Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Information on American Orthodox History

[I wanted to make people aware of an interesting website by The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA) that will seek to present American Orthodox history without jurisdictional biases. More information about this Society is below and you can take a look at their website here. This site will hopefully uncover much about the Orthodox presence in the New World that has not been compiled before.

I would further encourage those interested in the history of Orthodoxy in America to listen to a podcast by Matthew Namee on this issue
here. - J.S.]

The Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas

Anyone who has made a comparative study of the history of Orthodox Christianity in North America has probably quickly surmised that there is something of a historiograpical problem. That is, the writing of the history of Orthodox Christianity in America has been plagued with jurisdictional squabbles, claims to primacy and other agendas, often with little attention to what primary sources actually yield up as the story contained within them. Myths and ideology have often dominated these histories, rather than a close reading of historical documents.

With the formation of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas (SOCHA), the membership desires to begin to shift the approach to studying and writing the history of Orthodoxy in the Americas (and elsewhere, of course, should members desire it) to reflect an earnest engagement with primary sources. There is no jurisdictional agenda attached to SOCHA, and there is no specific ideology or philosophy which members are required to share, excepting only the basic integrity crucial to historical study and the honesty required to have one's premises challenged and revised should the evidence warrant it.

This site hosts essays, links to podcasts, book reviews, tidbits discovered in the course of research, photographs, and more. Stay tuned.

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