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The Hierarchy of Holiness

The contemporary Western world has difficulty thinking well of hierarchy, but in the Eastern Orthodox Church hierarchy has maintained a sense of divinity. The Russian Orthodox theologian Vladimir Lossky thought of holy hierarchy as a series of concentric circles, each smaller ring being a sphere of greater holiness. Those who occupy the innermost rings are there by virtue of the grace God has bestowed upon them. An essay, Heirarchy of Holiness, published on the website of Faith & Leadership, an offering of Leadership Education at Duke Divinity, reflects on the nature of holy hierarchy by drawing on the Eastern Orthodox tradition, and offers a real-world example.

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