Passing Judgment on the Past

This week, I’ve written about two topics that can be somewhat divisive: clergy dress, and pews. From the feedback I’ve been getting, it seems that some people want me to come down on one side or the other. Should priests wear cassocks everywhere? Should they wear collars? Should our churches have pews, or shouldn’t they?…

A note of thanks

I happened to pick up an old favorite off the bookshelf recently — E.H. Carr’s classic What Is History?, published in 1961. It’s a wonderful little book about the method of history; if you majored in history in college, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of it. It’s not quite Robin Collingwood, but it’s pretty…

The Origins of the “Myth of Unity”

Back in June, I gave a paper at St. Vladimir’s Seminary entitled, “The Myth of Past Unity and the Origins of Jurisdictional Pluralism in American Orthodoxy.” The unwieldy title notwithstanding, the premise of my paper was simple: that the commonly-held story of a unified American Orthodoxy which fragmented after the Russian Revolution is, quite simply,…

Parish Histories

Yesterday, we announced the addition of some new pages on the SOCHA website, including a Resources page. In the past day, we’ve added links to dozens and dozens of web pages that deal with various aspects of American Orthodox history. There’s actually a huge quantity of material out there on the Internet, freely available, but…

Why study American Orthodox history?

Those of us who are doing the tinkering on the machinery of the newly founded SOCHA have been astounded by the outpouring of attention that our site has received. From the stats, we’re getting around 200 views per day on the site, and we now have more than 500 fans following us on Facebook (from…

Debates on unity: three issues

In various places on the Internet, there have been debates and discussions concerning the question of Orthodox administrative unity prior to 1921. Often, people seem to be talking past one another. The issue of “Orthodox unity” actually encompasses a variety of areas, some of them historical, some not. I thought I would try to summarize just what those…