Tasting notes from my travels in American Christianity
#13
(10-10-2019, 11:31 AM)Melkite Wrote: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so your experience on whether the chants and iconography of Orthodoxy are beautiful or not is your own.  While I wouldn't say the TLM is ugly, I also wouldn't say it's beautiful in comparison to Byzantine liturgy.  It's beautiful in its own way, but to me, also doesn't feel "right."  Like the beauty that it has is forced, somewhat gaudy.

However, I have to think your experience within Orthodoxy was brief, not with more than one parish.  In general, you're right about their success in evangelism, but I'm guessing you either went to a Greek parish or an OCA parish that was largely ethnic.  The Antiochian Archdiocese is made up almost entirely of Evangelical converts these days, and many of them are young families with a lot of children.  The only Orthodox parish I've been to which matched your description was an inner city OCA parish that had been there from the Metropolia days.  Very few people, and most of them old.

I attended two, and the Antiochian church was better. The average age of Orthodox are younger and richer, that much is true. However, they still have a convert and retention problem that matches and supersedes the Catholics.  I'm not aware of any statistics that suggest otherwise. I researched that question quite a bit because I think it reflects on the Catholic issue. A traditional liturgy isn't the only problem. I think Orthodoxy's brazen liberal politics are a big issue. I believe that frankly the unapologetic conservative politics of evangelical churches are a major explanation for their success. A liturgy by itself doesn't win converts in a broad sense. 

(10-10-2019, 07:56 PM)Florus Wrote:
(10-09-2019, 08:03 AM)Imperator Caesar Trump Wrote: First, Orthodoxy is ugly.  People who say it is beautiful don’t know what they’re talking about.

Or they just have different taste than you???????

I am willing to concede that partially. For sure there are cultural distinctions that I just don't appreciate. However ugliness is also explicitly built into their aesthetics. Like I said with Byzantine iconography. It's not just my opinion that they look ugly. They are designed to be visually unappealing to direct ones thoughts beyond the material to the spiritual. That is the fundamental raison d'etre of the style, per Orthodox theologians. Making the people look anything other than sickly and freaky is a corruption of the style and a criticism they levy toward Catholic art.
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RE: Tasting notes from my travels in American Christianity - by Imperator Caesar Trump - 10-11-2019, 01:23 AM



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