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18 A Dialogue of Paradoxes: Orthodox―Old Catholic Dialogue

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Chapter Summary

This chapter considers the Orthodox Old Catholic dialogue in its international forms. The ecumenical exchanges took place through commissions appointed for Orthodox Old Catholic dialogue, in which context a number of Russian theologians, especially those associated with the Society of Friends of Spiritual Enlightenment, such as Yanyshev and Kireev, played a very prominent role. The dialogue not only represented a considerable achievement in ecclesial rapprochement, but also rapprochement across the political divide in Europe. The reception of this dialogue may be regarded as a further, current, phase of Orthodox Old Catholic rapprochement. The development of Orthodox Old Catholic rapprochement is characterized by a number of paradoxes, some of which are indeed primarily Orthodox in character. They are related to highs and lows that occurred at unexpected times in the dialogue, especially when viewing them against the background of the history of the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC).

Keywords: ecumenical exchanges; Europe; Kireev; Orthodox―Old Catholic dialogue; Russian Orthodox Church (ROC); Society of Friends of Spiritual Enlightenment; Yanyshev

10.1163/9789004269552_020
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