Cover Osteuropa 2-3/2013

In Osteuropa 2-3/2013

A Century of Eastern Church Studies
The Rise and Fall of a Theological Discipline

Karl Pinggéra

Deutsche Fassung


Eastern Church Studies emerged due to a fundamental change in the perception of Orthodoxy and the success of the ecumenical movement. Even as late as the 19th century, Catholics considered Orthodox believers to be schismatics, while Protestant theologian Adolf von Harnack viewed them as ritually, intellectually, and morally ruined. In the 20th century, however, the view prevailed that western theology could learn something from the eastern churches. The crisis of the ecumenical dialogue coincides with a massive reduction in professorships and chairs for Eastern Church Studies. But precisely at a time when the gap in ethical and societal issues is growing, in particular between Orthodoxy and Protestantism, a field of Eastern Church Studies oriented in cultural knowledge and the ethic of peace is needed.

(Osteuropa 2-3/2013, pp. 103–118)