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Did Orthodoxy ever have anything akin to a Protestant Revolt? Why or why not?
Noooo.. Some famous early Protestant went to one of the Patriarchs and asked him to sign his confession of Faith. But he refused because there was only two sacraments.
Islam supposedly started out as a Christian heresy.  The parallels with Protestantism are interesting: they're book-centric, fanatical, decentralized, anti-iconic, "back to basics," allowing local princes to challenge Rome.
also individualistic, anti-sacramentalistic, anti-monastic, pro-divorce, violent, grim, anti-art, anti-reason (as the Holy Father pointed out), containing the seeds for future heresies...
(06-07-2009, 08:53 PM)Marius Wrote: [ -> ]also individualistic, anti-sacramentalistic, anti-monastic, pro-divorce, violent, grim, anti-art, anti-reason (as the Holy Father pointed out), containing the seeds for future heresies...

Excellent analogy!  They're also dry, lifeless, shallow, arbitrary and prone to justify collateral damage in the service of uplift. 
No when I was Orthodox I was taught that we never had one because Orthodoxy never had indulgences or an infallible Pope so "we" never had the same problems the west has had there is some truth to this in a way. If you think about it the main thing that started the Protestant revolt was the idulgence abuses and the decadence of Rome during the renaissance which the east has never really had to deal with.
I bego to differ, Baskerville. Indulgences and papal infallibility are beautiful things, and those who do not have them are missing something. Therefore, they can be used as excuses, but they cannot be reasons.

I think the answer is very complex. Western nations underwent a great deal of social and cultural change that the East was spared. These changes led to large sections of the population having unclear notions about boundaries between clergy and laity, hierarchical authority in the Church, the place and role of rational theological discourse, etc.

Eventually, we had enough uneducated people in the West with a little bit of clerical authority to create an illusion that Rome had erred and that religious hierarchical superiors had no real authority. Thus, they created the illusion that we are not bound to obey the hierarchy and that in any case the hierarchy is wrong.

I think we have a similar situation today with the whole "green" mentality. We have a large number of people who want to "save the earth" but who are uneducated concerning the issue. As a result, they are susceptible to irrational, emotional decisions in favor of "saving the earth."
The Old Believers in Russia sometimes sounded similar to Protestants (though in other respects they also sounded like traditionalist Catholics).  Their devotion to the traditional rituals and customs of Russia led them to reject the authority of the heavily centralized Czarist rule over the Russian Orthodox Church.  The schismatic Old Believer sects proliferated and some, as I have read, came to reject the idea of Holy Orders and ecclesiastical hierarchy altogether.  Who needs indulgence abuses and the decadence of Rome when you can have the reforms of Nikon and the decadence of St. Petersburg?
I would not attribute the lack of any mass Early Modern heresy among the Orthodox along the lines of Protestantism to any particular virtue among the Greeks or a resilience of the Greek Church, but would look instead to historical circumstance. The See of Constantinople, in part due to the subordination of the Patriarchate to the Byzantine Emperor, has not been immune to heresy. Monoenergism and its successor heresy, monotheletism, were accepted by several of the eastern Patriarchs while the Bishop of Rome yet remained faithful, and Pope St. Martin I made brave witness as a martyr against the faithlessness of the emperor and his hand-picked patriarch.

For an analogue to the Reformation's destruction of artwork and general disdain for image and representation, the cult of a super-transcendent God that is not only above, but in jealous opposition to the senses and the faculties of imagination and artistic creation, the history of Byzantium affords two periods of iconoclasm, again preached by the emperor's patriarch. Under the old Roman laws proscribing the Manichees, the Byzantines even into the last centuries of their empire executed dualists that despised everything material, the Bogomils and later revivals of the same concept. As the empire was fragmenting in the fifteenth century, certain circles of intellectuals took the study of Plato too far for the church, and we know of a few names (Gemistos Plethon, for one) of blatant polytheists.

To explain the fidelity to Orthodoxy during captivity of the Greeks under the Turks, it is worth remembering that a substantial number of Orthodox believers did convert to Islam. There were political and economic incentives to do so, of course, and anyone dissatisfied with the Orthodox Church had their mind largely decided by circumstance. Why was there not a flourishing of heterodoxy within Greek Orthodoxy during this captivity? We may look to the general diminution of learning, theological or literary, without the great patronage of secular society, owing to the weight of the Turkish yoke. The overall vibrancy of intellectual life was sapped, and the intellectuals that may have happily received the currents of western Renaissance humanism or bristled against the deposit of faith were profoundly reduced in number, and a good number fled westward to teach Ancient Greek letters. Beyond all this, of course, and the general tendency of an oppressed minority to hold fast to tradition, there is the political circumstance under the Ottomans. Under the millet system, the Patriarch was made a legal authority within the Orthodox community broadly, answering to the Sultan, and a heretic would not only find himself on the wrong side of the law, as it were, but would likely lose any recourse to the only legal instrument instituted for the protection of his own rights, abridged as they were under shariah.

Outside of the sphere of Turkish dominion, we do in fact find prominent heresies and schisms. Among the Russians, the early modern period witnessed the birth of a number of heresies, including the Doukhobors, who rejected icons along with priesthood and anything resembling Orthodox Christology, the Molokans, who fasted on milk and kept a Levitical diet, the Khlysts, Ikonobors, Dukhovnye Khristiane, and, later on, the Skoptsy, who practiced ritual castration and mastectomy.
(06-07-2009, 08:41 PM)Marius Wrote: [ -> ]Islam supposedly started out as a Christian heresy.  The parallels with Protestantism are interesting: they're book-centric, fanatical, decentralized, anti-iconic, "back to basics," allowing local princes to challenge Rome.

Interesting point...
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