The category of the "West" has played a particularly significant role in the modern Eastern Orthodox imagination. It has functioned as an absolute marker of difference from what is considered to be the essence of Orthodoxy, and, thus, ironically, has become a constitutive aspect of the modern Orthodox self. The essays collected in this volume examines the many factors that contributed to the "Eastern" construction of the "West" in order to understand why the "West" is so important to the Eastern Christian's sense of self.
George Demacopoulos is Associate Professor of Historical Theology and Co-Founding Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University.
Aristotle Papanikolaou is Professor of Theology and Co-Founding Director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University.
This book represents a significant step in the direction of self-reflection and self-criticism that has almost completely eluded Orthodox identity narratives colored by centuries of political oppression and demographic challenges. After too long a wait, such an initiative is all the more remarkable: it approaches the prophetic. Demacopoulos and Papanikolaou are to be recognized for having assembled a world-class array of scholars in diverse fields to produce a compilation that is fascinating, accessible, and at points highly challenging. It will inspire heated debate, and will surely become a staging point for future work.-Peter C. Bouteneff, St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary