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What is the difference between Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox Christianity?

Discussion in 'Orthodox Christian DIR' started by IsmailaGodHasHeard, Oct 7, 2011.

  1. IsmailaGodHasHeard

    IsmailaGodHasHeard Well-Known Member

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    I would like to know.
     
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  2. Mark2020

    Mark2020 Well-Known Member

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    I think the main difference is that the Oriental Orthodox Churches rejected the Council of Chalcedon in 451, while Eastern Orthodox Churches accepted it.
     
  3. Jainarayan

    Jainarayan ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय
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    Yes, the OOC only accept the first three ecumenical councils. The churches are not in communion with each other.
     
  4. Talos

    Talos Cheeseman

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    Well, Oriental Orthodoxy do not recognize the first seven ecumenical councils as faithfull - they keep the resolutions of the first three, first of Nicaea (325), first of Constantinople (381) and first of Ephesus (431). Greatest issue is the matter of Christ's nature - while "classic" Eastern, Greek, Orthodoxy follow the dogmatic definition of council of Chalcedon (451), Oriental Orthodoxy don't - they respect the theology of, let's call this that way, alexandrite school (Cyril of Alexandria), also called monophysitism. In the orthodox view, it's heresy.

    As for now, Oriental Orthodoxy is recognized by Eastern Orthodox Church as a part of official orthodoxy, from 1990 if I remember correctly. But, after all, EO and OO are not in full communion.
     
  5. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend
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    Bump.

    Can anyone boil explain Chalcedon to me from within the Oriental/Orthodox tradition.

    Been busier in here lately... seeing more OOC/EOC folks around.

    :namaste
     
  6. LuisDantas

    LuisDantas Aura of atheification
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    Does that mean that the EO acknowledges OO as legitimate, but still feels that it has significant doctrinary differences?
     
  7. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    No, not even doctrinal differences anymore. EO and OO have pretty much agreed that we hold to the same faith, but express it in different words. The Oriental Orthodox doctrine of Miaphysitism/Miathelitism is reconcilable to the Eastern Orthodox Chalcedonian definition. The only "difference" is the OO "Christ is OF two natures" vs. the EO saying "Christ is IN two natures." In other words, it boils down to semantics, and to different languages from which the ideas were drawn.

    The REAL thing preventing union is, to put it lightly, a lot of awkwardness between the two churches, both historically and in regards to what the terms of reunion would be, if any.
     
    #7 Shiranui117, Nov 10, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2012
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  8. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend
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  9. Πολυπέρχων Γʹ

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    As the others have said, Oriental Orthodoxy is the faith of the Churches of the East, who recognize only the following ecumenical councils: First Council of Nicaea, the First Council of Constantinople and the First Council of Ephesus, while rejecting the Council of Chalcedon.

    The subject of contention at Chalcedon was mainly the debate over miaphysitism vs. monophytism. Miaphytism is the idea that Christ, as the incarnate Word of God, has one single nature in which Divinity and Humanity are united in one, "without separation, without confusion, and without alteration". Monophytism, is only slightly different: the view that Christ had only a single "nature" which was either divine or a synthesis of divine and human; the difference is that for miaphysites, the nature of Christ, while singular, is a composite unity, rather than an elemental unity. It's indeed a very subtle distinction, and indeed considered by many to be more of a semantic than an actual doctrinal difference.
     
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  10. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    Yes. I think Monophysitism teaches that Christ's humanity was swallowed up by His Divinity, like a drop of salt in the ocean. Miaphysitism, however, avoids this extreme, stressing, as you said, the composite humanity and divinity, both being fully preserved without separation, confusion, mixing or changing, just as with the Chalcedonian definiton.
     
  11. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend
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    Miaphysitism vs Monophysitism

    This is what I came up with, and it seems to accurately read as you both has said.

    Thank you. There is a Greek Orthodox Church here in town that I might try visiting.

    I'm wondering what language(s) they use?

    Is there a standard for that?
     
  12. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    If it's Greek Orthodox, it most likely uses a mix of Greek and English.

    Other Orthodox churches have different trends. For example, with my American Carpatho-Rusyn Orthodox parish in my hometown, we use English 99% of the time, and on the very rare occasion(generally only at Easter) when we sing something in Slavonic, we are guaranteed to sing it in English as well.

    Overall, it really comes down to, how "ethnic" is that particular parish? How many of its members come from the "old country"? A heavily immigrant-based, non-integrated parish is likely to use a language other than English, while a parish made up primarily of 2nd- and 3rd-generation immigrants plus some converts is likely to be bilingual but mostly in English, and a parish where all its members are either converts or integrated into American culture is going to have its services in full English, and maybe have one or two traditional things be sung in both English and the "traditional" language.

    For those parishes whose members have not yet adapted to American culture, they use the languages that are used by their kinsmen back home. A list of non-English liturgical languages sometimes used in various Orthodox jurisdictions in America runs as follows:
    -Koine Greek (Greek Orthodox)
    -Old Church Slavonic (Slavic churches such as Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Carpatho-Rusyn and Bulgarian Orthodox)
    -Church Slavonic (Slavic churches such as Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Carpatho-Rusyn and Bulgarian Orthodox)
    -Ethiopian (Ethiopian Orthodox)
    -Romanian (Romanian Orthodox)
    -Syriac (Syriac and Malankara Orthodox)
    -Arabic (Antiochian Orthodox, Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Coptic Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox)
    -Aramaic (Antiochian Orthodox, Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, Coptic Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox)
    -Georgian (Georgian Orthodox)
    -Armenian (Armenian Orthodox)
    -Coptic (Coptic Orthodox)
    -Ge'ez (Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox)

    But overall, keep in mind that just because it says "Greek Orthodox," it doesn't necessarily mean they WILL use Greek in their services; a Greek Orthodox church near my current location uses English predominantly. So don't let the prospect of a foreign language scare you away. If you ever do decide to visit the Greek Orthodox parish near you, I hope it's a good and positive experience for you. :)
     
    #12 Shiranui117, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
  13. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend
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    Excellent.

    Everything you said makes complete sense.
    I know there is a strong Greek community in town,
    but I am unsure of how many people still have the language.

    Enjoy talking to you.

    Is there anything else you think I 'ought' to know growing up a Protestant,
    and now have attended Anglican Liturgy for close to 2.5 yr now?

    :namaste
    SageTree
     
  14. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    The following is almost always available in pamphlet form at the Orthodox churches I've visited so far, and it sums things up quite well: 12 Things I Wish I'd Known - Frederica.com

    Given the other topic about Orthodox chant that's around on this forum, I trust you're familiar with the musical style already. :) And I noticed on the Oriental Orthodox DIR that you've planned to attend a Coptic Orthodox parish in the past. If you were able to attend, then you should have no problem with an Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy, and there should be nothing in the inside of the church unfamiliar to you. But just for good measure, here's a quick vid about how the inside of the church looks:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7eQeFTrvAM (A note: The song in the background is another song sung during Pascha :) I'm quite sure it's titled "Rejoice O Jerusalem". )

    And this is a breakdown of the Liturgy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divine_Liturgy
     
    #14 Shiranui117, Nov 13, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2012
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  15. Πολυπέρχων Γʹ

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    My Greek Orthodox Church uses Greek for Divine Liturgy (as a nod to tradition), and the sermon is given in English (since some people do not know much Greek besides the liturgy). However, there seems to be a trend in which English is being used for the Divine Liturgy as well. While we're at it, I always thought that English made for a bad liturgical language. It's OK for singing hymns in, but chants seem to lose something when translated.

    Some ROCOR (Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia) also use English as the primary language especially if most of the parishioners are American.
     
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  16. Tarheeler

    Tarheeler Argumentative Curmudgeon
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    I just wanted to thank you for the links. It's an interesting read.
     
  17. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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  18. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend
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    Thanks very handy. :)

    I did attend a few services as well, I spent about 5 additional hours walking around the sanctuary with the Head Father as the church. I learned a lot about the inside set up, as well as a great deal about how icons are written.



    Thanks for the video. :D
    And the link.


    Seconded.

    Thanks. :)
     
  19. Shiranui117

    Shiranui117 Pronounced Shee-ra-noo-ee
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    Alright, then you're completely good to go for attending an Eastern Orthodox Liturgy. You'll be almost like a seasoned vet :D
     
  20. SageTree

    SageTree Spiritual Friend
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    Still a lot of 'dance' to learn.

    And I can't take communion because I'm not Orthodox...

    At least that is what the Coptic Fathers I spoke with told me... is that consistent?
     
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