Concept of Oikonomia and the Theology of Second Chance


  • Sajan Thomas KU, Leuven




The concept and practice of oikonomia, in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, addresses the practical inferences of Christian belief, but it does not compromise or dilute the truth. It is more convincingly functionalized in the context of divorce and remarriage. The fundamental principle is that God knows the human fragility.
However, one is reminded that the release of the couple is not an arbitrary act, nor it promotes the secular tones. Rather, the act is done in the name of Christ, so that the church allows the faithful, those who are concerned, to experience the compassionate and continuing love and care of God, expressed through His son Jesus Christ. Thus, it is convinced that a clear distinction is made between sacramentality and indissolubility in the Orthodox thinking. This must be the reason for
allowing in certain circumstances divorce and consequently another union can be initiated without breaking the ecclesial association. The whole summary of Jesus’ earthly ministry was that of a ministry of calling back people and offering them chances to live in the presence of God. An appreciation and application of both oikonomia and theology of second chance can be discussed and suggested in the upcoming Synod of Bishops, to accommodate the faithful in the Catholic Church.

Author Biography

Sajan Thomas, KU, Leuven

Sajan Thomas, OIC is a Syro-Malanakara Catholic religious priest from Kerala, India, belonging to the Order of the Imitation of Christ. He secured a Licentiate in Moral Theology from Dharmaram Vidya Kshetram, Bangalore in 2013. His Licentiate thesis was on “Divorce and Re-Marriage in the Catholic Church: A Study of the Concept of Divorce and Re-Marriage in the Catholic Church and the Concerns of the Divorced and Re-Married Couples.” In 2013-14 he secured a Masters Degree in Theological Ethics at KU, Leuven and at present is doing his Advanced Masters in Theological Ethics at KU, Leuven. Email: fr.sajanoic@gmail.com


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How to Cite

Thomas, S. (2014). DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE IN THE EASTERN ORTHODOX TRADITION: Concept of Oikonomia and the Theology of Second Chance. Asian Horizons, 8(02), 287–302. Retrieved from https://dvkjournals.in/index.php/ah/article/view/2051