Economy and Strictness

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Oikonomia (also spelled oikonomeia, economia or economy) literally means "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 man's salvation and the specific episcopal application of the canons in the life of the Church. The latter usage is a derivation of the former.

Oikonomia is one of two ways of observing the Canons of the Church, the other is Akriveia or strict adherence (precision, exactness). Whereas the application of Oikonomia is generally regarded as being a more flexible application or interpretation of the Canons, the application of Akriveia is regarded as being a more precise and strict one. 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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