Traditional Christians find themselves today in a perilous situation. Instead of the Christian culture that had endured since the fourth century—when the Desert Fathers began transforming the Greek pursuit of perfection into the Christian reality of theosis, building what Florovsky called “another city,” “a kind of ‘anti-city,’ anti-polis”—they are now surrounded by a nihilistic culture of global proportion that is hostile to all tradition. Once again, giving new meaning to Florovsky’s words, “Christian history unfolds in an antithesis between the Empire and the Desert”—today the Empire of a globalized secular culture and the Desert of ascetic endeavor preserved in Orthodox monasticism.
Another City seeks a second cultural transformation, parallel to the conversion of the paideia (culture, education, or vehicle of spiritual fomation) of Homer, Plato, and Virgil through the spiritual praxis of the Ancient Fathers of the Church. We look toward a renewed Christian paideia that will both retrieve the greatness of the Orthodox Chirstian tradition and “plunder the Egyptians” of today, appropriating what is best in contemporary thought, while remaining steadfastly averse to comfortably accomodating the Church to the current secular wisdom that often sinks beneath the level of ancient paganism. Orthodox culture, we believe, must always be counter-culture, another city.
Seeking to retrieve the divine ordering that underlies our everyday life, an ordering that is by no means a “social construct,” Another City will present articles that illumine present-day issues with the light of traditional Orthodoxy; promulgate the insights of hesychast spirituality; commemorate the lives of the saints; exploring both the historical and global dimensions of the living Church; consider and celebrate virtues no longer fashionable; critically examine works and topics of contemporary thought; and present original translations of texts, both patristic and recent, alongside reviews of contemporary books, music, and film. While aspiring to the highest standards of intellectual excellence, our articles will at the same time strive for accessibility to a broad, non-specialist audience.