Online lecturing at DLMPES

An online lecture with Fr. Dr. Oleh Kindiy, professor of the Ukrainian Catholic University, was held on March 9, 2017. In the frame of his course Survey of the Eastern Christian Tradition at DLMPES Fr Oleh raised one of the fundamental theme for the Eastern theology “Paradosis: The Eastern Orthodox Understanding of Tradition”.

The main purpose of this lecture was to find the answer to the question of what is the Eastern Orthodox understanding of the Church Tradition. From the Eastern Orthodox perspective, the Tradition is the vehicle through which God’s self-revelation is manifested. Unlike in the Protestant churches, where God’s revelation is best captured in the Bible, and in Roman Catholic church, where God’s revelation is found in the Bible and the Tradition, which is the teaching of the Magisterium, in the Orthodox Church the Tradition is the continuous oral and written account of God’s communication towards His creation. In this sense, for the Orthodox Christians the Bible is the central part of the Tradition, along with the Liturgy, the doctrines stipulated by the Ecumenical Councils, the teachings of the Church Fathers, whose period is not bound only to the first seven or eight centuries, and even in iconography.

The Tradition has the horizontal historical dimension, establishing the continuity of God’s revelation, and the vertical dimension, which is rooted in the life-giving Spirit. In words of Fr. Georges Florovsky: "Tradition is not a principle striving to restore the past, using the past as a criterion for the present. Such a conception of tradition is rejected by history itself and by the consciousness of the Orthodox Church. Tradition is the constant abiding of the Spirit and not only the memory of words. Tradition is a charismatic, not a historical event"