Orthodoxy is an ocean without shores. Such magnanimity cannot be confined within the four walls of a church building. Reducing orthodoxy to a few performative rituals is the greatest distortion one could possibly make of it. Orthodoxy is not a religious ideology but the most organic lifestyle initiated, practiced and traditioned to us by Jesus Christ for the integral healing of human beings and the wider creation. There is not a single aspect of human life and ecosystem which Orthodoxy does not encompass. A genuine inculcation of this lifestyle would lead us to the cross of Christ where we would discover our true life which is “hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3).
Organic Orthodoxy envisions to theologically engage with the social evils of the world that strive to upend the divine order and impede the realization of the reign of God on earth.
“No one can serve two masters” (Matt. 6:24) There is an African adage which goes; “Until the lions have their own historians, the history of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” This confronts the Empire(s) of our modern times. The history from the margins is either silenced or deliberately unheard for the survivability ofContinue reading “Colossians: Through An Imperial-Critical Lens”
Christianity is a faith that affirms the dignity and sanctity of human body. We believe in an embodied God; a God who chose to take flesh and dwell among us. We do not perceive God in metaphysical categories but very specifically in the person of Jesus Christ. For Christianity, the truth is not an abstractContinue reading “Theology of Human Body”
“Piety, Piety, but where is the love that moves mountain?” ~ St. Maria Mother Maria happens to be one of the most unconventional Orthodox saints to have ever lived. Having born in the early decades of the twentieth century (1891) in Russia, she witnessed two World Wars and the Russian Revolution. Growing up in suchContinue reading “Mother Maria Skobstova: The Unorthodox Orthodox Saint”
Fasting was the primary injunction given by God to human beings soon after we were created. We were admonished not to consume from the tree of knowledge for we were not yet mature enough but had to grow in perfection in order to do so. Our fallacy of considering this divine commandment to be expendableContinue reading “A Kaleidoscope of Theophany”
We live in a death-defying culture and therefore the only thing that can unify human beings is the threat of death. We no longer seek genuinely to live but only the ways to keep ourselves alive. Yet all our pursuits of survival would inevitably lead us to death for that is what we are bornContinue reading “Embrace Our Mortality”
As many have gotten tipsy celebrating Christmas promoting the consumer culture by buying expensive gifts thereby favouring the greedy corporates in amassing wealth who would later assuage their guilt of covetousness by acts of charity to camouflage the socio-economic inequality they have knowingly caused, it is good to withdraw to reflect on the “merriness” ofContinue reading “Deconstructing The Wisdom of the Wise”
“Behold all Creation is saved by Christ and sang praise for the Son’s Nativity” ~Qolo: Nativity Night Vigil Advent is a season of travail. Birth pangs are upon the entire creation that yearns for the coming of its Creator; for salvation is not anthropocentric but eco-centric. It is not just the human beings who longContinue reading “The Coming One”
Barekmore. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One True God, Amen. The gospel portion that we ponder over today is Matt. 16: 5-12. Here, Christ warns his disciples to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees. Leaven is employed here as a metaphorical expression for teaching. We are urged toContinue reading “Homily On Matthew 16:5-12”
Barekmore. Glory be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, One True God, Amen. The gospel portion that we would be meditating upon is Luke 9: 18-25. The kernel of this passage is invariably the confession of Peter (which I have covered in an earlier blog) but there are other things that are worthy ofContinue reading “Homily On Luke 9:18-25”
This is the last of the seven Εγώ εἰμι (I am) sayings in the gospel of John. This is a significant passage expatiating the relationship of Jesus with his disciples which is intrinsically derived from his relationship with the Father. This is also a passage that accentuates the Messianic identity of Jesus; for like hisContinue reading “John 15: 1-11: A Concise Exegesis”
“O how this world has deceived me!” cried out the rich man. “Its pleasures have passed like a dream, now hell torments me I am denied water in this sea of fire Woe to me, I do not repent!” ~ Tuesday Vespers The narrative of the Rich man and Lazarus is quite revealing. It clearlyContinue reading “Luke 16: 19-31: A Concise Exegesis”
The pericope Mark 8: 27 – 34 is a vital one for in it Christ explains with boldness (παρρησίᾳ; v.32) the messianic secret. Up until now he had been speaking in parables but here he speaks boldly and with confidence (παρρησίᾳ). παρρησίᾳ is a word unique to the Gospel of Mark occurring only here inContinue reading “Mark 8: 27-34: A Concise Exegesis”
A mother plays an indispensable role in the upbringing of the child. One of the fascinating observations put forward by few theologians is that had Adam and Eve had a mother they might not have fallen. It is a wild yet provocative speculation. The vacuum of motherhood brings its own disappointing ramifications. This could beContinue reading “Mary: The Divine Loom”
Theology is not a sequestered discipline rather the conglomeration of several formative factors. John Macquarie, an influential theologian of the 20th century, in his book Principles of Christian Theology identifies six formative factors of theology viz. Experience, Revelation, Scripture, Tradition, Culture and Reason. It is the collective effort of all these factors that sustains theContinue reading “Patristic Symphony”
Baptism is the first among the seven sacraments of the Syriac Orthodox Church. It is usually known as the sacrament of regeneration through which one dies and resurrects in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ – “Therefore we have been buried with Him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised fromContinue reading “Baptism: The Sacrament of Regeneration”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Basil Paul serves as a sub-deacon in the Syriac Orthodox Church. He holds a B.Div from United Theological College and an M.A. from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.