For Consideration 

In addition to the interplay of Eastern Orthodox and American marketplace cultural elements, Orthodoxy itself possesses a multitude of voices and dimensions, in providing its adherents theological justifications for considering it, at once, a vessel for “absolute truth” and organic, natural “shades of gray.” Although informants often demonstrate a keen interest in historically immutable “truth” and “tradition,” they also want a church with “real life” applicability that allows them to forge quite distinct, post-conversion identities within the church. In providing moral certitude, Orthodoxy allowed for many informants to focus more concertedly on their spiritual lives. Orthodox Christianity furnished its adherents a cultural repertoire of such richness and intricacy that it, at once within a single narrative, can appear the most stalwart and flexible of religious options. Among the most potent sets of strategies Orthodox Christianity affords its adherents are its ritual, liturgical, and ethnic elements. We will now turn our attention to the ways in which converts adopt and experiment with Orthodox ritual and liturgical life in the course of their conversions and post-conversion lives within the Orthodox Church.

From: Amy Slage, The Eastern Church in the Spiritual Marketplace: American Conversions to Orthodox Christianity.