Re: [asa] Inquiry about Orthodox view of heaven

From: <>
Date: Thu May 31 2007 - 10:45:29 EDT

Just a comment on this:

> They both agreed this was the
> teaching of the Church. It shed light to me on Yuri Gagarin's
> statement, "I don't see God up here"-- I always thought that was just
> facetious, but apparently it was a real issue in the Russian orthodox
> church.

For what it is worth, because of my interests in the roots of the
Slavic languages, I had spent an extensive period learning
Church Slavonic and attending the Russian Orthodox church.
However, my experience was all in the US and in the San Francisco
Bay Area, so I can hardly speak for people born, raised and educated
in one of the former Soviet republics.

As far as I can recall, there is nothing big on this,
at least in the Bay Area. I wasn't Orthodox, so
perhaps I miss some important point, but sermons
never broached such things, I heard no quarrels on
that matter (in English or Russian), and no one felt a
need to tell me anything on that either.

But that was the San Francisco Bay Area. Most were
very well educated people, some of whom contributed
substantially to the early success of silicon valley.

There seem to be a few things that stick out to me in that

First, this location in Moldavia does not sound like
the economic cross roads of trade and industry. This
is like going to some small town in the mid west and
being surprised that a few farms get angry when you
speak a bunch of city-slicker nonsense to them. This
is hardly a representative example of what orthodox,
Russians actually think. Indeed, Church Slavonic is
remotely similar to Russian, but I cannot help but
wonder what language the rant was expressed in.

Second, you are looking at a former Soviet republic.
Two strikes. One, because the church in general
suffered under communism. If you wanted to follow
the route of being a Christian, you surely had to
be a mad Russian to keep your head up. Two, we cannot
expect that this monk received his education at the
best universities, say Moscow University. Some may
have even spent time in that nice little "summar camp" in

Third, it has probably become more of an ideological
issue to the monk because communism so much preached
that kind of thing. It is a little reminiscent of how some
atheists seem to preach Darwin just to watch some country
bumpin boil up a storm. And should it be any surprise? It
probably does provoke that resentment of the "city"
trying to tell the country folk what they should do. Now
multiply that by 100. Now, should that monk's response
really be such a surprise?

Anyway, that's my two kopecks (worth far less than a cent)
on the matter.

by Grace we proceed,

To unsubscribe, send a message to with
"unsubscribe asa" (no quotes) as the body of the message.
Received on Thu May 31 10:46:18 2007

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu May 31 2007 - 10:46:18 EDT