Economy and Strictness

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Economy, from the Greek οἰκονομία (oikonomia) for "household management," the "law of the house," or "house building," and refers primarily to two related concepts in the Orthodox Church—the divine plan for salvation and the specific episcopal application of the canons in the life of the Church. The latter usage is a derivation of the former.

Economy is one of two ways of applying the canons of the Church, the other being strictness, from the Greek ακριβεια (akriveia), meaning strict adherence, precision, or exactness). Whereas the application of economy is generally regarded as being a more flexible application or interpretation of the canons, strictness is considered more precise and stricter. Pastoral discretion is of key importance in either application.

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Further Reading

  • Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia. “ ‘Economy’ according to Orthodox Theology: Its Application to Non-Orthodox Sacraments,” Chrysostom, 5 (1961), 6-8.

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