On Being Theologically Traditional

Fr. Georges Florovsky 1893-1979

It is not enough to keep a “Byzantine Liturgy,” as we do, to restore Byzantine iconography and Byzantine music, as we are still reluctant to do consistently, and to practice certain Byzantine modes of devotion. One has to go to the very roots of this traditional “piety,” and to recover the “Patristic mind”. Otherwise we may be in danger of being inwardly split—as many in our midst actually are—between the “traditional” forms of “piety” and a very untraditional habit of theological thinking. It is a real danger. As “worshippers” we are still in “the tradition of the Fathers.” Should we not stand, conscientiously and avowedly, in the same tradition also as “theologians,” as witnesses and teachers of Orthodoxy? Can we retain our integrity in any other way? (St. Gregory Palamas and the Tradition of the Fathers)

A must read article: http://orthodoxinfo.com/phronema/florov_palamas.aspx


  1. What a wonderful find. This man was an academic, yes. This man had gone to the Paris School, yes. This man taught at St. Vladimir’s, yes. This man later taught at Harvard. BUT, (and by that I mean “in spite of those things”), in most ways he was unabashedly Traditional in his approach to the Divine Faith. Why?

    Because his true theological formation had not taken place in any of those institutions, but from reading, hearing, and praying the holy services of the Orthodox Church.

    Did you know he cast a demon out of a child? Check this out: http://www.johnsanidopoulos.com/2011/03/contemporary-miraclel-fr-george.html

    From what I understand, his career at SVS was cut short by Fr. Alexander Schmemann and others of his thinking, who did not like this Traditional and brilliant teacher.

  2. I was familiar with that story. That episode makes it very evident that he was not a subscriber to abstract classroom theology, at least by that point in his life. Those who do and teach will called great in the Kingdom.

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