Kerala Estate, Kerala, India: St. Ephrem Ecumenical Research Institute (SEERI) Baker Hill, Kottayam 686001, Kerala, India (2019)
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Daco-Roman Christianity – Particularities and theological perspectives The emergence of the historical-theological heritage of Daco-Roman Christianity is mostly related to the North- Danubian territories, namely the ancient imperial province of Scythia Minor (or Lesser Scythia). Identified with present Dobruja, on the left or western side of the Pontus Euxinus, this space of cultural-religious interference has become over time “of a great ecumenical interest.” The historical journey favoured a rapid development of the Christian element, and the region knew from early ages a thorough church organization, reinforced by Diocletian and Licinius’ fierce persecutions. It is also known the fact that “the Daco-Roman Christians, the ancestors of the Romanians from nowadays, setting up the first Orthodox Metropolitan of the Romanian Church around the year 500, have unquestionably bestowed upon it their ecumenical evangelical and patristic attitude; by spreading and flourishing the Body of Christ in a province, it got integrated into the great ecumenical area of the undivided Church in the first millennium.”62 The theological work of the Daco-Roman saints and fathers on the territory of the Roman Empire thus, generated an “ecumenical environment and background”, enriched by influences, ideas, and confessional intercessions. In this respect, we should mention “the correspondence between Saint Basil (Letters 155, 164 and 165) and the illustrious governor of Scythia, Iunius Soranus as well as with Bishop Bretanion of Tomis concerning the sending of Saint Sava’s remains from Gothia to Cappadocia”63, as well as other relations, interactions and influences. There are, therefore, several great Daco-Roman theologians, who succeeded in becoming famous even in the Eternal City. Their activity and writings which remained as a testimony in the Church treasury were taken into account by the highest church authorities of those times, their written theological, missionary and apologetical importance being recognized up to the present days. Starting from this point, we could speak about a true theological heritage preserved over the centuries, playing a huge essential role in building up a genuine spiritual and cultural tradition of the Romanian people.
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