Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

The social thought of the Orthodox Church reflected in the documents of the Holy Pan-Orthodox Council of Crete (2016)

Iuliu-Marius Morariu
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5471 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5471 | © 2019 Iuliu-Marius Morariu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 March 2019 | Published: 29 November 2019

About the author(s)

Iuliu-Marius Morariu, Faculty of Orthodox Theology, ‘Babes-Bolyai’ University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; and, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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An important moment in the history of the Orthodox Church is despite the withdrawal of local churches like the Bulgarian, Russian, Georgian and Alexandrian ones and the fear of Serbian Church to take part in it, the Pan-Orthodox Council of Crete remains an important meeting that influenced the history of Orthodoxy and shifted its conception to the world. The relevance of some of the topics discussed there explains why it can be found inside the important theological journals from the entire world chronicles of the event and articles dedicated to some of the topics investigated. Noticing this fact, we have tried to see the way the social thinking of the Orthodox Church is reflected in the documents released by the participants and its encyclical letter. Because of the fact that, until today, only the Russian Orthodox Church has a document that defines in an articulate way its social thinking and this one was published in 2002, when many challenges were not present in society, the ideas presented there are not only important for their relevance and actuality (because there are approached topics like fundamentalism, terrorism, nuclear weapons, family crisis, persecution of Christians of migration crisis), but also for the fact that they became the official document that articulates the landmarks of social thinking of the Eastern Orthodox Church, seen as a federation of local churches that are in Eucharistic and doctrinaire communion. Therefore, we have tried to see how the bishops presented to the Pan-Orthodox meeting, the way they understood and approached these topics and what represented the motivations of their conclusions.


Migrant crisis; Fundamentalism; Nuclear weapons; Call for peace; Family crisis; Fasting


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