Fr Nikoloas Loudovikos, corrective to Origenism?

I’ve only just discovered Fr Loudovikos’ (apparently) great work but better late than never and he has much good to say on areas which have been of primary concern to me; such as Theologies of Creation, the prolems with Universalism and view of Hell.

His work is a nice addition to the insights I’ve garnered from Fr John Behr, Fr Florovsky, Fr LeMasters and co.

Fr Louth mentions him alongside Fr Behr in his Modern Orthodox Thinkers book, saying that he’ll have a big impact on the Orthodox Church of the 21st century. If he’s anything like Fr Behr, let’s hope so! I cannot give a satisfactory portrayal of his thought yet as I’ve only read articles but there are some great points in these articles.

Namely, he provides some very good critiques of the likes of Yannaras and an ‘Origenist’ tendency which I think is indeed a real problem, whether it’s accurately labelled ‘Origenist’ or not. Contrary to many academic Theologians, who try and pass these kind of theological disagreements off as merely ‘academic’ and/or largely illusory, he sees a genuine difference between his work and theirs.

Yet, his bashing of ‘the west’ is all too typical of many Orthodox thinkers and ignorant of the nuances of History, just as those who fetish the early church, the middle ages, or the modern are ignorant of the nuances in time.

This ‘origenist’ strain which Loudovikos points to is one which a lot of American ‘liberal’ Theologians work within but even those at the theological upper eschalons are not averse to it. Moreover, it’s not only an American problem. I think some of the radical orthodoxy clique are prone to this too.

DB Hart, perhaps the most ‘famous’ Orthodox Theologian today manifests some of these ‘Origenist’ tendencies and should be criticised more than he is from what I’ve seen in his work. Whilst his book The Story of Christianity is really good, I would not even recommend reading him as an ‘Orthodox Theologian’ in a way. There are many other Orthodox Theologians who are more imaginatively ‘Orthodox’ in vision and practice. I say this with sadness because I do not see the full implications of the Incarnation permeating his work like I do in figures such as Fr Schmemann, Fr Behr or Evgeny Lampert et al.

On practically every issue he seems to be in the wrong camp. (His Christian Platonism, his Universalism, his crude economic views, etc and all despite his mammoth intellect. (Maybe because of it… who knows!?)

Anyway, Loudovikos is an Orthodox Theologian worth familiarising yourself with from my ostensible reading thus far and hopefully he can live up to Fr Louths billing.