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 or Universalism and 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, contrary to many academic Theologians, who try and pass these kinds of things off as merely academic and/or largely illusory issues. 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 higher end are not averse to it. Moreover, it’s not only an American problem. I think the amicable Englishman John Milbank, who I contact regularly and who has been most courteous to me, and some of the radical orthodoxy clique are prone to this however, as much as I really like him, some of his work and as kind as he is to me via email, I must tell it like it is.

DB Hart, perhaps the most ‘famous’ Orthodox Theologian today, is much the same, but more so. On the latter, and whilst his book The Story of Christianity is really good, I would not even recommend reading as Orthodox. There are many other Orthodox Theologians ahead of him who are more orthodox in 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 or Evgeny Lampert.

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