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Paradise and Utopia

Reflections on the Rise and Fall of Christendom - A series of forty reflections on the history of Christian civilization, or Christendom. The entire podcast is organized around the theme of "paradise and utopia" - that is, of the civilization's orientation toward the kingdom of heaven when traditional Christianity was influential, and of its "disorientation" toward the fallen world in the wake of traditional Christianity's decline in the west following the Great Schism.

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Papal Supremacy and the Parting of the Ways III

In this episode, Fr. John discusses the coming of the crusades and the decisive role played by Pope Gregory VII.


15 May 2014

Rank #1

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Introducing The Age of Paradise

Fr. John Strickland talks about the newly released book The Age of Paradise. The book is available at store.ancientfaith.com.


15 Aug 2019

Rank #2

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The Fall of Paradise I: Reformation Muenster as the New Jerusalem

In this anecdotal introduction to the final reflection of Part 2 of the podcast, Father John relates the extraordinary story of a Reformation-era town that declared itself the kingdom of Christ on earth, a "New Jerusalem." Expressing a profound absence of God in the world, however, the story of Reformation Muenster was in fact a sign of the fall of a Christendom centered upon the experience of paradise.


27 Jun 2017

Rank #3

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Frankish Christendom and the Estrangement of East and West I

Fr. John discusses the rise of the Franks in Western Christianity.


17 Jan 2014

Rank #4

Most Popular Podcasts

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The Origins of Christendom in the Cosmology of Christ’s Great Commission

Fr. John discusses cosmology, a concept that was very important to the early Church.


11 Apr 2013

Rank #5

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The Formation of a Christian Subculture in the Pagan Roman Empire

Fr. John explores what could be called the catacomb culture of the Church in relation to the Roman Empire.


18 Apr 2013

Rank #6

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Papal Supremacy and the Parting of the Ways IV

In this episode, Fr. John discusses Pope Urban II's calling of the First Crusade and the impact it and the crusades of the twelfth century had upon relations between the Orthodox and Roman Catholics.


5 Jun 2014

Rank #7

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Continuity and Catastrophe in the Old Christendom II: Hesychasm

Fr. John introduces the force that kept traditional Christianity on course at a moment of crisis in the east, Hesychasm, and how it maintained Christendom's focus on paradise.


29 May 2015

Rank #8

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The Rise of Anthropological Pessimism in the West II

Fr. John contends that to understand the coming of the Renaissance and its humanism, one really needs to understand how in the West the doctrines about man became increasingly pessimistic.


26 Nov 2013

Rank #9

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The Third Rome I: Ivan the Terrible and the Murder of Saint Philip

Having related the fall of Byzantium to the Turks, Fr. John now begins a reflection on the only remaining Orthodox state in eastern Christendom, Muscovite Russia. In this introductory anecdote he tells of an event in the history of this "Third Rome" that signaled the coming decline of ecclesio-political symphony, and with it the experience of paradise.


16 Sep 2015

Rank #10

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Frankish Christendom and the Estrangement of East and West II

Fr. John looks at the development that took place within the Frankish lands themselves, especially those concerning the liturgy.


24 Jan 2014

Rank #11

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Papal Reformation and the Great Schism: I

Fr. John discusses the spiritual decline of the Church in the West and the attempt to reform this degradation.


7 Mar 2014

Rank #12

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The Byzantine Liturgy and the Roman Mass as Acts of Cosmic Reorientation

Fr. John looks at traditional Christianity's eucharistic rites in order to see how they served to reorient the world toward the kingdom of heaven.


12 Jul 2013

Rank #13

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The Fall of Paradise VI: The Reformation of Worship

In this episode Fr. John discusses Reformed attitudes toward worship, and the ways in which western Christendom's liturgical and sacramental foundations were eroded when they were put into practice.


3 Nov 2017

Rank #14

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The Old Believer Schism and the Decline of Russian Christendom before Peter the Great

In this final episode of his reflection on Muscovite Russia, Fr. John describes the Old Believer Schism as a crisis in the formerly optimistic cosmology of eastern Christendom, leading to its decline on the eve of modern times.


5 Nov 2015

Rank #15

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Papal Supremacy and the Parting of the Ways I

In the anecdotal introduction to a new reflection, Fr. John tells the story of the fall of Constantinople to the western crusaders in 1204, showing how this event, inspired in part by new claims of papal supremacy, resulted in the permanent separation of eastern and western Christendom.


17 Apr 2014

Rank #16

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Eucharistic Worship as an Experience of Paradise

Fr. John discusses eucharistic worship as an experience of paradise.


11 Jul 2013

Rank #17

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Four Pillars of Traditional Christian Culture

Fr. John fills in the picture of the Church's early subculture.


25 Apr 2013

Rank #18

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The Holy Empress Pulcheria and the Origin of the Thrice-Holy Hymn

Fr. John discusses the life and activities of St. Pulcheria, as well as how the Trisagion came into Orthodox worship.


20 Jun 2013

Rank #19

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The Spiritual Transformation of Society I: Monasticism

Fr. John explores what exactly monasticim was in the days of St. Macarius.


18 Aug 2013

Rank #20