This past week, as America commemorated the tragedy of 9/11, much was said about the gap between the Western world and the Muslim world. One important aspect that was overlooked in this discussion is the gap between the Western and Eastern church. I would like to share some of my experiences and observations in this area.
I regularly teach American Christian students on short-term study trips in the Holy Land. I often notice a weakness in their curriculum, as much time is spent studying biblical history, particularly the first and second temple periods, and the apostolic period. But when we begin to discuss the ecumenical councils and their resulting doctrinal schisms, I find that my students have spent little time studying the historical and political contexts in which church history took some of its most significant turns. Instead, their curriculum fast forwards hundreds of years to the sixteenth century, into the time of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, and the subsequent politics and history of this period. Continue reading “Salim Munayer – Beyond Bells and Smells. The Gap between Eastern and Western Christianity – 1”