What is it about?
For the Eastern Orthodox churches worldwide, bishops are an essential part of their identity because they collectively give a deep a sense of continuity with the past through the apostolic age, the scriptures, ecumenical councils, the great teachers (“Fathers and Mothers of the Church”), the saints, and the traditions of worship. This conservative sense of protecting the tradition might be expected from the name “Orthodox.” But Orthodox identity is equally about the unpredictable experience of the Holy Spirit and Pentecost in the present. Despite the Orthodox Church’s complicated history, painful internal debates, cultural differences, geographic separation, state oppression and persecution, there remains a powerful unity around these two dimensions of Orthodox identity. This article, part of an academic dialogue between Orthodox and Pentecostal scholars, examines these two dimensions, with particular focus on the Orthodox order of service for ordaining a new bishop.
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Why is it important?
As bishops in some parts of the Orthodox world (Russia and Ukraine for example) have key roles in times of peace and war, for better or for worse, it is essential to have a clear sense of some of the theological factors that shape the internal life of the Orthodox Churches.
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This page is a summary of: Bishops and Pentecost, Journal of Pentecostal Theology, August 2022, Brill,
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