The Eastern Orthodox Church and International Politics

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The Eastern Orthodox Church and International Politics

<p>The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second-largest Christian communion in the world, with well over 250 million members. However, its role in shaping contemporary international politics, especially

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The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second-largest Christian communion in the world, with well over 250 million members. However, its role in shaping contemporary international politics, especially in the lands of the former Soviet Union, is often misunderstood by the Western media. This course begins with an introduction to Orthodox history, beliefs and practices, then surveys the four ‘ancient’ patriarchates (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem), the five ‘modern’ patriarchates (Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia) and the six archbishoprics (Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Poland, Czech Lands/Slovakia, and the USA). The course concludes by examining Orthodox religious diplomacy in Europe and beyond.


SUGGESTED READING


COURSE OUTLINE

  • Overview of the history, beliefs and practices of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
  • The four ‘ancient’ patriarchates (Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem).
  • The five ‘modern’ patriarchates (Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Georgia).
  • The six archbishoprics (Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Poland, Czech Lands/Slovakia, and the USA).
  • The autonomous churches (China, Japan, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Latvia, Finland, Estonia, etc.)
  • An examination of Orthodox religious diplomacy and the impact of Orthodoxy on foreign policy.


PLANNED LEARNING OUTCOMES
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Understand the basics of Eastern Orthodox history, beliefs and practices.
  2. Appreciate the size and geographical distribution of the Eastern Orthodox Church.
  3. Comprehend the importance of Orthodoxy for religious diplomacy and foreign policy.