||For the most part, contemporary Romanian Orthodox spirituality is still heavily based on a rhetoric which builds on the notion of ancestry with the intention not only to provide Romanians with a safe comfort zone, but also to secure its privileges and influence over most of today’s Romanian society. In attempting to go back in history to demonstrate that the ancestry of Romanians is sufficient proof for their full and unconditional adherence to Eastern Orthodox Christianity in its local Romanian version as the Romanian Orthodox Church, most of today’s representatives of Romanian Orthodox spirituality—notably Dumitru Stăniloae, Ioan Rămureanu, and Teoctist, the former Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church—focused on a rhetoric that, on the one hand, takes Romanians back to their Thracian, Dacian, and Roman ancestors, while on the other hand, seeks to inculcate the idea that an unflinching adherence to this specific ancestry, which is described as Christian by nature and birth, must be kept at all costs. Thus, this specific kind of rhetoric attempts to build a protective fence around Romanians, who are taught that they need to preserve their Eastern Orthodox Christianity and their allegiance to the Romanian Orthodox Church mostly because, since their ancestors were Christians, they are in fact born Christian. The process of building this protective wall around Romanians is described by means of the term ‘ecodomy’ and, unlike its general use in contemporary debates as focusing on positive aspects, the particular focus of the Romanian Orthodox Church on ecodomy based on the idea of ancestry is going to be revealed mostly through a chain of negative connotations. Thus, the contemporary rhetoric of the Romanian Orthodox Church based on the notion of ancestry as ecodomy—one may even call it negative ecodomy—is going to be explained in connection with three fundamental aspects, namely church, nation, and culture, all intended to preserve not only the influence of the Romanian Orthodox Church in nowadays Romanian society, but also a set of privileges in its relationship with the state.
||Simut, CC & Buitendag, J 2015, 'Promoting ancestry as ecodomy in Romanian Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The role of ancestors in contemporary Romanian Orthodox Rhetoric', Expository Times, vol. 126, no. 10, pp. 475-487.