I have just found a new comment of Surviving Modernism.
I disagree, somewhat. I’m an Orthodox monk currently being received into the Catholic Church. One of the major factors in my decision to swim the Adriatic to the West, was the way theology is becoming completely untethered, not only from Patristics, but even rational thought, in much of Orthodoxy (with no authoritative voice to say otherwise). This is only one factor, mind you.
Modern Orthodoxy comes with some extremely strange, intellectual gymnastics, mostly aimed at proving Orthodoxy to be more hip and groovy and mysticalicious than “the West.” The theological system of Romanides, for example, is a convoluted mess of pseudo-intellectual flim-flammery, that winds up undermining the whole meaning of the Cross. It is increasingly the mainstream view (though Hart’s sober remonstrances may be a good counter-influence in Anglophone countries). And just read Chrysostomos Zaphiris’ justification of contraception – you see, humanity is a “co-creator” of the moral order with God and because of mystically complex rationalizations, whatever we decide to be right, after sober reflection (unless we soberly decide that sober reflection isn’t right), is right. I’ve never heard such pseudo-intellectual theology, not even in Chardin. Plenty of stuff even in Zizioulas and Yannaras is but an attempt to prettify apostate moral views and innovative ecclesiologies. Palamism and Neo-Palamism are often rife with anti-rational sentiment, paradoxically couched in a mountain of pseudo-intellectual jargon.
I tend to think that pseudo-intellectualism and pseudo-mysticism has always been a far greater problem amongst the Greeks – their language and culture lends itself to it, and even the modernist and humanist revolution in the West, was planted by Hellenes fleeing the destruction of the Byzantine Empire. The earliest writings I’ve read that truly sounded “modern” to my ears, were of 14th-century Byzantines.
The thing that strikes me about this fellow is that he is alienated from his Church by individual theologians and is converting to Roman Catholicism. I take it he prefers Hans Küng and Cardinal Kasper to Zizioulas and Yanneras! I hope he will be happy in his new spiritual home.
You don’t get good theology by converting to this or that Church. We do better by reading and writing on our own. I intend no unkindness to the person who wrote this comment (identifier available via the above link), but it seems so strange. One thing I have learned over the years is that anything good and beautiful in churches is the work of individuals – music, art, poetry, literature, architecture. We don’t make huge upheavals in our lives because we are inspired by such or such a saint. I don’t become a Methodist because I admire John Wesley – his theology, spirituality or his hair! I don’t become Lutheran because I love the music of Bach. And so forth… We are all called to contribute our treasures wherever we are, without expecting them to be institutionalised.
Perhaps such a thing is only possible to learn by bitter experience.