John Erickson

07 John EricksonJohn H. Erickson grew up in northern Minnesota and joined the Orthodox Church in 1964. He received a Master’s degree in Philosophy from Yale University, and the Master of Theology degree from St. Vladimir’s Seminary. John began teaching canon law and church history at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in 1973 and in 2002 he was appointed dean for a five year term as a layman. After four years leading the seminary, he was ordained deacon and then priest.
Among his many writings we mention only The Challenge of Our Past: Essays in Orthodox Church History and Canon Law (SVS Press, 1990).

The Temporal Dimension of Discernment. Memory and History


History and memory: Over the past half century anthropologists and psychologists, social theorists and philosophers have reflected on the relationship of these paired terms. Often they have drawn attention to an additional element: forgetting. As they note, the construction of history is a selective process. As some facts (or “alternative facts”) are instrumentalized, others are forgotten. While some memories are promoted as representative of collective memory, others are repressed. In memorials and memorialization, in celebrations and commemorations, who or what gets remembered? Who or what gets forgotten, whether by inadvertence or by design? Questions such as these have taken on new urgency in recent decades, and not only for the Orthodox. Too often in the past we have allowed old grievances to become markers of identity and turned wounds real or perceived into weapons. Needed now is discernment of ways towards forgiveness and reconciliation.