Author Topic: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy  (Read 108105 times)

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Offline SherryTX

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #90 on: August 12, 2015, 07:37:35 PM »

For those like myself who are coming to Orthodoxy from a Protestant background, I also highly recommend Daniel B. Clendenin's book Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A Western Perspective


After going through this thread again, I decided to order the book above, since it sounds like it may be a little easier for me to understand. Looking forward to reading it!  After that I think I will take on the other one mentioned, "The Faith: Understanding Orthodox Christianity, An Orthodox Catechism"  as well.

This was also a really good book. Ware's book was much more in-depth of course, and written from a Protestant's perspective, but I feel it was a nice entry level book.

Offline Shamati

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #91 on: October 05, 2015, 04:18:18 PM »
The Mystery of Faith by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: http://www.amazon.com/The-Mystery-Faith-Introduction-Spirituality/dp/0232524726


Bp Hilarion introduces the Orthodox Church & its theology, contrasting it to what he sees as western theology. He's very objective & not as polemical as some others can be.
At the end of each chapter he lists conclusions from the significant points of each chapter, often with quotes from orthodox saints & theologians, even modern writers like Kallistos Ware & John Meyendorff.

Way of the Ascetics: The Ancient Tradition of Discipline and Inner Growth by Tito Colliander: http://www.amazon.com/Way-Ascetics-Ancient-Tradition-Discipline/dp/0881410497/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1444076187&sr=1-1&keywords=tito+colliander

Is a small but great book that can introduces orthodox spirituality into ordinary, everyday life.

Offline Fabio Leite

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #92 on: October 05, 2015, 04:22:08 PM »
These are pretty good recommendations I found in comments for the Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy blog:

Quote
To conclude: you mentioned, Joel, the problem of figuring out “whose work I can trust to introduce me to the teachings and perspective of the Church.”

As for modern theologians, you cannot go wrong with Florovsky. You are right: up till now, he has been respected across the board, on all sides of the spectrum. Some on Mt Athos have called him a Church Father, and Elder Sophrony Sakharov once sent to him his own “theological confession,” asking for his judgment and saying “I need you to keep me on the royal road of the Fathers”. This attitude, however, is beginning to change among some of our liberal North American Orthodox academics: it is now becoming fashionable to attack Florovsky as “polemical,” “anti-Western,” encouraging a sterile repetition of patristic sayings, etc. In reality nothing could be further than the truth, and these people have not read Florovsky very extensively or carefully.

Fr Dumitru Staniloae is also especially good – a giant. Study him and Florovsky and you can have years of education.

And there are many others. Elder Emilianos of Simonopetra (Mt Athos) is probably your best contemporary monastic theologian, followed by Elder Sophrony Sakharov, Archimandrite Placide Deseille and Elder Vasileos of Simonopetra.

I especially recommend Archimandrite Placide’s beautiful essay, “Stages of a Pilgrimage,” in The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain: Contemporary Voices from Mt Athos, trans. and ed. Hieromonk Alexander [Golitzin] [South Canaan, PA: St Tikhon’s Seminary, 1999]. It is the most well-informed, balanced, fair and insightful treatment by a recent Orthodox writer on Roman Catholicism that I know of.

In this area, there are some things one cannot know from just playing with a prayer rope and pretending to be a hesychast – one must actually study the historical sources. Placide actually knows Roman Catholic theology, liturgy and spirituality at its best – he had the best French Cistercian monastic formation, and he converted to Orthodoxy after a long struggle.

Fr Patrick Henry Reardon is, IMO, one of our best popular writers here in America, with a deep knowledge of the Bible, the Liturgy and the Fathers of both East and West. Again, there are many others.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #93 on: November 25, 2015, 12:03:06 AM »
I was very touched by "God's Revelation to the Human Heart", by Fr. Seraphim Rose.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #94 on: December 08, 2015, 01:24:34 AM »
Well, I'm profoundly interested in Church History. A friend of mine told me I should read The Mystery of Christian Power, by the English author Vladimir Moss. The book is too long, and I do not have much time, but a fast read on some chapters got me fascinated. I'm sure I'll still get it.

Today, I stumbled upon and started to read A Pocket Church History for Orthodox Christians, by Father Aidan Keller. It's a really short book, I fell like I'll end it tomorrow. A total must read for those interested on the subject.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

Offline Saxon

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #95 on: September 09, 2016, 10:52:25 AM »
the biography of Fr. Seraphim Rose, by Fr. Damascene

I would definitely recommend this to inquirers and new converts, but with the following caveat: Fr. Seraphim lived an exceptional life. He was brilliant in many ways and progressed spiritually much more expediently than the typical convert. His example should be something we aspire to reach throughout our lives, not immediately after we emerge from the water and before the chrism even has a chance to dry.

He had zeal, holy zeal. Too often, we fill ourselves with the zeal of man and burn out as a result.

As always, discuss your spiritual readings with your spiritual father. :)

My priest gave me this lengthy book as a gift for the start of my conversion. I'm about a quarter of the way through at the moment (at the point of Fr. Seraphim's baptism [or, more accurately, chrismation]). I must say that despite the intimidating length and weighty content, this book is a fantastic introduction not only to Fr. Seraphim, but to the Orthodox Church in general, and the North American Orthodox experience in particular. I was actually taken aback by how much my own journey mirrored that of Fr. Seraphim (disillusionment and revulsion with modernity and the degeneracy and materialism of Western Civilization, etc.), and that we largely "stumbled" upon Orthodoxy through unlikely circumstances, and found the answers that we were looking for there. Fr. Damascene's frequent digressions into theological discussions, and the stories of various figures in North American Orthodoxy, also broadens the scope of the book to a useful source of information on the Faith in general. As well, the fact that Fr. Seraphim came to Orthodoxy from a quintessential Anglo-American "WASP" background makes the book, and his story, valuable to an audience that potentially still views Orthodoxy as a closed-off, "ethnic" religion. Making inroads into the North American population in general will, I believe, be key to the spiritual survival of both them, and the Church in North America in general, in the years to come.

Offline Porter ODoran

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #96 on: January 07, 2018, 07:36:57 PM »
As well, the fact that Fr. Seraphim came to Orthodoxy from a quintessential Anglo-American "WASP" background ...

I thought he was a Jew?
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #97 on: January 07, 2018, 10:51:44 PM »
As well, the fact that Fr. Seraphim came to Orthodoxy from a quintessential Anglo-American "WASP" background ...

I thought he was a Jew?
He was a Methodist before trying all sorts of religion. About him being a Jew, I didn't find anything about it, but you motived me to google more about it and I found his genealogical tree. So:
  • His paternal grandfather's father was born Rózsavölgyi in Hungary before moving to France and changing it to Rose. This surname seems to be a Hungarian version of the Yiddish name Rosenthal, and his own mother was called Rosenbloom, so I'm pretty sure he was Jewish.
  • His paternal grandfather's mother was surnamed Hervé. I couldn't find any Jew with this surname, but who knows.
  • His paternal grandmother was born in Michigan and had a name also rarely associated with Jews (Mary). Her surname is Dutch (Vandenboom), meaning "of the tree" in an archaic fashion. The same phrase in standard Yiddish would sound more like "fumboim", maybe "fundemboim". There are many Yiddish dialects, however, so who knows.
  • Both his maternal grandparents were Norwegian. Norway never had a significant Jewish community and his grandfather had a name rarely associated with Jews (John) and a surname implying he came from a line with other Johns (Jensen). So I doubt his mom was any Jewish.
Now, my guess is he had some Jewish blood chimed in (1/8), but this was lost among generations.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2018, 10:54:21 PM by RaphaCam »
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Anyhow when God was asked he said Eastern Orthodox is true Church and not Catholic Church. So come home and enjoy.

Offline RobS

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Re: Recommended Reading for Those New to Orthodoxy
« Reply #98 on: January 08, 2018, 01:49:02 AM »
I'd probably start with these in order:

An Introduction to God - Fr. Andrew Damick
The Orthodox Way - Bishop Kallistos Ware
Beginning to Pray - Met. Anthony Bloom
For the Life of the World - Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Homilies of St. Gregory Palamas (very down to earth for common people)

I'd say its more important to follow what your priest recommends you to read since he would know you better than random strangers on the internet.

Always be reading the New Testament especially the Gospels.


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