ABSTRACT

This essay is a commentary on assessments of the ecumenical significance of the Holy and Great Council (HGC) of the Orthodox Church at Crete in 2016. Relying on methods on Albert Hirschman’s notion of disciplinary trespassing and Jo Guildi and David Armitage’s commitment to long-range historical analysis, the essay considers the HGC as an event whose ecumenical potential was understood by the Ecumenical Patriarchate as inextricably linked to the realities of pan-Orthodox unity. The category of geopolitics is introduced as a key factor in explaining the challenges of Orthodox unity that shaped the preparations and processes of the HGC, constrained the fulsomeness of ecumenical outputs and impacts of the Crete event, and laid bare the challenges of religious pluralism and diversity within Christianity in the contemporary world.

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