The concept of symphonia in contemporary European Orthodoxy

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Abstract

The relationship between the religious and political fields in the Orthodox Church is defined by the concept of symphonia which dates back to the Byzantine Empire. The concept suggests that the religious and political authorities should work together in a symphonic agreement towards achieving the material and spiritual welfare of the faithful. This article argues that an investigation of the theory of sign and symbol offers a better understanding of symphonia and, in particular, of its relationship with the nation-building process. From this perspective, by corroborating the data provided by the European Values Survey from 1990 to 2000 with this theory, this article demonstrates that the enlargement of the European Union represents the most significant challenge to symphonia, shifting its national focus to a supranational level.

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)188-202
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal for the Study of the Christian Church
Volume11
Issue number2-3
Early online date9 Sep 2011
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

    Keywords

  • concept of symphonia, Orthodox churches, theory of sign and symbol, nationalism, European Values Survey

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