In his seminal book The Clash of Civilizations and the Making of World Order, the American scholar Samuel P. Huntington posited an "Orthodox" civilization centered on Russia as one of the major civilizations constituting a nascent world order and goes on to identify the “Russian-Ukrainian relationship” as the “core essential to unity in the Orthodox world.” With that relationship irretrievably shattered by Russian aggression, is it still possible to speak of an “Orthodox world”?
In this talk, Dr. Samuel Noble will examine the historical and cultural factors that, long before Russia's 2014 invasion of Ukraine, prevented Orthodox-majority countries from cohering into a civilizational bloc, most notably, the longstanding tendency of Orthodox identity to be harnessed effectively for national but not supra-national projects. In place of Huntington's concept of an Orthodox civilization as a geopolitical actor, Dr. Noble will propose an Orthodox space located in a crucial zone between the Western and Islamic worlds and open to a variety of Orthodox and non-Orthodox actors and highlight the importance of understanding this space on its own terms for projects of integrating Europe’s southern and eastern edges.
The program will feature Dr. Noble, with Rod Dreher, director of the Network Project for Danube Institute, who will join the ensuing conversation to include audience participation. Danube Institute’s Director of Research, Dr. David Martin Jones, will moderate the discussion.
Dr. Samuel Noble holds a PhD from KU Leuven, an MPhil from Yale University and an MA from the American University of Beirut. His research focuses on the social and intellectual history of Arabic-speaking Christians and the interactions between Levantine Christians and Eastern Europe. He is most recently co-editor of Arabic Christianity between the Ottoman Levant and Eastern Europe (Brill, 2021) and Arabic-Type Books Printed in Istanbul, Wallachia and Beyond (De Gruyter, 2024).