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17 Paradoxes and Contradictions in Russian Orthodox Ecumenism. An Analysis of Non-Official Publications in the 1990s

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes the popular anti-ecumenical sentiments in contemporary Russia. The book Orthodox Church, Catholicism, Protestantism, Contemporary Heresies and Sects in Russia by the former Metropolitan Ioann of St Petersburg, which appeared in 1994 and was reprinted in 2001, is worth mentioning. The booklet Papacy and its Struggle against Orthodoxy is another contribution to anti-ecumenical propaganda. The issue of ecumenism is dealt with by Andrei Kuraev extensively in The Challenge of Ecumenism from 1998/2003. The introduction of the book sets the tone by connecting ecumenism with religious indifferentism and syncretism. Ecumenism as a form of witness of Orthodoxy to heterodoxy is a strong argument for the Russian Orthodox hierarchy to stay in the World Council of Churches. From the analysis of Kuraev's book and the other publications mentioned in the chapter it is clear that a negative attitude toward inter-Christian rapprochement is the dominating mood in Russia.

Keywords: Andrei Kuraev; Orthodox Christianity; Papacy and its Struggle against Orthodoxy; Russian Orthodox hierarchy; syncretism; The Challenge of Ecumenism; World Council of Churches



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