Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, Ecotheology 10.3 December 2005

Creation and Priesthood in Modern Orthodox Thinking

Elizabeth Theokritoff
Issued Date: 24 Feb 2007


This paper is a response to suggestions that the notion of humans as priests
of creation is the standard Orthodox view, and that it devalues non-human
creation and the praise other creatures offer to God. It will be argued that,
while human priesthood is a dominant image for some Orthodox
theologians, more often it is used—if at all—as one among several images,
which should be seen as complementary. ‘Priesthood’ language cannot be
understood apart from the idea of a cosmic liturgy in which all creatures
play their part; the meaning Orthodox theologians give to ‘priesthood of
creation’ is a function of their understanding of priesthood in the Church
as an integral part of the people of God. Creation needs human ‘priestly’
mediation not because its praise is inadequate, but because the praise we
offer together awaits its fulfilment—the transfiguration of all creatures in

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DOI: 10.1558/ecot.2005.10.3.344


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