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Characteristic of these 'Confessions' is 'a marked inferiority complex towards the formularies of the Counter-Reformation',6 a complex that has bedevilled Orthodox theology into the twentieth century. The history of modern Orthodox theology is the story of a prolonged and erratic progress towards rediscovering an authentic voice: a process of learning to use Western thought and research as a tool, not a straitjacket, and acquiring the confidence to draw on Eastern resources to avoid Western impasses.

Despite the apparently parlous state of the entire Church, a spiritual and theological revival began in the eighteenth century. It came from the traditional source, the monastic tradition, in creative engagement with the spirit of the age. The intellectual and political ferment of eighteenth-century Western Europe had reverberations in Ottoman territory too, in the so-called 'Greek Enlightenment'. For some, this meant adopting the ideas and rehearsing the arguments of the Western 'Enlightenment', as their predecessors had done with the Western Reformation. For others, however, the new ideas coming from the West provided an impetus to look more deeply into their own tradition. Churchmen were prominent in both parties: but none can match the lasting influence of a representative of the latter tendency, St Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain,7 best known today for his collection of spiritual and ascetic writings entitled the Philokalia. This was soon translated into Slavonic by Paisius Velichkovsky, who had fled from the sterile scholasticism of the Kiev Academy to learn the spiritual life on the

Holy Mountain. In this way, its influence spread to Russia and to Moldavia, where Paisius spent the latter part of his life.

The effects of this spiritual renewal were felt first in Russia, where the nineteenth century saw a blossoming of monastic life and particularly of the institution of spiritual fatherhood. St Seraphim of Sarov and the Elders of the Optina monastery are the best-known examples. This revitalisation at the heart of church life produced no immediate transformation, but it strengthened the Church for the firestorm that was to come. The witness of contemplative prayer, and the 'golden chain' of spiritual fatherhood or motherhood exercised by people of holiness, would prove vital in preserving Christian faith when church structures were wiped out or rendered powerless.

The long-term theological importance of this spiritual rejuvenation was enormous, for it succeeded in bridging the gap between the church tradition and the religious revival of the intelligentsia.8 That revival began as a movement of religious philosophy rather than of theology, but its legacy was to be fundamental to the theology of the Russian emigration and, through it, to the entire Orthodox world today.

The Russian intelligentsia of the nineteenth century were profoundly influenced by Western and especially German philosophy, and some engaged with these influences in a creative way. Key figures include Alexei Khomiakov (1804-60), an early representative of the 'Slavophile' movement which was convinced of the unique vocation of Russia as an Orthodox culture. It is to him that we owe the notion of 'sobornost' (unity in freedom, the unity of an interdependent living body), which was to become such an important concept for Orthodox theology and beyond. It has profound implications for both the Church and human society, and continues to be seen as a vital corrective to the equation of 'freedom' with individualism. We see here the roots of the interest in social thought characteristic of the Russian emigration, and now re-emerging within Russia itself.9

Wholeness and unity are leitmotifs of nineteenth-century Russian thought. Often this takes a more mystical turn, as in the thought of the highly influential Vladimir Soloviev (1853-1900). Influenced by Boehme's mysticism and Schelling's 'panentheism', Soloviev saw a primordial 'Godmanhood' as key to the union of God with his creation. But he further attempted to express the unity of all things in terms of 'Sophia', or divine Wisdom personified, his speculations on this mysterious figure took him well beyond the traditional bounds of Orthodox theology. His thinking on the subject was developed in various ways by Pavel Florensky and Sergius Bulgakov, among others. 'Sophiology' in the narrow sense remains very much a fringe interest. Yet the vision that it strives to express, of the oneness of created being and the ultimate union of creation with God, has become one of the hallmarks of modern Orthodox theology.

Even though the rediscovery of Orthodox tradition had begun with Greek scholars such as Nikodimos, it was slow to bear fruit in Greece. Where Russia had its Slavophiles, Greece had only Philhellenes. Despite a few dissenting voices, the emergent Greek nation preferred to define itself according to what 'enlightened Europe' valued, namely, its pre-Christian Classical past. The position of the Church in the Greek state was established with an eye on Protestant models, and theology was envisaged as an academic discipline. Not until the 1960s would Greek theology experience its own renaissance.

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