Lev Zander and Problems of Ecumenism
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Lev Zander and Problems of Ecumenism
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Dorota Jewdokimow 
Affiliation: Adam Mickiewicz University
Address: Poland, Poznan

Lev Alexandrovich Zander was a continuer of the Russian religious and philosophical renaissance thought of the beginning of the 20th century. The main part of his intellectual activity was performed in the extraordinary conditions of emigration. He was one of the creators of the Russian diaspora in Paris, at the same time holding crucial functions in the St Sergius Orthodox Theology Institute in Paris. However, over the years he became less and less recognisable. His ecumenical, practical, and theoretical activities are also worth analysing. He co-created the Ecumenical Movement in the first years of its existence. His interpretation of ecumenism, highly controversial for his immediate environment, outpaced his times and still remains up-to-date. In his theoretical texts, Zander formulated the fundamental conditions for interfaith collaboration and the postulates of ecumenism: the principle of confessionalism and the need of restraining from proselytism. The principle of confessionalism consists in unconditional and uncompromising affirmation of the beliefs held by each particular church.  Lev Zander describer the ideal of ecumenism as “unity in love”, which surpasses its historic standards; the notion of “ecumenism” was more mystical and eschatological than historical. “Unity without union” which is the formula of ecumenical paradox, the expression of the contradictory nature of ecumenism, is placed in the centre of his ecumenical reflection. The publication of Zander’s most important work Vision and action in 1952 sparked a heated discussion in the Paris orthodox community, contributing to the development of the orthodox ecumenical theology.

Lev Zander, Russian emigration, Ecumenical Movement, Orthodox Church, confessionalism, Unity
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