In March 2014, at the time of Russia’s takeover of Crimea, the heads of 14 Orthodox churches convened under the leadership of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Istanbul-based primus inter pares in Eastern Orthodoxy, and announced that a ‘Holy and Great Synod of the Orthodox Church’ would be held in 2016. The Synod, which took place in June 2016 in Crete, was a unique ecclesiastical gathering, bringing together competing geopolitical visions of religion, state and power. This article examines the political mobilisation of Orthodox churches by contextualising the holding of the Synod in relation to Russia’s advancement of spiritual security after the end of the Cold War. It provides a textual analysis of Synodical documents and highlights the patterns of religious and political structures in the contemporary Eastern Orthodox world.
|Early online date||28 Jul 2017|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2018|