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One of the predominantly Orthodox countries that has never experienced communism is Greece, a country uniquely situated to offer insights about contemporary trends and developments in Orthodox Christianity. This volume offers a comprehensive treatment of the role Orthodox Christianity plays at the dawn of the twenty-first century Greece from social scientific and cultural-historical perspectives. This book breaks new ground by examining in depth the multifaceted changes that took place in the relationship between Orthodox Christianity and politics, ethnicity, gender, and popular culture. Its intention is two-fold: on the one hand, it aims at revisiting some earlier stereotypes, widespread both in academic and others circles, about the Greek Orthodox Church, its cultural specificity and its social presence, such as its alleged intrinsic non-pluralistic attitude toward non-Orthodox Others. On the other hand, it attempts to show how this fairly traditional religious system underwent significant changes in recent years affecting its public role and image, particularly as it became more and more exposed to the challenges of globalization and multiculturalism.
Vasilios N. Makrides (born 1961) studied theology at the University of Athens (1979-1983) and religious studies, history of religions and sociology of religion at Harvard University (1984-1986) as well as the University of Tubingen (1986-1991), from where he obtained his doctorate in 1991. He taught at the University of Thessaly, Volos (1995-1998) and from 1999 he has been Professor of Religious Studies (specializing in Orthodox Christianity) at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Erfurt, Germany. His main research interests include comparative religious and cultural history as well as sociology of Orthodox Christianity. Victor Roudometof (Ph.D. Sociology & Cultural Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 1996) is Associate Professor with the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Cyprus. In the past, he has held positions at Princeton University, Washington and Lee University and Miami University (OH). His main research interests include globalization, historical sociology, sociology of religion (Eastern Orthodoxy), and sociology of culture. Grace Davie, Vasilios N. Makrides, Victor Roudometof, Anastassios Anastassiadis, Dia Anagnostou, Ruby Gropas, Prodromos Yannas, Eleni Sotiriu, Dimitris Antoniou, Effie Fokas, Theoni Stathopoulou, Lina Molokotos-Liederman.