You have no items in your shopping cart.
Search
Filters
Orthodox ecclesiology doctrinally and historically requires that all authority in the church be expressed by the bishop. The unity of authority, based upon the laying on of hands, is the lived expression of the oneness and catholicity of the church. American Orthodoxy, however, does not have such an authority structure, especially on the parish level. This study explores the divergence of practice from doctrine in the American church. The study concludes with a theological discussion of the problematic nature of parish congregationalism in Orthodoxy. It points toward the already-realized conciliarity of supra-parish structures as the paradigm for a reformation of parish authority structures.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 1-59333-195-9
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Feb 1,2006
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 252
ISBN: 1-59333-195-9
$146.00
$87.60

Orthodox ecclesiology doctrinally and historically requires that all authority in the church be expressed by the bishop. The unity of authority, based upon the laying on of hands, is the lived expression of the oneness and catholicity of the church. American Orthodoxy, however, does not have such an authority structure, especially on the parish level. In the parish, the normal structure is congregationalist: that is, authority is split between a spiritual authority coming from those who are ordained (the clergy) and a material authority wielded by the unordained (the laity). This study explores the divergence of practice from doctrine in the American church in three steps.

First, a historical and theological survey of major Orthodox ecclesiological trends, especially universalist and eucharistic ecclesiologies, demonstrates the consistency of Orthodox thought on the unity of authority. Second, an examination and comparison of the current charters and bylaws of five major American Orthodox jurisdictions demonstrates the congregationalist structure of American parishes. It also shows that on the supra-parish level most jurisdictions tend to be conciliar and hierarchical in structure. Third, a historical study of the foundational period of Orthodoxy focuses on three major reasons why congregationalism was allowed to develop and why it remains today: (1) the absence of hierarchical authority; (2) the Toth movement and its after-effects; and (3) the influence of lay societies or brotherhoods.

A comparison of the tenure of Archbishop Tikhon Bellavin to that of Archbishop John Carroll of the Roman Catholic Church highlights both the doctrine of authority and the failure to put that doctrine into practice in America. The study concludes with a theological discussion of the problematic nature of parish congregationalism in Orthodoxy. It points toward the already realized conciliarity of supra-parish structures as the paradigm for a reformation of parish authority structures.

Nicholas Ferencz received his BS in physics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He later studied at the Pontificium Institutum Orientale in Rome, where he received his S.E.O.L. in patristic studies. He went back to Duquesne for his doctorate in theology. He has been a priest and pastor for almost twenty-five years and is currently pastor of St. Stephen the Protomartyr Orthodox Church (ACROD) in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He is also an adjunct professor of religion at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania.

Orthodox ecclesiology doctrinally and historically requires that all authority in the church be expressed by the bishop. The unity of authority, based upon the laying on of hands, is the lived expression of the oneness and catholicity of the church. American Orthodoxy, however, does not have such an authority structure, especially on the parish level. In the parish, the normal structure is congregationalist: that is, authority is split between a spiritual authority coming from those who are ordained (the clergy) and a material authority wielded by the unordained (the laity). This study explores the divergence of practice from doctrine in the American church in three steps.

First, a historical and theological survey of major Orthodox ecclesiological trends, especially universalist and eucharistic ecclesiologies, demonstrates the consistency of Orthodox thought on the unity of authority. Second, an examination and comparison of the current charters and bylaws of five major American Orthodox jurisdictions demonstrates the congregationalist structure of American parishes. It also shows that on the supra-parish level most jurisdictions tend to be conciliar and hierarchical in structure. Third, a historical study of the foundational period of Orthodoxy focuses on three major reasons why congregationalism was allowed to develop and why it remains today: (1) the absence of hierarchical authority; (2) the Toth movement and its after-effects; and (3) the influence of lay societies or brotherhoods.

A comparison of the tenure of Archbishop Tikhon Bellavin to that of Archbishop John Carroll of the Roman Catholic Church highlights both the doctrine of authority and the failure to put that doctrine into practice in America. The study concludes with a theological discussion of the problematic nature of parish congregationalism in Orthodoxy. It points toward the already realized conciliarity of supra-parish structures as the paradigm for a reformation of parish authority structures.

Nicholas Ferencz received his BS in physics at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He later studied at the Pontificium Institutum Orientale in Rome, where he received his S.E.O.L. in patristic studies. He went back to Duquesne for his doctorate in theology. He has been a priest and pastor for almost twenty-five years and is currently pastor of St. Stephen the Protomartyr Orthodox Church (ACROD) in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. He is also an adjunct professor of religion at Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania.

Write your own review
  • Only registered users can write reviews
  • Bad
  • Excellent
Contributor

Nicholas Ferencz