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Radicalism, its violence seen as self-defence, in Orthodoxy in Moldova

[ by Charles Cameron — this is why I value & love the online community of scholars and friends ]

This article, brought to my attention online, looks to have strong resonance elsewhere:

This contribution examines why Orthodox radicals in Moldova demonstrate their ability to use direct action – violent or non-violent – to change state policy, examining cases of confrontation over machine-readable identity cards, the non-denominational use of public spaces, non-discrimination against religious minorities and LGBT. The author suggests that the dynamics of religious radicalism in Moldova are explained by the fact that after the regime change in 2009, official discourse is not supportive of the so-called ‘traditional values’ shared by many. In the absence of other discursive opportunities, domestic political confrontations in Moldova are currently symbolically focused on concepts of ‘the European path’ and ‘the Orthodox land’. Since the mainstream Orthodox Church cannot afford open antistate activity, defending the faith and values is increasingly associated with radicals whose direct activism has apocalyptic undertones. The radical Orthodox have become a persistent political factor, able to influence government policies and legislation. They do not envision themselves as perpetrators of violence, considering their actions to be self-defence. The existence of radicals inside the Church also prevents its general drift in the direction of a more liberal position.

The article is:

  • Anastasia Mitrofanova, Questioning the Europeareligiousn path: Orthodox political radicalism in contemporary Moldova
  • I imagine different readers here will have political radical, strategic, extremist and religious responses to this piece.

    4 Responses to “Radicalism, its violence seen as self-defence, in Orthodoxy in Moldova”

    1. TMLutas Says:

      How very strange that Orthodoxy is not a European path and that Europe has only one path.

    2. Charles Cameron Says:

      An “Eastern” shorthand for the title, I suspect.
      Orthodoxy in the west seems toe be a radical (in her sense) turn away from consumerism & pharisaism and return to askesis, & if I’m right, a movement from both left and right, emphasizing beauty in liturgy and sacramental theology — and worthy of study in its own right, perhaps parallel to Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option.

    3. Smith Mitchell Says:

      Radicals in any country create conflicts … I doubt their true faith …

    4. Charles Cameron Says:

      I don’t think their faith is any more in doubt than that of their more mainstream brethren — it’s just that they push things farther, and thus can be seen as a groupoworth study in their own right, the word “radical” simply meaning they are at the extreme compared to others.

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