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Oriental Orthodoxy versus Assyrian Orthodox Church

From what I have read in Wikipedia, the Assyrian Church of the East is not really Oriental Orthodoxy -- although it is often considered that. The Assyrian Church of East left the Catholic and Apostolic Church 20 years before the Oriental Orthodox churches. Furthermore, they accept a Nestorian-like Christology that is categorically rejected by the Oriental Orthodox Communion. Shouldn't we place the Assyrian Church of the East under its own category? Boreanesia 02:39, 23 Jun 2005 (PDT)

I'll have to think on those things -- it may be that there is no distinction, it may be that a stronger Oriental set of denominations coalesced into one Church. Elemtilas

Unless there is no distinction in IB between the Oriental Orthodoxy and the "Nestorian" churches, then I suggest, despite the taint, to include the Assyrian Church of the East under "Nestorian Orthodoxy" along with the other churches of the same communion for reasons mentioned above. Something along the lines of:

  • Christianity
    • Nestorian Orthodoxy
      • Assyrian Church of the East
      • Borneian Church
      • Chaldean Syrian Church of the East
      • Religion of Light
    • Oriental Orthodoxy
      • Ethiopian Orthodox Church
    • Eastern Orthodoxy
    • Catholicism
      • Cambrian Rite
      • Constantinopolitan Rite
      • Isidorian Rite
      • Roman Rite
    • etc.

I also question whether the "Religion of Light" would be called "from the Great Western Empire" by the Chinese themselves. The Chinese were vehement that they were the only Empire on Earth. I have also read somewhere that the Chinese called the religion the "Religion of Ten" because of the cross, which looks like the Chinese character for ten, and because of the ten commandments.

"Empire" might be a bit of a loose translation. The Chinese name involves "Da Qin". Not sure if "empire" is assumed in there or what. I really like "Church of the Ten", but "Luminous REligion of the Great West ( )" is what seems to pass for the "official" name.
How did the "Religion of Light" survive *there* when it didn't *here*? Chinese history is largely the same *there* up until the 19th century Nik 08:26, 14 February 2007 (PST)

BTW, shouldn't we also add Greek and Russian under Eastern Orthodoxy, as well as Coptic and Armenian under Oriental Orthodoxy? I'm asking because I'm not completely sure about the existence of some of them in IB. Boreanesia 14:15, 23 Jun 2005 (PDT)

I think "Greek Orthodox" we're just calling "Eastern Orthodox" or "Byzantine/Constantinopolitan Orthodox". There certainly is a "Russian" or perhaps "Slavic" Orthodoxy -- witness SNORism. Elemtilas


Well, I wouldn't place Vera among New Age, since this religion has almost 1000 years of continuation and definitelly has nothing common with New Age "ideology". I placed it, where it should be placed, no offence ;) Jan II. 280605, 0750 CEST

I put it under New Age, on second thought, because it just oozes New Ageiness. I wasn't aware it was a thousand years old. (Keeping in mind that New Age is a little different *there* too, but apparently, this is not the issue!)
Also no offence, but it is NOT Christianity, which is why it was moved. Since it's not New Age and not Christianity and not Paganism, let's just stick it in the first hierarchy, ok? Elemtilas
I am little bit confused. What makes a religion pagan? Polytheism? Vera is polytheistic (all minor gods "work"). Are *there* these christiano-paganic syncreses in South America as they are *here* (I hell have not my books here to cast their name; may be voodoo is a good example)? Will they be also a separate religion category? If yes, so would be Vera. But still I think that Vera is pagan. But I might be wrong (not unusually ;). Jan II. 290605, 0750 CEST
Well, that term even here has a bit of a contentious bone about it. Some say for instance, Hinduism is Polytheistic, while some Hindus, at least from what I've read claim that it is not on the basis of Brahma (IIRC) being a supreme god, or that they worship only one god (as a devotee). So, I wonder if we should go by the classical definition: One who is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew, especially a worshiper of a polytheistic religion. Or perhaps, one who is not a follower of a "revealed religion" with an emphasis on a supreme god who rules above all? (More or less, that definition definitely needs a lot of work). Doobieous 01:28 AM 29 June, 2005 (PST)
Paganism, as it is generally understood in IB, means a modern religious system that is continuous with or derived from one of the native European traditional religions. Take Crevithism for example: while it has certainly been influenced by Christian thought, it is continuous with traditional Celtic Pagan religions. *Here*, something like Asatru is an attempt to take what is known of traditional Germanic Paganism and "recreate" it as a modern living religion. As far as I can tell from the present description, Vera was a fairly normal European Pagan religion that has been considerably altered to look (and perhaps function?) more Christian. That it was recently reformed by a Christian priest, as opposed to being reformed from within, is telling. Agree about Hinduism, by the way. Regarding the definition by exception: that doesn't work too well, since we have a sizeable Zoroastrian population who are definitely NOT Pagans, neither are they Christians, Jews or Moslems. "Reavealed" can also be dicey (Z. again, and one could probably argue that Hinduism is in some way "revealed"); a "supreme god" ruling above all is also a pretty common element in many "pagan" religions! I'm not meaning to blast your argument - - just want to point out that the definition is no easier for *there* than it is *here*! Re: Voodoo and other syncretistic religions: I think they'd be placed on their own in the top level hierarchy. Reason being: Voodoo is NOT Catholicism, nor is it really a native traditional religion of western Africa. We might think about setting up a top level category for "Syncretistic Religions" such as Santeria, Vera and Voodoo. Elemtilas
Yes, let's make a new brand - Syncretic Religions! Jan II.
No offense taken, Padraic. Like I said, what I gave needed a lot of work, and I even excluded a few things, because I couldn't think them through, properly. I think a lot of pagans *here* think any supreme god is a Christian/Jewish/Muslim inspired thing, when as you say it's a pretty common theme (pre-Spanish Filipinos had a similar idea). I think syncretic religions exist outside the boundaries of the two religions they take elements from (Such as Voodoo) and thus, deseerve their own hierarchy. Doobieous
Agreed on all points. Me, I think so many Pagans *here* think that "supreme Deity" = "Christian God" for the simple fact that "most" Pagans are converts from Christianity, so a supreme Deity is very much in their (sub/super/whatever)conscious -- and many try desperately to move as far away from their Christian roots as possible. I agree that syncretistic religions usually exist "outside the boundaries" of their parent religions. We must also keep in mind that sòme syncretistic religons may indeed keep well within the boundaries of their parent religions. A good example (from *here*) is the Anglican Use of Catholicism. It's syncretistic in that its form is taken from the forms of worship in the Church of England; yet its theology and doctrine are 100% Catholic. Elemtilas
It's the new convert syndrome among a lot of Pagans, you try to get as far away from what you once believed, sort of like converts to evangelical religions from say, Catholicism, they profess and preach things as extreme from what they knew in Catholicsm (just as one example). Another are many of these 20 somethings who become Buddhists, they go for the whole "I must be vegetarian, live in a convent, and denounce western materialism" when a lot of born and bred Buddhists aren't like that. You're absolutely right, Padraic about syncretic religions. Another good example is folk Catholicism in the Philippines. From what I understand there's a lot of stuff left over from before the Spaniards (such as a belief in many of the spirits of the natural world and superstitions). It's not 100% Catholicism, but they wouldn't profess to be anything but. Doobieous
Yes, I think you've hit the nail squarely on the head. I don't know much about folk Catholicism from the Philippines, but would suspect it's much like folk Catholicism from Ireland or just about anywhere else -- full of Old beliefs and practices that have simply hung around since the time Before. Sort of like leaving out a dish of milk for the fairies or what have you. And as for the Buddhism example -- like with any other religion, there is the ideal and the real. Usually, the ideal is a kind of perfection even a god would hesitate to emulate. The real is full of rubegoldbergisms that function and give us mere mortals a sense that we're heading in the right direction and are a little elevated above our previous condition. Having read about the Manichaeans for the article on Manesianity, I think they did a pretty smart thing in making a clear division between the ideal practices of the few devotees who could make a serious go of it and reality for the multitudes who knew they'd be better off with the "light" version! Elemtilas

The Term "Catholicism"

I've inserted my comments within the text... Elemtilas

I've been doing some research on Christian churches for my project on the Borneian Church, and from what I've been reading it seems that the term "Catholicism" can also apply to all Christian churches that view themselves as the continuation of the original One Holy Catholic And Apostolic Church. This includes the Oriental Orthodox Church, the East Orthodox Church, the Lutheran Churches, and of course the Catholic Church.

It is true, both *here* as well as *there* that the word (please note lower case) catholic applies to many branches of Christianity apart from the Catholic Church (of which the Roman is the best and almost only known variety *here*). You'll note that many Lutherans and Episcopalians all profess their faith in the one holt catholic and apostolic Church -- this of course doesn't refer to the Roman church specifically. When ecclesiaologists speak of catholicity, they're refering to the universality of a practice or doctrine. So yes, the Assyrian Orthodox Church of the East is catholic -- though it is not Catholic!

However, the full name of the Nestorian Church *here* also uses the name Catholic, namely the "Holy Apostolic Catholic Assyrian Church of the East" -- although I've been avoiding the term "Catholic" in my Filipino articles to refer the Nestorians.

A good idea. Not because the Church of the East is not catholic, but to avoid confusion with the Catholic Church.

Now since the Nestorian Church in IB has constituent churches beyond Assyria, it should more simply be called the "Holy Apostolic Catholic Church of the East" (i.e. without the ethnonym "Assyrian").

I don't mind that. "Church of the East" has always been one of the legitimate (and less inflamatory) names for that branch of the Church.
I've just switched the names around to reflect that CoE should be its usual/primary designation.

In any case, I think it would be more appropriate to call the Catholic Church in IB the "(Holy Apostolic) Catholic Church of the West" in contrast to its Nestorian counterpart.

I don't disagree in principle but there are several problems. First, the branches of the Church that stand in apposition to the CoE are the (Roman) Catholic and (Greek) Orthodox, the latter of which is usually understood by us remote westerners to be an eastern Church. I guess we could set up a system of deixis that goes from Occidental to Western to Eastern to Oriental, but that might be overkill. The other problem is that the names Catholic and Orthodox (please note upper case) stem from the divisions of the Great Schism, a piece of IB history that is not significantly different from *here*.
I have no problem with refering any given church or denomination with its geogrpahic affiliation but I don't think the official name of the RCC (or any of the other established Catholic Churches, like the Cambrian Catholic Church) should necessarily be fiddled with.
When speaking of western Christian traditions *here*, I often refer to the Church of the West (this includes the RCC as well as the apostolic Protestant Church), in apposition to the Eastern Church (which also includes the Oriental Church).

Or perhaps we should just call it the "Church of the West", in contrast to the "Church of the East". Perhaps for IB we ought to be using another term instead of just "Catholicism", or perhaps the term means something different in IB.

If good reason to alter the history of the East-West schism can be found, then I guess the names could change.

Perhaps we should avoid the term altogether if it proves to be redundant for IB. Perhaps the term "Eastern Catholic" in IB refers to the Nestorians rather than to the Eastern Rites of the Western Church. Comments please! Boreanesia 00:07, 2 Aug 2005 (PDT)

Let's see if there are any other points of view. I think that if we can keep catholic and Catholic distinct in our minds, we won't have too many problems. Speaking of redundancy: of course it is a somewhat redundant term, as all of the churches in question are catholic (as well as holy, apostolic and essentially one)!
I see! Thanks for the explanation, Padraic! I'll defer to your superior knowledge about religions. I didn't realized there was a difference between catholic and Catholic. Goes to show how much I know of the subject. Anyways, based on what you've said, I think we'll keep the names as they are. Although, might I dare suggest we move "Assyrian Orthodox Church" under "Church of the East" -- that is, the former is a constituent of the latter, just like the Borneian Church is a constituent of the latter? There is, afterall, far more constituent churches of the Church of the East *there* than there is *here*. I'm thinking that there might also be constituent churches in Arakan and Atjeh. These two countries are Muslim *here*, but since Islam didn't make it quite that far east in IB, they must be something else other than Buddhist or Hindu for them to have become distinct from their neighbours in IB as well. Perhaps it was the fact that they were Christian that allowed the Batavians to move in. Boreanesia 23:01, 6 Aug 2005 (PDT)
You're welcome! It is a common misunderstanding *here* among Protestants as well as Catholics, to believe that the "catholic Church" in the early creeds refers to the Roman Catholic Church. While I'm sure that many Roman Catholics did not mind that particular confusion, it is incorrect. Catholic simply means universal, and when the creeds were written, the Church was indeed united (one) and universal (catholic), having destroyed or marginalised any opinion that was not orthodox (right thinking) in nature. While the Roman Catholics ended up with the name after the big split and the Eastern Orthodox took the other name -- both are in fact catholic and orthodox. Mind you, I'm sure that they'd both argue that one or the other is more orthodox than the other!
I see no reason why the various daughter churches can't be listed under Church of the East. Will get on to that forthwith. Re Arakan and Atjeh, it would be interesting to see how the Batavians dealt with situation. If they're anything like the Dutch of *here*, the official opinion would be "We don't care what race or religion they are, so long as they make money for the Company!" (Saw a History Channel show on the history of New Amsterdam the other day.) Elemtilas


Is Mandeanism in IB. I couldn't find any refrence to it. --Sikulu 16 December 2005, 10:03 (GMT)

Yes, Mandeanism is a minority religion of Iran/Persia. This is one of those examples of not belabouring a point of fact that is identical to *here*. See How It All Works and read the part about QAA. Unless something is found to be different between the worlds, we assume it's the same. Since Mandeanism is found in both with no to minimal difference in history, I haven't seen a need to create an article for it, as it would be little more than a copy of the Wikipedia article. It's also been overlooked in the list of religions. It may well be that at some point of time in the future I shall see fit to link to the Wikipedia article on Mandeanism. For now, I don't see the particular need; though perhaps as the article on Iran develops, the Mandeans will find some niche of importance. Note that there is an article for Manesianity -- this is because it should be understood to be quite different from the Manichaeism it is based on. Elemtilas 09:14, 16 December 2005 (PST)
Aren't the Mandeans *here* in Iraq rather than Iran? Deiniol 11:15, 16 December 2005 (PST)
Oops!, you are 100% correct. They are indeed in Iraq! OK -- for Iran/Persia, read Iraaq above! I should have caught that one, since I'd been looking into the Mandaeans for The World. It seems they are descendants of the early Baptists (not the Christians that go by the name Baptist, but devotees of the prophet John the Baptiser) who fled Palestine after the destruction of Jerusalem, settling in Mesopotamia. I have found that one reason Christianity is so weak in the Levant of the World is because Baptism is so strong. It turns out that St. Mohammed (pbuh) became a great proponent of Baptism and one of its great prophets. Elemtilas 13:43, 16 December 2005 (PST)

American Orthodox Church?

I've been doing a bit of research on the Eastern Orthodox Churches. *Here* the Russian Patriarch "cut loose" the American Russian Orthodox Church in the wake of the Russian Revolution--and the other Patriarchies are generally of the opinion he had no right to do that. Seems to me that something different must have happened *there* because while the Soviets persecuted the Church, the SNOR encouraged it. Also, at least one source I read indicated that there was at least some talk of setting up an American Patriarchy after the discovery of the New World, but that never happened and instead what followed was a "patchwork quilt" of different Churches owing allegiance to Old World Patriarchies (but still in communion with one another). More, there is the American Russian Orthodox Church (not its official name) as well as a movement for an actual American Orthodox Church, neither of whom are in communion with the rest of Orthodoxy at the present time. But one wonders how things might have progressed *there* and what those differences might be? Zahir 07:47, 21 December 2006 (PST)

You bring up several key points. The most important of which is that the Orthodox Church (in Russia and other Slavic countries) *there* did not falter under a Communist regime. Rather, it prospered under SNORism. Also, Alaska has remained "Russian" culturally and religiously if not politically; and never became American in any way except being attached to the continent. This means, to me anyway, that it's ties with Moscow must be much stronger than *here*.
While I really don't think a new patriarchy would develop -- unless all the Orthodox churches got together and collectively cut America / the New World loose. The reason being, in Orthodoxy, it seems that a patriarch and his patriarchy are kind of bound up in long tapestries of tradition going all the back to the earliest Christian churches and the Apostles themselves. Each is the head of a particular traditional church and might not too easily "liberate" the Americas. Notice the trouble the Russian patriarch had *here* in cutting loose the American ROC.
I'm not sure I see how the situation would be any different *there*, except in Alaska. Elemtilas 10:57, 21 December 2006 (PST)
Well, for one thing, would the Russian Orthodox Church have cut off the American Church? Zahir 20:47, 21 December 2006 (PST)
A schism is a rather extreme thing to do unless the NAL "branch" was veering sharply away from orthodoxy and refused to mend its ways. If its on a doctrinal level then you would need to figure how the NAL church is different (and very importantly, why) while if its more of an administrative issue, you might have a split rather then an anathema. --Marc Pasquin 15:38, 22 December 2006 (PST)
I agree wholeheartedly, Marc. As I said, I see no reason why the American church would be cut off in IB. There's no doctrinal reason (no schism); and no political reason (Alaska remained Russian). Elemtilas
Maybe other way round ie the Americans cut off russions to prevent link with SNORism? --Quentin 03:01, 22 December 2006 (PST)
That actualy might be a good explanation. It could even have been at the instigation of some exiled member of Russia's nobility who saw SNOR as less then sincere in regard to their dealing with the tsarovich. --Marc Pasquin 15:38, 22 December 2006 (PST)
A breakup over SNORist policies would not constitute a formal schism, and once SNORism itself went away, the reason for any animosity would eventually dissipate as well.
Something of a schism might have developed between the American Russian Orthodox and the Russian Orthodox Churches based on whether the Patriarch was legitimate. Recall that Peter the Great had abolished the Patriarchy in favor of a Synod. *Here* the Church was allowed a Patriarch after more than two centuries following the 1918 Revolution (eventually). Perhaps *there* the situation was more confused, especially if rival candidates for the Patriarch's throne existed, one perhaps opposing the SNOR? One branch of the Russian Orthodox Church in the NAL might have favored the Anti-SNOR Patriarch, while the others accepted the final choice and remained in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Churches (since this is primarily an administrative question, and recent, any doctrinal shift would be minor at most). In particular, I think this might help explain the unpopularity of the Orthodox Church in the eyes of the Anti-Snorist Movement, because they "collaborated" with the SNOR on this issue (the Churches, of course, would claim they are making no judgment about the Russian regime, nor the specific Patriarch's moral status, only his administrative legitimacy). Zahir 16:55, 22 December 2006 (PST)
Some good fodder in there. It wouldn't be the first time a church fell into schism over the (perceived) legitimacy of the present patriarchal line. I doubt there would be any real doctrinal differences, as well -- not in so short a time anyway. Elemtilas 18:20, 22 December 2006 (PST)

The Eastern Orthodox Church

I was wondering if I could do a page on the Eastern Orthodox. The differences I was thinkong of were...

  • Just as the Russian, Albanian, Japanese Orthodox Churches have autonomy, all the Oriental Orthodox Churches never left, they were just granted Autonomy, OR, The Two Churches unite just being called the Orthodox Church.
  • More followers

Misterxeight 02:50, 21 June 2008 (UTC)

I think it's way too far to say the Oriental Orthodox churches "never left". (Of course, in their opinion, they didn't leave anyway, the rest of us did!) I think they'll remain "having left" and we'll simply be working on a general Orthodox reunification. Basically, I'd prefer your second option, as it doesn't mess with ancient history.
How would you get more members? Apart from the Church of the East, which is much healthier *there*, there's not many new territories for the Orthodox to get into. One supposed that they could evangelise in Africa and the Americas more than they have done. Elemtilas 05:47, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Reuniting with the whacko Western Orthodox Church? We need quantity, screw quality. Misterxeight 06:31, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
What "Western Orthodox Church"? The AOC? If you need quantity, would suggest having more children! Elemtilas 19:10, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
No, the Kemrese one. They call themselves that. Misterxeight 19:14, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean this sentence?: "Orthodox historians see Celtic Christianity as an example of 'Western Orthodoxy' in its pre-Whitby form." It is true that *here*, several Celtic churches are associated with some Orthodox church or other. *There*, the Celtic church evolved into the Cambian Catholic Church. It's always had a close relationship with Orthodoxy, possibly even to the point of being in communion with one or more Orthodox church (perhaps the Coptic, due to the Church's connection with Egypt (see the Scots of Egypt) and perhaps even Constantinople itself (due to the political connections between the two countries); and has probably helped to keep Catholicism in general from moving too far in its own doctrinal direction (both before and after 1054 -- keeping in mind that the Great Schism is between Rome and the Constantinople, not between Constantinople and Cambria). Keep in mind: the two Churches are preparing to repair the schism and reunite. There has to be a rather different history of the Catholic Church *there* for this to be able to take place. Elemtilas 19:59, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
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