The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA) exists to promote the study of the history of the Orthodox Christian Church in the New World; to collect source materials and make them available to researchers and scholars; to disseminate historical information to the public; and to encourage networking among those engaged in the study of American Orthodox history. SOCHA is particularly dedicated to this study based on the examination of primary sources with integrity and clarity.
Anyone who has made a comparative study of the history of Orthodox Christianity in North America has probably quickly surmised that there is something of a historiographical problem. That is, the writing of the history of Orthodox Christianity in America has been plagued with jurisdictional squabbles, claims to primacy and other agendas, often with little attention to what primary sources actually yield up as the story contained within them. Myths and ideology have often dominated these histories, rather than a close reading of historical documents.
While there have certainly been some studies published in the past that are not so ideologically driven, the Society desires especially to emphasize studying and writing the history of Orthodoxy in the Americas (and elsewhere, of course, should members wish) to reflect an earnest, fresh engagement with primary sources. There is no jurisdictional agenda attached to SOCHA, and there is no specific ideology or philosophy members are required to share, excepting only the basic integrity crucial to historical study and the honesty required to have one’s premises challenged and revised should the evidence warrant it.
This site hosts essays, primary sources, links to podcasts, book reviews, tidbits discovered in the course of research, photographs, and more. Stay tuned.