Paradise and Utopia

Paradise and Utopia Reflections on the Rise and Fall of Christendom

Start date: March 2013 47 episodes

This is a series of forty reflections on the history of Christian civilization, or Christendom (and will include additional introductory and concluding episodes). It is divided into two halves tracing the “rise” of Christendom in early times and its “fall” in modern times. The entire podcast is organized around the theme of “paradise and utopia”—that is, of the civilization’s orientation toward the kingdom of heaven when traditional Christianity was influential, and of its “disorientation” toward the fallen world in the wake of traditional Christianity’s decline in the west following the Great Schism.

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Episodes

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Date Title & Description Duration        
Apr 17, 2014

Papal Supremacy and the Parting of the Ways I

In the anecdotal introduction to a new reflection, Fr. John tells the story of the fall of Constantinople to the western crusaders in 1204, showing how this event, inspired in part by new claims of papal supremacy, resulted in the permanent separation of eastern and western Christendom.

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27:38
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Mar 20, 2014

Papal Reformation and the Great Schism: III

In this conclusion to his account of the Great Schism, Fr. John reviews the leading controversies that aggravated relations between Rome and Constantinople during Pope Leo IX's military confinement, and how they resulted in the latter's posthumous act of excommunicating Patriarch Michael Cerularius in 1054.

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Mar 13, 2014

Papal Reformation and the Great Schism: II

Fr. John continues his exploration of the pivotal reign of Pope Leo IX and the way in which its reforms led toward a confrontation with the Patriarchate of Constantinople in 1054.

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Mar 07, 2014

Papal Reformation and the Great Schism: I

Fr. John discusses the spiritual decline of the church in the West and the attempt to reform this degradation.

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Feb 21, 2014

The Rise of Russian Christendom II

Fr. John discusses the Christian statecraft of early Christian Russia.

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34:30
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Feb 14, 2014

The Rise of Russian Christendom I

Fr. John discusses the baptism of Saint Vladimir and shares an introductory anecdote about the death and canonization of Saints Boris and Gleb.

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22:16
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Feb 06, 2014

Frankish Christendom and the Estrangement of East and West IV

Fr. John concludes his account of the influence of the Franks by returning to the question of the Filioque and how the papacy's resistance to its insertion in the Creed finally came to an end on the eve of the Great Schism.

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39:02
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Jan 30, 2014

Frankish Christendom and the Estrangement of East and West III

Fr. John examines the tendency toward eucharistic piety in Frankish Christendom.

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19:05
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Jan 24, 2014

Frankish Christendom and the Estrangement of East and West II

Fr. John looks at the development that took place within the Frankish lands themselves, especially those concerning the liturgy.

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Jan 17, 2014

Frankish Christendom and the Estrangement of East and West I

Fr. John discusses the rise of the Franks in Western Christianity.

31:12
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Jan 02, 2014

The Rise of Anthropological Pessimism in the West VI

Fr. John describes the desanctification of the world that began to occur in the time leading up to the Great Schism.

21:16
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Dec 19, 2013

The Rise of Anthropological Pessimism V

Fr. John looks at a couple of consequences of St. Augustine's anthropology in the West.

25:49
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Dec 12, 2013

The Rise of Anthropological Pessimism IV

Fr. John continues to discuss St. Augustine by looking first at his notorious doctrine of original sin and its impact on the conception of man in the West.

28:54
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Dec 05, 2013

The Rise of Anthropological Pessimism III

Fr. John addresses the foundations in the West of a growing pessimism about man's condition, paying particular attention to Augustine.

28:06
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Nov 26, 2013

The Rise of Anthropological Pessimism in the West II

Fr. John contends that to understand the coming of the Renaissance and its humanism, one really needs to understand how in the West the doctrines about man became increasingly pessimistic.

30:36
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Nov 21, 2013

The Rise of Anthropological Pessimism in the West I

Fr. John discusses the dignity of man according to the Greek Fathers

18:28
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Nov 14, 2013

Introduction to Part Two of the Podcast: The Nicolaitan Schism

In the first episode of part two of his four-part podcast "Paradise and Utopia," Fr. John Strickland, a professor of history at Saint Katherine Orthodox College, describes how Pope Nicholas I paved the way for the rapid development of the papal theory of empire.

17:56
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Oct 17, 2013

Paradise in Early Christendom’s Hymns of Lent and Pascha

Fr. John looks at some of the actual texts of early Christian hymns and the way in which they gave expression to the vision of early Christendom.

35:44
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Oct 10, 2013

Characteristics of Early Christian Hymnography

Fr. John discusses the development of Christian hymnography.

9:53
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Oct 03, 2013

The Flowering of Christian Architecture II

Fr. John continues his discussion of traditional Christian architecture.

20:44
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Sep 26, 2013

The Flowering of Christian Architecture I

Fr. John explores traditional Christian temple or church architecture and locates the principle of heavenly orientation at work.

17:49
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Sep 19, 2013

The Theme of Paradise in Byzantine Icons

Fr. John explores specific examples of icons and the way in which they manifested early Christendom's experience of the kingdom of heaven.

29:32
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Sep 13, 2013

The Evangelical Character of Byzantine Iconography

Fr. John introduces the principle of heavenly orientation and then explores actual forms of art, beginning with iconography.

35:25
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Sep 05, 2013

The Production of Byzantine Liturgical Art in Contrast to Modern Secular Art

Fr. John discusses the ways in which iconography was defined and produced in Byzantine Christendom.

13:54
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Aug 29, 2013

The Triumph of Orthodoxy and the Triumph of Christian Art

Fr. John explores the triumph of Orthodoxy in the year 843 and the way in which it enables the art of Christendom to express the deepest conviction about man's relationship with God and the possibility of communion with Him.

16:19
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Aug 22, 2013

The Spiritual Transformation of Society II: Marriage

Fr. John explores marriage within the life of early Christendom.

52:37
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Aug 18, 2013

The Spiritual Transformation of Society I: Monasticism

Fr. John explores what exactly monasticim was in the days of St. Macarius.

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Aug 11, 2013

Saint Macarius and the Married Women

Fr. John tells the story of when St. Macarius journeyed from the desert to the city to meet two laywomen who were superior to him in their spirituality.

14:06
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Jul 31, 2013

Christian Temples and the Spiritual Transformation of Space

Fr. John discusses the ways in which the Church tries to create a sanctified topography in Christendom.

31:41
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Jul 26, 2013

Christian Calendars and the Spiritual Transformation of Time

Fr. John discusses the spiritual transformation of time by Christianity.

30:04
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Jul 18, 2013

A Pilgrimage to Paradise: Egeria and the Church of the Resurrection in Jerusalem

Fr. John discusses the design, history, and importance of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

16:05
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Jul 12, 2013

The Byzantine Liturgy and the Roman Mass as Acts of Cosmic Reorientation

Fr. John looks at traditional Christianity's eucharistic rites in order to see how they served to reorient the world toward the kingdom of heaven.

33:47
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Jul 11, 2013

Eucharistic Worship as an Experience of Paradise

Fr. John discusses eucharistic worship as an experience of paradise.

24:27
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Jun 27, 2013

The Liturgical Orientation of the World

Fr. John discusses the importance of worship to Byzantium, the immense degree to which its culture was influenced by liturgy, and the significance of "facing East."

16:23
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Jun 20, 2013

The Holy Empress Pulcheria and the Origin of the Thrice-Holy Hymn

Fr. John discusses the life and activities of St. Pulcheria, as well as how the Trisagion came into Orthodox worship.

20:55
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Jun 13, 2013

Symphony and Caesaropapism

Fr. John discusses the case of Caesaropapism and the symphony when it was actually achieved.

54:19
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Jun 06, 2013

The Ecclesio-Political System of Byzantium and Its Shortcomings

Fr. John draws attention to a feature of Byzantine statecraft in which the Emperor persecuted and manipulated the leadership of the Church.

47:03
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May 31, 2013

The Consolidation of Christianity in the Byzantine Empire

Fr. John addresses the uncertainty in Byzantium following the death of Constantine and then the consolidation of Christianity shortly after that.

1:09:37
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May 23, 2013

The Consequences of Emperor Constantine

Fr. John evaluates the impact that the Christianization of Rome had on the state's conception of sacrifice.

47:25
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May 16, 2013

Emperor Constantine and the Christianization of the Roman State

Fr. John delineates the various ways in which Constantine contributed to the Christianization of the Roman state.

39:13
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May 09, 2013

Toward Sexual Dignity and the Elevation of Women

Fr. John explains how the Church cultivated a higher level of sexual dignity and explores how Christendom served to elevate women in Roman society.

43:31
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May 02, 2013

Beyond Subculture: Toward the Transformation of Roman Society

Fr. John explores how the Church began to address, confront, and challenge the pagan culture of the Roman Empire, particularly during the third century.

58:36
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Apr 25, 2013

Four Pillars of Traditional Christian Culture

Fr. John fills in the picture of the Church's early subculture.

53:42
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Apr 18, 2013

The Formation of a Christian Subculture in the Pagan Roman Empire

Fr. John explores what could be called the catacomb culture of the Church in relation to the Roman Empire.

46:27
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Apr 11, 2013

The Origins of Christendom in the Cosmology of Christ’s Great Commission

Fr. John discusses cosmology, a concept that was very important to the early Church.

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Apr 04, 2013

An Orthodox Perspective on the History of Christendom

In part two of his introduction to his new podcast, Fr. John offers a preview to the history of Christendom and describe the Orthodox perspective he plans to bring to it.

30:31
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Mar 28, 2013

The Post-Christian Christendom of Our Time

In part one of his introduction to his new podcast, Fr. John reflects on the crisis of Christian civilization in modern times. He also defines "Christendom" and explains why it is worthy of study.

30:59
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