OCANews.org debate

Readers may be interested to take a look at an informal “debate” which took place on the OCANews.org website in April and May of 2009 between SOCHA member Fr. Oliver Herbel and George C. Michalopulos on the subject of the unity of Orthodox administration in America prior to the establishment of the Greek Archdiocese. Here are the posts, in chronological order:

Fr. Oliver Herbel is a priest of the OCA currently on loan and serving at an Antiochian parish in Fargo, ND. He holds a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University in Historical Theology, and his doctoral dissertation covers patterns of conversion in American Orthodox history. George C. Michalopulos is a layman in the OCA and the co-author of the book The American Orthodox Church: A History of its Beginnings (see an interesting review of this book here).

The above discussion is particularly of note for those interested in history and historiography in that two different historical approaches are being taken by the interlocutors: one which is dedicated to examining primary sources and trying to tell the story from them, and the other, which is more concerned with an ecclesio-political agenda of how and on what basis administrative unity may be achieved. These approaches are not necessarily mutually exclusive, but used as starting points, they clearly yield different results.

2 Replies to “OCANews.org debate”

  1. A very classy way of describing the exchange. I still find myself struggling with knowing what to make of the Michalopulos/Ham book; I think it will be good one way or the other to have another work on the subject which approaches the matter from a more scholarly point of view.

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