Two years ago, Benjamin Cabe, a friend and former classmate, approached me about launching a website. Both us were active academic bloggers and were regularly discouraged by the poor understanding and lack of meaningful dialogue cultivated online through 140-character Twitter interaction, sound-bite news, #hashtagactivism, and rhetoric-oriented theology. The website we envisioned would be fashioned from Christians reflecting on important theological and cultural issues in an informed, faithful, and civil manner. Instead of listening in order to respond to one another, our writers would be committed to listening in order to understand before carrying on conversations or pushing back in disagreement. Thus was born Conciliar Post, a “collection of theological conversations, journeys of faith, reflections on Christianity, and commentary on current events from a Christian perspective” which “promotes edifying dialogue that informs, encourages, and challenges people around the world.” Authors at Conciliar Post hail from across Christian traditions and throughout the United States, and write a wide range of topics and issues.
In the sixteen months since its official launch, Conciliar Post has seen an abundance of serious and charitable conversations among authors and followers, particularly between its Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox contingents. Indeed, Orthodox-Catholic dialogue played an important role even before the site official launched. As Ben and I were discussing what Conciliar Post should look like, we broached the subject of a Statement of Faith. Naturally, we looked to the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed…until we realized that we were unlikely to find a solution to the filioque clause disagreement that has existed for some 1,000 years. Despite this temporary setback, Orthodox-Catholic dialogue on the site has come across so clearly that a number of Protestant writers have noted that Conciliar Post sometimes feels “too Catholic” or “overly Orthodox.” In total, of the 26 regular writers at Conciliar Post, thirteen are Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or in the process of joining the Roman or Orthodox communions. I now turn to discussing the interactions between these voices.