[quote="MatteoRicci, post:16, topic:286245"]
The more the merrier! Thank you for your helpful suggestions both Mark and Edwin.
Now to take all this in step-by-step.
But i did have a question for someone who could shed some light regarding the portrayal of Orthodoxy in the world - namely, how/why did Russian theologians end up inhabiting a position of importance within modern theology?
Why wouldn't they?
The Russians are by far the largest of the Orthodox churches. It would be worthy of remark if they didn't produce a large crop of significant theologians. Why is it any more surprising that there are significant Russian theologians than that there are significant theologians of any other nation (especially given what a large nation Russia is)?
But actually there are specific reasons why Russians have produced so many interesting theologians in the 20th century. 19th-century Russian intellectuals struggled to define their relationship to European culture--Europeans saw them as barbarians, and while some Russian intellectuals agreed, others argued for a uniquely "Slavic" cultural and religious identity. On the religious front, one form this took was the idea that Russian Orthodoxy was the true form of Christianity in contrast to both Catholicism and Protestantism. To do this, they needed to make the case that Russian Orthodoxy was more than the religious arm of the state (which in the 18th and 19th centuries it often appeared to be). The theological reflection that resulted from this search for identity was in full swing when the Russian Revolution occurred. Many young Russian religious thinkers (some of them converts from atheism) were exiled as a result of the Revolution, and they formed a dynamic community of theological inquiry in the West, largely in Paris and then later also in the U.S.
These guys and the younger generation that followed them are, for my money, some of the most interesting religious writers of the 20th century: Bulgakov, Berdyaev, Florovsky and Nikolai Lossky among the older generation; Schmemann, Meyendorff, and Vladimir Lossky (son of Nikolai) among the younger. I think that the historical circumstances in which they worked had a lot to do with the quality of their output.