Abstract and Keywords
This chapter describes the complexity of relations between the Eastern churches and the Enlightenment. The emergence of self-identity of modern Eastern Orthodoxy in theology and church life includes the distancing of East from West (and Islam), and simultaneous use of the tools of self-reflection of Western Christian and secular thinking until the Enlightenment. These tools stem in turn from basic cultural components of the Greek East re-used by the Italian and Northern Renaissance. While in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries learned theologians and churchmen tried to form an “Orthodox Christian Enlightenment,” the beginning of the nineteenth century found the institutional church more hostile to Western Enlightenment, mainly because of its political radicalization in France; this explains various developments in church politics and theological currents in the East from the nineteenth century until today.
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