The Myth of Unity

Nine years ago, at a conference at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, I presented a paper called, “The Myth of Unity and the Origins of Jurisdictional Pluralism in American Orthodoxy.” My thesis, basically, was that, contrary to the prevailing narrative at the time, Orthodoxy in America was not administratively united prior to the Bolshevik Revolution and the…

35th Anniversary of Bob Marley’s Death

In honor of the 35th anniversary of the passing of Bob Marley, who finished his life as a member of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (his baptism was just six months before his death), we’re reposting this piece we posted in 2010 (with a few additions) featuring the program from his funeral in Jamaica. Memory…

Fire Destroys Historic New York Church

Yesterday — on Pascha, the most joyous and holy day of the year for Orthodox Christians — St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in New York was destroyed by fire. The cathedral was originally an Episcopalian church, called Trinity Chapel, and it was acquired by the Orthodox in 1942. St. Nicholai Velimirovich helped raise money from Serbs…

Conference on St. Tikhon at Jordanville

On October 9-10, Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY is hosting a conference on the life and times of St. Tikhon, the great Russian bishop in America and later Patriarch of Moscow. I’m one of the speakers (on St. Tikhon’s interactions with the other Orthodox ethnic groups in America), but the highlight will surely be…

The First Orthodox Christians in the Future United States?

In a month in which we have seen the brutal massacre of peaceful African Americans at prayer in Charleston, South Carolina, it is perhaps timely to tell the remarkable account of the first named Orthodox Christians in what would become the United States, together with their Black African companion. So let’s begin their story: The…

Ecumenical Patriarch Opposes American Slavery in 1862

At the close of 1862, the Ecumenical Patriarch Joachim II wrote an annual retrospective on the year that had just ended. An American anti-slavery newspaper called the Liberator picked up this part of Joachim’s letter in its April 24, 1863 issue: The United States of America, after many years of union and peace, after gigantic material…