The Real Saint Nicholas

The Real Saint Nicholas

Many words could be written about the true life and legacy of Saint Nicholas. While most today only consider a fictional, elf-like inhabitant of the North Pole—and his band of flying reindeer—the prototype of this myth is a very real and very important person in the life of the Church. Born sometime in the latter […]

Martin Luther on Mary as Theotokos

Martin Luther on Mary as Theotokos

Like many other Protestant Reformers, Martin Luther had no problem honoring Mary as the ‘Mother of God.’ Following the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431), he was adamant that Mary be referred to and honored as the Θεοτοκος or ‘Birth-giver of God’ (also, ‘Mother of God’). The importance of this title is chiefly in its […]

What is Apophatic Theology?

What is Apophatic Theology?

What is apophatic theology, and how does it differ from Western philosophy? In order to participate in apophatic theology, why are holiness and purity of heart needed? And why is total ignorance a necessary aspect of experiencing God?

The necessity of genuine contemplation and purification can be best highlighted by contrasting the true apophatic theology of Orthodoxy with the philosophy of rational negations which has been sometimes practiced within Catholicism and Protestantism. These two approaches often lead to writings which bear certain surface similarities, so it is important to ferret out the core distinction.

Harmony and Peace Between Alexandria and Antioch

Harmony and Peace Between Alexandria and Antioch

In the Apostolic Church of the first century and even within the first four decades after the Church began on Pentecost, St Paul had to contend with personality factions devoted to various ecclesiastical leaders – “I am of Paul; I am of Apollos” (1 Cor 3:4). His constant epistolary admonitions to the people of God […]

The Events of the ‘Great Schism’

The Events of the Great Schism

Ever since the reign of the emperor (Saint) Justinian I (AD 527-565) — who attempted to drive out foreign invaders from the west and reunite the whole of the empire — the east and the west were being driven apart. After the invasion (by the Avars and Slavs) of the Balkan peninsula and the conquest […]

A Summary of the First Seven Ecumenical Councils

A Summary of the First Seven Ecumenical Councils

When the Roman emperor Constantine I converted to the Christian faith (out of gratitude for military victory through what he believed to be divine intervention), the persecution of the religion was put to an end at the Edict of Milan (AD 313) and later made to be the state religion by emperor Theodosius I (AD […]