Orthodox Ethos

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About

Orthodox Ethos is a collective effort of nearly a dozen Orthodox Christians, ordained and lay. Our purpose is to present and support the Orthodox truth, way and life, which is Christ Himself. Original articles, translations of timely and important texts and the publications of Uncut Mountain Press are among the subject matter of our modest effort.

ORTHODOX

Orthodox (from Greek ὀρθός, orthos (“right”, “true”, “straight”) and δόξα, doxa (“opinion” or “belief”, related to dokein, “to think”) in one sense can be understood as adherence to accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially with respect to belief in God. The word was first used in early 4th-century to describe those who confessed the faith upheld by the Fathers of the First Council of Nicaea (325). One of the earliest recorded uses of the term “orthodox” is in the Codex Iustinianus of 529-534: “We direct that all Catholic churches, throughout the entire world, shall be placed under the control of the orthodox bishops who have embraced the Nicene Creed.”

In another, more essential sense, however, which we refer to here, the term Orthodox indicates not only right belief but also the right way of living out this belief. For all who believe in Christ as the Son of God, the Incarnate Logos and Saviour of the world, this confession of faith necessarily brings with it an analogous way of being and living. There is an interconnection and interdependence of faith and life, of dogma and ethos. Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi, Lex Vivendi (As we Worship, So we Believe, So we Live). To be a Christian, then, cannot but mean to be an orthodox Christian, insomuch as Christ is the Truth, the Way and the Life.

ETHOS

Ethos (ἦθος, ἔθος, plurals: ethe (ἤθη), ethea (ἤθεα)) is a Greek word originally meaning “accustomed place” (as in ἤθεα ἵππων “the habitat of horses”, Iliad 6.511), “custom, habit”, equivalent to Latin mores. Ethos forms the root of ethikos (ἠθικός), meaning “moral, showing moral character”. Used as a noun in the neuter plural form ta ethika (τὰ ἠθικά), used for the study of morals, it is the origin of the modern English word ethics.