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Notes from a Common-place Book: “this is the formerly hothouse flower of American Orthodoxy beginning to take root in American soil”

In the midst of all the nasty discussion going on about what Orthodoxy in America isn’t and whose fault it is, I find this refreshing:

It is not that these things don’t concern me. They do. But it is like fretting about the budget deficit, there is little enough you and I can do about it, and in the meantime, life goes on. We never really “solve” anything, but we do muddle through, somehow. By focusing on these larger concerns, if we are not careful, we may miss the real news here. In my view, this is the formerly hothouse flower of American Orthodoxy beginning to take root in American soil, and–slowly–taking on an indigenous nature. Admittedly, we are still well under the radar screen. Our numbers are small, and will probably remain so. But Orthodoxy is patient, and takes a long view of things. The Church is digging in for the long haul. Evangelism is on-going. The webs of connectedness between far-flung parishes, missions and monasteries are in place. I can’t speak for other parts of the country, but it seems that the South is one of the most receptive regions of the country. Several bloggers I follow (religiously, in fact) have commented recently on the course of Orthodoxy in the South.

The whole post is worth a read. The idea of the South being perhaps the best cultural fit for Orthodox Christianity in this country is not exactly new, but a parallel idea is that an indigenous expression of the Faith is perhaps best thought of, at least in the United States, by region rather than America as a whole. In other words, does “culturally American” mean the same thing in, say, Boston as it does in Memphis? In Bloomington as in Seattle? (I can answer that one — no.)

Anyway — food for thought. (I give a gentlemanly tip of my straw hat to Rod Dreher.)

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1 Response to “Notes from a Common-place Book: “this is the formerly hothouse flower of American Orthodoxy beginning to take root in American soil””


  1. 1 David 6 April 2009 at 11:17 am

    This is why, though I’m drawn into controversies and the secrets of power like anyone else, I continually reaffirm my personal opposition to activism. To me it is simply a perpetual distraction and excuse to avoid the more pressing spiritual matters. Most of all unless one is a living saint free from the passions, it is incompatible with humility and a great barrier to love. Activism makes enemies of the opposition. As Christians we should have no enemies.


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