(RNS) — For the primary time in reminiscence, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has introduced the politics of Orthodox Christianity to widespread consideration in America.
From the New York Times, Washington Post and the Atlantic to CNN and FOX News, reportage and opinion items have defined the Ukrainian roots of Russian Orthodoxy; examined the strain between the Russian Orthodox Church and the brand new, impartial Ukrainian one; identified the ideological dovetailing of the ROC’s ecclesiastical ambitions and Vladimir Putin’s desires of imperial restoration; and scrutinized Patriarch Kirill of Moscow’s assist for Putin’s invasion and the opposition this has raised within the wider Orthodox world.
For years Rod Dreher has been this nation’s best-known Orthodox Christian tradition warrior. What’s his take? It’s, nicely, difficult.
By the use of background on this first of two columns, let’s be aware that Dreher is a latecomer to Orthodoxy, having joined the Orthodox Church in America when he was almost 40, in 2006. He belongs to a contingent of conservative intellectuals who in current a long time have transformed to at least one or one other department of Japanese Orthodoxy, attracted by its antiquity, its liturgical splendor, and its presumed ethical traditionalism.
Dreher’s non secular odyssey started in his 20s, when he transformed from the Methodism of his childhood in Louisiana to Catholicism. It was the Catholic abuse scandal that brought about him to maneuver on — a scandal that was, in his view, extra in regards to the presence of sexually lively homosexual monks within the church — the “Lavender Mafia” — than pedophilia per se.
He turned related to Orthodoxy’s Russian wing by becoming a member of the OCA, a a small church physique of some tens of hundreds of members that traces itself to the Russian missionaries who arrived in Alaska on the finish of the 18th century. It remained a part of the ROC till 1970, when Moscow granted it impartial standing — “autocephaly,” in Orthodox jargon.
On the time of his conversion, Dreher was working as an editorial author and columnist on the Dallas Morning Information, having made his bones as a Man of the Proper sequentially on the Washington Examiner, the New York Publish and Nationwide Evaluation On-line. He quickly turned essentially the most broadly learn columnist on Beliefnet, carving out an id as “Crunchy Con,” an ethical traditionalist who was nonetheless hip to granola and natural greens.
In 2010, when he was briefly and unhappily directing publications for the Templeton Basis, Dreher concerned himself in a bitter and baroque civil war contained in the OCA wherein he anonymously promoted the efforts of the church’s then chief, Metropolitan Jonah, to embrace the agenda of the spiritual proper. Writing beneath the pseudonym “Muzhik” (Russian for “The Peasant”), he denounced the proprietor of an anti-Jonah web site as a homosexual man who for that motive needs to be faraway from his place on the OCA’s Metropolitan Council.
Since leaving Templeton, Dreher has established himself on The American Conservative web site as one of many final of the old-time bloggers, alternating spiritual and political reflections with accounts of his life and prolonged annotated quotes from the writings of others. One of the best recognized of his a number of books is “The Benedict Option,” wherein he argues that, just like the monks of the early Center Ages, spiritual conservatives ought to reside other than a world that had fallen into ethical disarray.
Since that e-book appeared in early 2017, Dreher has found his personal place within the “Moralist International” of right-wing populists who put on faith on their sleeves. He has embraced Victor Orban’s illiberalism with most enthusiasm, visiting Hungary for prolonged durations of time and portraying it as the reply to the gender-fluid corruption of Western elites.
However Dreher’s true non secular homeland isn’t Catholic Hungary however President Putin’s and Patriarch Kirill’s “Russkiy Mir” — Russian World. Which brings us, subsequent time, to Dreher’s tackle it’s doing in Ukraine.