Romans Born and Bred
We observe the basic differences between the two cultures: the Orthodox-Roman tradition and the Western way of life.
We see the great historical journey the Greek nation has made down through the ages, the significance of various names (Hellenes, Greeks, Romans) and what the Roman ethos means. Greek-speaking citizens of the Roman Empire were influenced by Hellenic culture before they knew what Greece was. All so-called Roman civilisation was in fact Hellenic.
The differences between Orthodoxy and Islam in theological matters, and the social, national and political consequences of these distinctions are set out in Romans Born and Bred. The state of the Byzantine-Roman Empire in the fourteenth century is examined, as well as the theological dialogue between St Gregory Palamas and the Ottomans.
There is a specific chapter outlining Max Weber’s basic views on the capitalist system, as set out in his book The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Theology is closely linked with history and the development of various social phenomena. Particular emphasis is laid on the fact that Orthodoxy-Romanism has no connection with either the Protestant ethic or metaphysics, and is fundamentally different from both capitalism and socialism.
In Romans Born and Bred we read about the Prophet Moses, who is a ‘prototype of spirituality’, a true example for every Christian who aspires to deification and to attaining knowledge of God. As we read about the Elders of Sinai and monasticism in that region, we become of aware of the nature of the theology of the Orthodox Church, and what a real theologian is.
At the end of the book, ‘The Contemporary Relevance of Orthodox Theology’ explains that ‘Orthodoxy is very up-to-date and satisfies even the most restless of people’. People today, especially the young, have become disillusioned with the Western way of life and turn to the Orthodox Church because in it they find true life which heals them and brings them to new birth. The Orthodox Church’s theological tradition of watchfulness and hesychasm is held in particular respect today, because it is capable of confronting all the terrible problems that alarm us, and can bestow meaning and fullness on human life. Even Western theologians are impressed by Orthodox theology and study the Fathers of the Church.