Vladimir Moss has written an interesting, brief examination of the history of Church-State relations in the Eastern Empire in “Why Did Constantinople Fall?” It explores how caesaropapism came to predominate in the Empire and how, according to Moss, such led to the destruction of that great Christian civilization.
Moss appears to hail from the acerbic wing of Orthodox scholars, but I appreciate those folks as a needed counterweight to the “Accommodationists”—the folks whom Saint Vladimir’s Seminary invites to give lectures and who represent Orthodoxy at ecumenical fora. As I was perusing Moss’ site, some statements did make the kooky bell ring. For instance, Moss argues that the U.F.O. phenomena of the last century could be demonic activity. If we could trust the testimonies of alien encounters, then perhaps I would see Moss’ point. However, I do not have any inclination to believe spaceship sightings and abduction stories. I dismiss such as a mass delusion that has resulted from lost, secularized people’s painfully tragic straining to find meaning in the nihilistic, materialist universe in which they have trapped themselves. “The truth is out there” is the cri de coeur of the modern damned. Moss’ article on Constantinople, however, appears very reasonable to me in my historical ignorance.