THE ORTHODOX CHURCH OF GREECE AND THE ECONOMIC CRISIS
Metropolitan Ignatius addressed his four key themes: 1. The Church' s social being and mission today, in the context of the Greek crisis; 2. The Church's own past failings that have created barriers to its effective role and appeal in the present; 3. A critique of current economic orthdoxies – couched in clear theological terms – that elevate market pressures, neglect social responsibility, and impose neo-liberal ''discipline'' in a manner that increases suffering and poverty and 4. The outline of a practical way forward for the Church. The lecture is clear, thoughtful and eminently accessible. Whatever the faith or non- faith of the reader, these are important themes to reflect upon in the current context. Few would doubt the historic role of the Orthodox Church in forging Modern Greece – its society and identity. How the Church responds to its past failings and confronts the challenges of the present remains a crucial aspect of how Greece develops in the future. Moreover, these themes extend beyond the confines of Greece. Greece is an acute case, but is not alone in wrestling with issues of economic dogma and the most responsible way out of the crisis. Indeed, in thn current crisis, the image, meaning and reputation of ''Europe'' is bound up with debates on austerity and ordo-liberalism in a manner that risks an unprecedented ideological definition of its integration projrct, with divisive consequences.