The Ineffable by John Granger

The Ineffable

Hallowed Be Thy Name: The Name-Glorifying Dispute in the Russian Orthodox Church and on Mt. Athos, 1912–1914
by Tom Dykstra
OCABS Press, 2013
(246 pages, $22.00, paperback)

reviewed by John Granger

One hundred years ago last summer, Russian sailors invaded Mount Athos to confront the monks at one monastery there, who asserted that "the Name of God is God," i.e., that to say the Lord's name is to be in his presence. After theological discussion and negotiation failed, some 800 monks were captured by force, taken to Odessa, and defrocked. More than a thousand more Athonite monastics eventually suffered the same fate, and the Russian Orthodox presence on the Holy Mountain has never been the same.

This event and its underlying controversy were brought back to the public square at their centennial by a December 2012 article in The Economist, by a war of internet-post brick-throwing between different Orthodox traditionalist groups, and by a book, Tom Dykstra's Hallowed Be Thy Name: The Name-Glorifying Dispute in the Russian Orthodox Church and on Mt. Athos, 1912–1914.

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John Granger is an Orthodox Reader and the author of several books about Harry Potter, including How Harry Cast His Spell (SaltRiver, 2008) and The Deathly Hallows Lectures (Zossima Press, 2008). His website is HogwartsProfessor.com.

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