Original Research

Towards the social doctrine of the Orthodox Church: The document ‘For the Life of the World’ of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (2020)

Iuliu-Marius Morariu
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6545 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6545 | © 2021 Iuliu-Marius Morariu | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 February 2021 | Published: 30 June 2021

About the author(s)

Iuliu-Marius Morariu, Faculty of Orthodox Theology, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; Department Dogmatics & Christian Ethics, Faculty of Theology & Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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Amongst the recent documents released by the Greek Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the one titled ‘For the Life of the World’, published before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, touches upon an important section of the life of the Orthodox Church, namely, the social one. As a result of the fact that, so far, there is no official document of the aforementioned Church dedicated to this aspect, whilst the Reformed Churches and the Catholic one have already issued similar documents, I consider the existence of such an article, with all its minuses, important. Moreover, it can constitute a bridge and an invitation to dialogue with other Christian traditions or backgrounds. Being aware of this fact, I have decided to analyse this document in this article to emphasise its influence and its elements of novelty and to speak about both its utility and its weaknesses. As a result of the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has had an important contribution to its drafting, I will also try to present this aspect and to show how the ecological vision that he has, amongst other aspects, influenced its content.

Contribution: Considering the importance of the recent document ‘For the Life of the World of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople’, I will try to analyse it and to present its social relevance and meaning.


The Ecumenical Patriarchate; politics; social ethics; Pan-Orthodox Council of Crete; Patriarch Bartholomew


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