speaking a different language…from fr freeman

fr freeman has some good thoughts on the difficulty in communicating Orthodoxy.

Engaging in conversations about the Orthodox faith – with others born and nurtured in the West – I sometimes feel that something is “lost in translation.” I say, “Church,” and something else comes to the listener’s mind: either something Roman or something Protestant, perhaps Anglican. I begin to explain that Orthodoxy cannot be explained or defined in terms of either Rome or Protestantism, for Orthodoxy did not come from Rome or from Protestantism and does not owe very much to them (occasional influences here and there that remain a matter of debate within Orthodoxy but nothing of great significance). There may be common roots – but the Western experience of the Church began to move in a different direction very early on. The common history of Western Christianity and Eastern Orthodoxy is, in many aspects, slim, at best. But, of course, we human beings want to understand one another and so we struggle on, speaking words of the same language whose context has given them radically different meanings. East and West are “lost in translation.”

he ends with this admonition:

It is important for Christians to listen to each other – if only for the sake of understanding what is being said.

it’s a good little read.. 


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