A friend thought I might be interested because two of my sons and one of my daughters-in-law went to Asbury, which is in Wilmore and where the first speaker is a professor. It's a small town, pretty much dominated by the college. The second speaker is from Gordon-Conwell, much closer to here and where some of the denomination's pastors in this area studied. Our church has two at the moment.
The idea that the Russian Orthodox Church in contrast to the Eastern Orthodox in other countries, actually encourages this sort of megalomania was a new idea to me. Putin himself seems to have a non-doctrinal attachment to the Russian Orthodox Church, associating it with Eternal Russia or Greater Russia and cultural history. That the Orthodox Church there has not condemned the invasion nor even offered cautions, only encouragement, may come from the years of being actively discouraged with only the tightly-controlled few under communism and being unwilling to jeopardised the somewhat-enhanced status now. Or it just may be generations of tight control over who can be priests and what they can do or say that has bred a religious culture even more tied to national aspiration than happens in other places.
I had run across the knowledge that historically it was Russia that was the satellite of Ukraine, especially Kiev, but I had not tied it into the church history so tightly.
The information about the distinction in prepositions in Russian between talking about another country versus referring to a region was also unknown to me. Our language does not control or channel our thought, but it does reflect it. Sometimes people reveal more to you than they would wish with their language choices.
While there certainly are people using the 'NATO expansion provoked Putin' argument to absolve him of responsibility for death and destruction in Ukraine, there are deep cultural, historical, and geopolitical roots to his project of Russian expansionism. If he does get, as I saw one wag put it, a 9mm resignation request that might resolve the current crisis but anybody who takes the seat of power in Moscow is going to be subjected to similar pressures. We need to figure out how we are going to manage them.
Razib's latest SubStack post is enlightening, too.
It's a good article, and I have forwarded it to a few
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