The Synod Guiding the Church: A Patristic and Theoethical Perspective
The notion of the synod of hierarchs of the Orthodox Church, as a final authority for guiding the church derives from the biblical example of the first synod of the Apostles. This Synod in Jerusalem even included the Apostle Paul. In this paper, I will focus on the idea of the synod of the hierarchs of a national church which also accepts the principle of freedom of religion. The synod of hierarchs guides the church by defining praxes for the needs of others in its ministry. Our present discussion turns around principles of Orthodox contextual theoethical thought. To that end, I will argue that the hierarchs of the synod require additional input, apart from their own priestly insights, in order appropriately to fulfill their mission of guiding the church. One of the chief motives of this paper is to examine the reasons why Orthodox hierarchs in synod need ideas and creative input from the other ranks of clergy, including ordained deaconesses, as well the laity, both male and female; all with their own irreplaceable perspectives on truth gained from life-experiences.
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Also Published In
- Power and Authority in the Eastern Christian Experience: Papers of the Sophia Institute Academic Conference, New York, December 2010