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Fundamentalism or TraditionChristianity after Secularism$
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Aristotle Papanikolaou and George E. Demacopoulos

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780823285792

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2020

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823285792.001.0001

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Resolving the Tension between Tradition and Restorationism in American Orthodoxy

Resolving the Tension between Tradition and Restorationism in American Orthodoxy

(p.152) Resolving the Tension between Tradition and Restorationism in American Orthodoxy
Fundamentalism or Tradition

Dellas Oliver Herbel

Fordham University Press

The entire history of the Orthodox Churches in America could be cast as an ongoing battle between “tradition” and “restorationism.” Tradition has a content but is also constantly changing in response to new surroundings in a manner that seeks to maintain core structures and behaviors. Restorationism is an attempt to restore a (largely imagined) past or, in the cases of many converts to Orthodoxy, a return to that imagined past. These two poles of American Orthodoxy have been in tension with one another throughout its American history. This article surveys restorationist movements within American Orthodoxy in the twentieth century, often led by converts, and their survival or failure within the Orthodox Church. Herbel argues that restorationism focused on behaviors or modes of being and a restorationism that recognizes value in one’s past have a greater chance of successful incorporation into the larger Orthodox Church.

Keywords:   Boris Burden, converts, fundamentalism, Michael Gelsinger, Ingram Nathaniel Washington Irvine, Robert (Fr. Raphael) Josias Morgan, Orthodoxy, restorationism, Alexis Toth, tradition

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