (vi) Marriage or Holy Matrimony; (vii) the Anointing of the Sick.”[25]. [5] Ware, Orthodox Church, 7. Elaine Ruth Fletcher, “Orthodox Leaders Closer to Unity,” Christianity Today, February 7, 2000, 30; see also Bartholomew, 6. [34] See Bartholomew, 13; Payton, 38; Fortescue, Orthodox Church, 240; Fairbairn, 146. Shaped the world-view in which the NT writers articulated the Christian revelation. [12] Athanasius, A Discourse of Saint Athanasius on the Incarnation of the Word of God, trans. Indeed, the Eastern Orthodox Church is Hellenistic because of its schisms. This page was last edited on 18 November 2020, at 02:10. Early Christianity and Hellenistic Judaism Peder Borgen These studies break new ground in the exploration of early Christianity and Judaism towards the end of the Second Temple period.Professor Borgen introduces fresh perspectives on many central issues in the complexity of Judaism both within Palestine and in the Diaspora. Rather, according to Orthodox belief, the icons in the sanctuary remind the congregants, through the divine liturgy, that they are with Christ and the saints worshiping together in God’s presence. The ontological argument reflected the classical concept of "perfections". 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"Hellenistic" is a modern word and a 19th-century concept; the idea of a Hellenistic period did not exist in ancient Greece.Although words related in form or meaning, e.g. Acts 6:1 And in these ... /h/hellenistic.htm - 7k [40] Garvey, 34; see also Ware, Orthodox Church, 174-75. Philosophical realism was the dominant philosophical school of Anselm's day, and stemmed from Platonism. In Orthodox teaching, people cannot be united with God unless they become like God themselves. Christian assimilation of Hellenistic philosophy was anticipated by Philo and other Greek-speaking Alexandrian Jews. [39] Lamin Sanneh, Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact on Culture, 2nd ed. Platonic philosophers were able to theorize about the forms by looking at objects in the material world, and imagining what the "Perfect" tree, or "Perfect" man would be. Thus, the Christians could very well be unpopular, and they often were. The Orthodox Church, for example, denies the Augustinian idea of inherited guilt and the related Calvinist tenant of total depravity. Because existence was more perfect than non-existence and God was, by definition, perfect, God existed by definition. [5] While some bishops may hold special honor, all bishops are nonetheless equal.[6]. It is what Plato expressed in the longing to escape the shadows of the cave and enter the sunshine of the intelligible world. The Aristotelian view of God grew from these Platonic roots, arguing that God was the Infinite, or the Unmoved mover. This would be roughly equivalent to a civilization two thousand years from now looking at twenty-first-century America to determine what America was like in the colonial era. Despite its heritage, however, Hellenistic Christianity is not limited to the territories of the former Greek Byzantine Empire. The Christian propagandist will assure us that the main source of immorality in Rome was the wealthy class, one tenth, or less, of the population. Philo's blend of Judaism, Platonism, and Stoicism strongly influenced Christian Alexandrian writers such as Origen and Clement of Alexandria, as well as, in the Latin world, Ambrose of Milan. While Lent is the West’s great time of fasting and prayer, there are four significant fasting periods in Orthodoxy (in addition to most Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year): (1) Lent; (2) the Fast of the Apostles from eight days after Pentecost until 28 June; (3) the Dormition Fast from 1 to 14 August; and (4) the Christmas Fast from 15 November to 24 December. Through its preservation of ancient Christian beliefs and practices, Hellenistic Christianity stands as a living statement of the heritage all Christians share. Orthodox territory then became officially isolated—after centuries of deteriorating relations—from the Latin West in 1054 with the Great Schism that separated the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches.[30]. [33] Identification with the Church within the new Muslim empire allowed citizens of the former Greek-speaking Byzantine Empire to maintain a sense of cultural unity.[34]. [26], Eastern Orthodoxy claims to possess a history free of “Reformations or Counter-Reformations.”[27] However, this history obscures reality. Christianity and Hellenistic philosophies experienced complex interactions during the first to the fourth centuries. James Beilby and Paul R. Eddy (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006); Gregory A. Boyd, Satan and the Problem of Evil: Constructing a Trinitarian Warfare Theodicy (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2011), 36. Answer: Hellenism is the term used to describe the influence of Greek culture on the peoples the Greek and Roman Empires conquered or interacted with. Interestingly, the Orthodox Church holds that this “first among equals” position rightly belongs to the Pope. In essence, he argued that because God is, by definition, the being than which no greater can be conceived, and it is more perfect to exist than not to exist, God must exist. Nonetheless, the nationalism persisted beyond its usefulness, and Orthodoxy has struggled to expand beyond its early strongholds in Eastern Europe. [3] Donald Fairbairn, Eastern Orthodoxy through Western Eyes (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 25-26. The Nicene Creed lacks the filioque generally present in the West. Christian Hellenism — The Foundation of Western Culture. Even though historians have largely neglected that era (a period longer than the existence of the United States of America), Alexandria in that time became the capital of Egypt, its major port, and then the major center of the widespread Hellenistic civilization lasting for one thousand years, until the Muslim conquest of Egypt in AD 641. The Church historian Eusebius suggested in his Praeparatio Evangelica that Greek philosophy, although in his view derivative, was concordant with Hebrew notions. The book of Acts does not mention anything about a similar Christian presence in Alexandria, Egypt even though the city had a large population of Hellenistic Jews. Once a church achieves “autocephalous” status, it operates entirely independently of any other church’s interference. [27] Ware, Orthodox Church, 1; Garvey, 37. Is Christianity a predominantly Near Eastern or Hellenistic religion? There is an emphasis on mystery within Orthodoxy that is often lacking in the West. This is in reference to the origins and beliefs of early Christianity, so before 500 AD. This makes them very fit to take the gospel crossculturally. Christianity and Hellenistic philosophies experienced complex interactions during the first to the fourth centuries. There's a substantial gap in most religions between religious practices and source mythology. 620).[2]. Remaining currents of Hellenistic Judaism in all probability, as would be expected, merged into gnostic movements in the early centuries CE. It was my final paper for the History of Early Christianity class Read more…, In recent years, however, the Church has discussed the possibility of calling a new council to address contemporary issues it faces. By Tradition, the Church means “the faith and practice which Jesus Christ imparted to the Apostles, and which since the Apostles’ time has been handed down from generation to generation in the Church.”[9], Tradition includes particularly the Bible, the Nicene Creed, and the seven ecumenical councils. Egypt was the last important survivor of the political system which had developed as a consequence both of the victories of Alexander and of his premature death. to the death of Cleopatra and the incorporation of Egypt in the Roman Empire in 30 B.C.E. What makes a council ecumenical, however, is not any particular trappings or procedures—though broad participation from across the entire Orthodox Church is generally a prerequisite—but whether the whole Church accepts its decrees. Different hierarchies from different national churches exist side by in contradiction to the Orthodox requirement of “one bishop in one city.”[40], A Russian-led effort to unify the various factions into one American Orthodox Church fell apart at the onset of the Russian Revolution, leaving the current situation—which a previous Ecumenical Patriarch labeled a “scandal”—intact. Hellenistic Christianity sees in the crucifixion a great triumph for Christ, rejecting the emphasis on the cross “as an act of satisfaction or substitution to propitiate the wrath of an angry Father” that became predominant in the West after Anselm of Canterbury in the eleventh century. 8). [15] Ware, Orthodox Church, 229; see also Payton, 98-99, 121-22; Fairbairn, 79-81. Upon the Jews' return from exile in Babylon, they endeavored to protect their national identity by following the law closely. 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