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West meets East

March 13, 2006

The final writing project for my class, Conversations with Anabaptist Theology Today, will be a paper that engages the Anabaptist tradition in conversation with another tradition on one theological issue. Undoubtedly, my paper will be a conversation between Anabaptism and Eastern Orthodoxy–as this is the conversation that my journey has led me to over the last number of years.

I found the article on MCC’s work in Syria to be fascinating. Interesting to see this bridge of experience between Mennonites and Orthodoxy.

I also find that this article does a masterful job of comparing and contrasting the divergent trajectories Christianity in the West and in the East has taken because of various historical/theological influences. I am intrigued by the possibilities of engaging Eastern Christianity as one who has been formed within the radical reformation wing of Western Christianity. This offers both joys and challenges. Yet I press on.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. dml permalink
    March 13, 2006 8:19 pm

    Wow, Charry’s article really points out the contrast, not only in world views, but also theological views! It is intriguing to also consider how different the cultures are and have developed too, between the East and the West. I think culture certainly affects our theological views and helps preserve particular values, good or bad. Charry does do a good job overviewing some major points. It would be interesting to hear her flesh out some of them a bit more.

    It looks like you have a big task ahead for your project, but as you stated, you have been thinking about this for a long time. I hope you share it with us when you are finished!

  2. Brian Miller permalink
    March 13, 2006 8:49 pm

    dml, I agree with your observation regarding the influence of culture on our theological views. Charry even acknowledges this much in the article where she says that “linguistic and cultural differences, as well as issues of polity and politics, rendered the unity of the church tentative at least since the Council of Chalcedon (451 )”–a date much earlier than the more formal split in the 11th century. We are both students of culture–in no small part, I suppose, as a result of our cross-cultural experiences. This will no doubt be a layer of analysis I will need to include in my paper. With a required length of 15-20 pages, I doubt I will be posting it on this blog!!! So we’ll see how sharing of the paper happens.

  3. xterrestrial permalink
    March 15, 2006 9:16 pm


    Glad to have run across your blog. I too am interested in the points where Anabaptism and Eastern Orthodoxy converge. It will be cool to see how your paper turns out. (I would like to read it too).

  4. Brian Miller permalink
    March 16, 2006 2:37 am

    thanks for your comments and visit to my blog. Are you originally from Dallas? What is your connection with Anabaptism? Visited your profile, but didn’t see a link to your blog.

  5. xterrestrial permalink
    March 18, 2006 4:58 am

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for you reply. My name is Terrill. The reason you didn’t see my blog is because I deleted it. I felt guilty knowing that I will spend too much time on here…but I decided to anyway. You can visit my blog now…it’s just an outlet for my seminary education.

    I am a flesh and blood Mennonite, both sides of my family going all the way back to the 16th century. My dad’s a Schrock and my mom’s a Weber.:) I’m at Dallas Seminary to study Greek and Hebrew.

    Your blog is so cool. It’s funny, I’m so interested in Anabaptism, Orthodoxy, and Celtic Christianity, and where they converge. There must be something to this. Look forward to talking more.

  6. June 8, 2007 1:17 am

    Today the WordPress tag surfer seems to full of links to your blog — some quite old, but about 10 of your posts are listed, many of wehich i haven’t seen before, and i hadn’t seen this one.

    A few years ago I went as a kind of “consultant” to a Mennonite copnference in Botswana, evaluating the Mennonite ministry to African Independent Churches in Africa. What I found interesting was that I, as an Orthodox Christian, felt much more at home among Mennonites and AICs than I do among “mainline” Western churches.

  7. just an apprentice permalink
    June 8, 2007 10:20 am

    I am finally getting around to putting category labels–tags…on all my posts. I began to do this this week, going back to the beginning of this blog. I am still not finished. I have about 8 months to go yet.
    In many things I too, share your sense of convergence between Orthodox Christianity and Mennonite theology. Our view of the ascetic struggle that is the journey of salvation-discipleship is much more proximate than say the predominant view of the Christian life in popular evangelicalism. Thanks again for your visit. It would be great to have you at our Friends of Orthodoxy meetings in Lancaster, PA sometime.

  8. June 10, 2007 5:34 am

    Ah, the adding tags explains it then.

    I’m glad, because it brought a lot of interesting posts to my attention.

    I tried a trackback on one that I quoted in my blog, but it didn’t seem to work.

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