Introduction to Orthodox Social Thought

The Orthodox Church has issued two magisterial statements on social teaching: The Basis of Orthodox Social Thought (2000) by the Moscow Patriarchate and For the Life of the World: Toward an Orthodox Social Ethos (2020), written by a committee of primarily American academics and subsequently revised and expanded by the synod of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. Taken together, these documents highlight not only the agreement among Orthodox Christians about the challenges facing the Church in the modern world but also the differences in how best to respond to the moral questions of our time. We will compare both documents on human freedom, the relationship of church and state, and the free market. We will conclude by offering an Orthodox perspective on our personal moral witness in the public square.

Course Year: