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Eastern Orthodoxy

Dec 13, 2016


Eastern Orthodoxy is the large body of Christians who follow the faith and practices that were defined by the first seven ecumenical councils. The word orthodox (''right believing'') has traditionally been used, in the Greek-speaking Christian world, to designate communities, or individuals, who preserved the true faith (as defined by those councils), as opposed to those who were declared heretical. The official designation of the church in Eastern Orthodox liturgical or canonical texts is ''the Orthodox Catholic Church.'' Because of the historical links of Eastern Orthodoxy with the Eastern Roman Empire and Byzantium (Constantinople), however, in English usage it is referred to as the ''Eastern'' or ''Greek Orthodox'' Church. These terms are sometimes misleading, especially when applied to Russian or Slavic churches and to the Orthodox communities in western Europe and America. It should also be noted that there are Monophysitic churches (holding that after Incarnation Jesus had only a divine, and not a human and divine, nature) that have adopted the term orthodox as part of their names.