Pussy Riot Feminism and the Orthodox Church

Great historical perspective on the conflict over gender equality in the Eastern Orthodox Church between “cradle Orthodox”—first-generation immigrants and their children—and recent converts:

The rich mystic theology of Eastern Christianity preserves a complicated understanding of gender that even postulates a God who is beyond gender. In liturgical practice too, the Orthodox Church offers glimmers of light to those who would seek greater equality. For example, women throughout Eastern Christendom were routinely ordained to the diaconate (the first order of the priesthood) well into the 11th century.

Most importantly, however, in many Orthodox cultures tradition has given women a great deal of de facto spiritual authority within the home and the wider community. This was certainly the reality of my childhood. It was my mother, grandmother and aunts who had dreams, spoke to saints at night in candlelight prayer and whispered the meaning of the liturgy and the secrets of the universe into my ears.

The politicization of American Christianity is shackling the Church. Read to find out [yet another reason] why.