Bogdan Bucur is building here a strong case for exorcising Orthodoxy of the resilient anti-Semitism that permiates it from the early centuries until today. With the resurgence of neofascist movements in the so-called ‘Orthodox lands’, as well as in the west, this is really an urgent task, which the characteristic staunch conservatism of Orthodoxy makes even more difficult that in other communities. Lord, have mercy!
Disturbing Words, Disturbed Emotions
The words in the title are from one of the stichera at the Beatitudes chanted on Holy Thursday evening (Triodion, 589). Similar references to “arrogant Israel, people guilty of blood,” “bloodthirsty people, jealous and vengeful,” and “the perverse and crooked people of the Hebrews” occur in the unabbreviated English translation of the Lamentations service printed in the Lenten Triodion.
It is true that this kind of language appears less strident when considered within the context of Byzantine rhetoric; it is also true that the pattern is set by the prophetic literature of the Hebrew Bible (e.g., Micah 6:1-5; Amos 2:9-12); and it is, yet again, true that we must also take into consideration the larger context of the Church’s growth from a charismatic, egalitarian, theologically innovative, and administratively schismatic group within first-century Judaism into the increasingly Gentile reality of…
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