Christianity and Democracy: The Ambivalent Orthodox

Issue Date April 2004
Volume 15
Issue 2
Page Numbers 62-75
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Eastern Orthodoxy and the Oriental Orthodox churches as well remain religiously prominent in the Orthodox heartland of Greece, Russia, and so on—areas that until fairly recently have not known much if any democracy. Nonetheless, the Trinitarian theology of Orthodoxy leads it to value freedom and equality, and to take a largely positive view of democracy. Along with democracy, however, come phenomena such as pluralism, difference, and competition, about which many Orthodox believers and churches feel considerably more ambivalent. The identity-cards controversy in Greece, arguments over religious liberty in Russia, and a lawsuit involving U.S. Orthodox laity and the Orthodox Archdiocese of America illustrate various aspects of this ambivalence.

About the Author

Elizabeth Prodromou is assistant professor of international relations and associate director of the Institute on Culture, Religion, and World Affairs at Boston University.

View all work by Elizabeth Prodromou