Open Access

Orthodox Christianity and the State: the Relevance of Globalization


Orthodox Christianity remains relatively understudied and its scholarly analysis still suffers from widespread misconceptions. This article’s opening section is devoted to de-bunking of past biases, as these emerge in conventional or traditional modernist images of Orthodoxy in scholarship. Next, the article lays out a global perspective and argues that such a perspective can contribute greatly toward a different understanding of the relationship between Orthodox Church and politics. It proposes a series of distinct church-state patterns as observed in Orthodox pre-modern and modern societies. The variety of these arrangements strongly suggests the need to overturn past interpretations and to accept the basic premise that Orthodox Christianity has a multifaceted relationship to society and culture – as well as to accept the notion that, from within the lenses of historical globalization, Orthodoxy has experienced historical change and that its current version is in fact not the relic of an unchanged tradition but rather the product of social change and of adjustment to globalization.

English, German
Publication timeframe:
3 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Theology and Religion, General Topics and Biblical Reception