[St. Pachomius Library]


Since the fall of Constantinople, the question of secularism has largely turned on the relationship between Orthodox societies and the more technologically advanced but (many would argue) less spiritual West. See Westernisers.

However, secularism also has a much more profound sense. Quoting Fr. Thomas Hopko:

Secularism -- any kind of explanation of this world as having its meaning in itself. [Fr. Alexander Schmemann] loved to quote the French poet, Julien Green, who said, "all is elsewhere." All is elsewhere, and this world has its meaning from "elsewhere." And any attempt to dare to explain this world except as from God must be rejected. The world has no meaning in itself. None at all.

This type of secularism, of course, can exist even in, perhaps especially in, societies which claim to be deeply Christian and Orthodox, and in the heart of any of us.

Norman Hugh Redington


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