Orthodox in Norway

This short documentary was produced in June 2019, as part of an exam project by students of the Norwegian Technical University in Trondheim. The Orthodox Church is not very common in Norway, and it’s quite different from the church Norwegians are used to. Norway is also becoming more secular. Therefore, Media student Johannes Lavik, wanted to learn more about the Orthodox doctrine and how Orthodox Christians practice their faith, and understand how it is like to live in a small religious society in a secular country. The footage of this video was taken at the Greek-Orthodox Metropolitan church of the Parish of the Annunciation of the Mother of God in Oslo, under the Metropolis of Sweden and All Scandinavia of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. In Norway, there are also Parishes belonging to other Orthodox Churches: Russia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, and Norway. I participated in this production by offering advisory aid and my knowledge as cantor of the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Church in Oslo.

The Community of Disagreement Project [Uenighetens felleskap]

These footages are part of the Project Uenighetens felleskap (The Community of Disagreement), of the webpage, that aims to promote an informed and knowledge based discourse on religious and life stance issues. I participated in the project as a representative of the Greek Orthodox Church in Norway. The replies to the questions in the footages below are in Norwegian, but I am preparing drafts of English translations which are about to be attached to the videos.

How do we deal with science?

῾῾There are people who think that a believer is in disagreement with, in contrast to, a scientist: you cannot be a believer and a scientist at the same time. I think this is wrong. Science is about knowing about that which is. What we experience in the Orthodox Church and the Orthodox tradition, in general, is that humanity is currently in the after-the-Fall condition. One of the consequences of this Fall is that the powers of all human instruments, the cognitive instruments included, have become weaker than what they were when human beings were nearby God. So, from this point of view, man should start returning to the initial condition. Then, man will figure out that what we now have as epistemology, as science (epistēmē), is just a little part, a portion, of the whole.᾽᾽

What is knowledge? [Hva er kunnskap?]

῾῾Knowledge is a mystery. There is a mystery both with regards to the content of knowledge and the method; in another words, on how can we obtain knowledge. This is a mystery. As sources of knowledge can be thought all that is, visible and invisible, all that is in motion, all that is in repose, all that we can experience: that is, objects, humans, colours. All that we can be aware of.᾽᾽

Is there a God?

῾῾Well, we know that there is a God. Not because we have tried to find him and we finally found him, but because he decided to show himself to us. Both to the prophets of the Hebraic nation, and after, when Christ, the second Person of the Holy Trinity became a human, became one of us. So, in a way, we can say: ‘Yes, there is a God’, because he has come here. And in another way, we can say that, we do not know whether God exists unless he showed himself to us.᾽᾽

What happens with us when we die? [Hva skjer med oss når vi dør?]

Do people have free will? [Har mennesker fri vilje?]

How humanity was made? [Hvordan ble mennesket til?]

Is people basically good or evil? [Er mennesker i utgangspunktet gode eller onde?]

How do Greek Orthodox deal with Christmas? [Norwegian original: Hvordan forholder gresk-ortodokse seg til julehøytiden?]