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Author Topic: ONLINE READING GROUP POLL  (Read 5499 times) Average Rating: 0
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Bogoliubtsy
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« on: November 26, 2003, 07:41:52 PM »

I hope no one objects to me starting this poll. Perhaps voting should end sometime Friday evening? How does a week or two sound to obtain the book? I know they can all be purchased at Amazon.com. I believe we'll need a "leader" to give weekly or daily reading assignments..perhaps Nicodemos can do that since he suggested the group in the first place? Ideas? Ideas?
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« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2003, 09:01:51 PM »

Changed my mind about mountain of silence.   Because this is a fasting period, and so many of us are preparing for Christ's birth with prayer and fasting, I thought  "Ascending the Heights:  A Layman's Guide to The Ladder of Divine Ascent" would be appropriate.

And, for the keeners, perhaps they could read St. John Climacus' "The Ladder of Divine Ascent."
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« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2003, 10:52:40 PM »

Next Friday sounds good. Also, I added Ascending the Heights:  A Layman's Guide to The Ladder of Divine Ascent as an option. Seems like that might be a good choice....but they all seem like good choices.
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« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2003, 11:01:57 PM »

After looking for more info on Ascending the Heights I found that Fr. John Mack wrote it. In the new Fr. Seraphim Rose biography there is a story of Fr. John's included which tells of his conversion to Orthodoxy through Fr. Seraphim Rose. Fr. John was in a library and had come to the end of his rope in terms of his relationship to the church he was involved in, and "worldly" Christianity in general. Fr. John prayed for someone or something to show him genuine Christianity. He turned and saw a picture of Fr. Seraphim Rose on the back of one of Fr. Seraphim's books! Then, out of nowhere, someone approached him, asked what he was looking at, and gave him the phone number of a local Orthodox priest to discuss Orthodoxy with! Fr. John(not yet Fr. John) called the priest's number. The priest was totally confused because he had just settled into serving a new parish and living in the new house and no parishioners had his phone number yet. Fr. John never again saw the man who gave him this priest's phone number. Quite incredible. I believe this is the same Fr. John, no?
WOW.

Anyway, I originally voted for St. Theophan's Path to Salvation, but Fr. John Mack's book gets my vote too.
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2003, 10:30:44 PM »

I'm not lobbying for Ascending the Heights, nor am I negative about it.  If you don't know much about it, check out the title on Amazon where you'll also find an excerpt from the book.  

Nobody mentioned Being as Communion.  I've wanted to attempt that book sometime, but not necessarily now.  

 Wink

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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2003, 12:14:55 AM »

Strobert,

I've also wanted to read Being as Communion, but it might be a bit ambitious for our first attempt.  Save that for book 2 or 3.
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2003, 12:29:06 AM »

How difficult is "Being as Communion" as compared to Berdayev's "Freedom and the Spirit".  The latter was at the public library and I gave it a brief try.  It was too hard for this engineer to comprehend.  I don't think I have the necessary grounding in philosophy.

I voted for Fr. Mack's book.
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2003, 09:10:14 AM »

I have The Ladder of Divine Ascent in Greek! I'm not sure I'm up to the struggle through it though. I'm finding The Way of a Pilgrim in Greek difficult enough Sad

John.
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« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2003, 10:25:30 AM »

Being a great believer in (and user of) used bookstores and smaller businesses, I've run a quick check of availability of these titles via Bookfinder.com which links thousands of used book shops as well as bigger stores like Powells, Barnes and Noble and such like.  This isn't complete (as I have to go investigate the interesting thumping noises from the children in the livingroom) , but I hope that it's helpful

The Markides is fairly available for between 7 and 13 dollars plus shipping.

The Path to Salvation is $19.95 new with a few used available

Ascending the Heights starts at $10.00 roughly, seems fairly available

No hits on The Arena used

Elements of Faith shows at $29.95 new and $22.50 used

Mystagogy/Photios about $30.00 used...


Bibliophiliacly yours,

Ebor
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« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2003, 10:40:57 AM »

Right, when should we plan on having the book and starting the discussion?
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2003, 02:46:45 PM »

Does the Saint Vlad's bookstore carry this book, in case I have to leave on time to get to the store and buy it before it closes for the weekend?  Dustin?  Tony?
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2003, 05:39:29 PM »

I ordered my copy today. We're reading Ascending the Heights, right? I imagine it should arrive by early next week.
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« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2003, 05:56:51 PM »

Well, the voting isn't over, I presumed it was going on till Friday.  We could let it go on till then, unless the leader of the group (I presume Nicodemus) decides he wants you or one of us to lock the poll and go with Ascending the Heights.
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« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2003, 07:20:25 PM »

True...has anyone seen Nicodemus?
I'm here!  I have just been slam busy at work.

My question about the Mack book is it just about The Ladder of Divine Ascent?  It seems like reading The Ladder itself would be the way to go.  However, I'm all about Democracy and will read whatever "the people" decide  Grin
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« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2003, 07:51:39 PM »

But is it better to read Mack's book before reading The Ladder, or should one read The Ladder first?  I would've thought the latter (no pun intended).
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« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2003, 08:52:19 PM »

Mack sez, don't make no never mind to him!  Ackshally, Mack's book is like St. John Climacus for Dummies.  I think that for those non-monastics out there, Mack makes the Ladder more relevent.  St. John can be really dis-heartening to the non-monastic.  Mack introduces realism for the non-monastic.
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« Reply #16 on: December 03, 2003, 09:21:23 PM »

How do you say "stepstool" in Greek?
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« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2003, 06:01:20 PM »

The Ladder for Dummies? Is that like "The Stepstool?"

How do you say "stepstool" in Greek?

Quality  Grin
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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2003, 01:11:42 PM »

I am confused. Has a specific book been decided upon?
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« Reply #19 on: December 07, 2003, 12:01:35 AM »

I don't think the really FINAL decision has been announced, but the assumption appears to be that we are going with Ascending the Heights.  However, if Nicodemus is the leader of the pack, I would be in favor if his making a decision based on the outcome of the poll in the context of his won sense of wisdom, knowledge, and intuitive perceptions.  I mean, if he thinks that reading The Ladder itself, rather than a book about the Ladder, would be the path of wisdom, I'd be happy to accept that decision.  On the other hand, depending on how much authority we invest in Nicodemus, he might say the poll is valuable, but he'd prefer to read the book with 3 votes rather than the one with 4 votes.  It's a close vote after all.  Or perhaps we ought to ask those NOT voting for Ascending or the Path to Salvation, to vote again, and help choose between the two titles with the largest vote.

But, actually, I'd just prefer any book to be named, so we can get on with it.  

The real challenge will be, with any book, how many of us can find the time to read and think and write on a regular schedule.
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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2003, 05:27:36 PM »

I agree.  The vote is close, and of the two leading contenders, I'd prefer to read The Path to Salvation, but can we please be agreed on a book to read and then determine when and how to get started?
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« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2003, 05:57:04 PM »

I think Nicodemus should give a final, tie breaking vote so we can get on with it.
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« Reply #22 on: December 07, 2003, 11:55:22 PM »

I appears that someone has just cast a vote, and The Path to Salvation is in the lead.  Will Nicodemus come to us by night, or does he fear this crowd of readers?
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« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2003, 11:57:13 PM »

I just realized that I never voted. So now "The Path to Salvation" is up by 2 votes.
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« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2003, 12:17:21 AM »

I wish I knew that Saint Theophan's book would come out on top, I would've brought it with me to school, having just come from home, where it rests in my bookshelf.  Now I'll have to wait till Friday till I can start it, unless the Mack book wins somehow, and then I'll have to order that.
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« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2003, 09:04:04 AM »

We really can't start reading for about a week anyway. People (like me) have to order the book.

And an observation: One of the worst things about the Christmas season is having to hear Christmas Carols perfomed by The Beach Boys.  Tongue
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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2003, 06:25:19 PM »

Books are flying everywhere.  I ordered the Path of Salvation last night.  What will happen next? Huh
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« Reply #27 on: December 10, 2003, 03:08:20 PM »

Sorry I haven't been posting very much lately.  Last week & this week have probably been my busiest weeks ever at work.  Beginning monday, I will be around much more.  So is "Path to Salvation" what we've decided on?

I actually have two copies if there's anybody that wants to borrow or buy one of them.
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« Reply #28 on: December 10, 2003, 03:10:24 PM »

Books are flying everywhere.  I ordered the Path of Salvation last night.  What will happen next? Huh

We should pick a start date.  Is the holiday season going to be too hectic for everyone to start?  Should we start a few days after new year's?  maybe around the third or so?  

I figured what we could do is once we (or I or whatever y'all want) is pick a chunk to read and then we could discuss that bit for a week or so and be reading the next bit so we can discuss that, etc., etc.

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« Reply #29 on: December 10, 2003, 03:20:13 PM »

I think it is safe to say that The Path to Salvation has won, so if no one has any objections, that is what we will read.  Barring any objections (for which I will give a little time for responses), I will lock the poll later.

(Sorry if this sounds a little pushy, I would just like to have things settled.)  

I think starting a little after the New Year would work.  I definitely should not think of starting any reading till after the 19th December.  Maybe we should have more discussion about starting dates and then decide (or put it up to a vote if necessary)?  

One thing I would like to discuss that I think would be helpful is the length of each week's reading.  I have never done anything like this before, so I'm not sure, but I would not think that anymore than half a week would be necessary for commenting on a given "assignment".  Do we really need a week?  (Perhaps this is the harried college student in me talking.)  And how long would the assigned passages be?
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« Reply #30 on: December 10, 2003, 03:35:25 PM »

NYET...NO POLL ON START DATES OR IT WILL BE PASCHA!!! PICK ONE, NICODEMUS!

Let's say..........discussion starting January 10.  I already have the book and have read good chunks of it (but not all of it).  Over the next day or two, I will read the first bit of the book and see how long it takes me.  I'm a pretty slow reader, so I can't imagine anyone would be much slower than me.  The reason I thought St. Theophan's book would be a good first choice is:

1) Short chapters
2) Easy language, he speaks directly and doesn't bog down with complex theological terms.

So, Jan. 10 start date of discussion, I will post back in a day or two about suggest segment lengths.  Heck, by the end of December, I will post a syllabus if you want me to  Grin
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« Reply #31 on: December 10, 2003, 03:36:50 PM »

I have run my life by syllabi over the past four years, so if you are willing to go through that kind of effort, I for one  would appreciate it.  Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2003, 03:36:56 PM »

With a Jan 10 start date, that gives everybody 31 days to actually get the book and to read the first bit (which I will post shortly).

Sound good?
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« Reply #33 on: December 10, 2003, 03:37:57 PM »

Please don't feel like you need to, however.  I can deal with running assignments announced in the thread as well.

Boy, will I miss syllabi when I leave this school.  Tongue
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« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2003, 03:38:12 PM »

I have run my life by syllabi over the past four years, so if you are willing to go through that kind of effort, I for one  would appreciate it.  Smiley

1) I'm a nerd, I will gladly do it  Wink
2) I'm just glad people are into the idea, my parish has been trying to do something like this forever, but they can't get it sorted out because everybody wants to meet in person.

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« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2003, 03:39:42 PM »

Please don't feel like you need to, however.  
The more I think about it, the better the idea seems.  If it is unorganized, people will get frustrated and give up because of a lack of a system.  If I can put a system in place to make things run smoother, I don't mind in the slightest.
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« Reply #36 on: December 10, 2003, 03:40:29 PM »

1) I'm a nerd, I will gladly do it  Wink

YOU TOO?!?!?! Cool

Quote
2) I'm just glad people are into the idea, my parish has been trying to do something like this forever, but they can't get it sorted out because everybody wants to meet in person.

Tell them to join this website.  It's more fun, I promise: check the link in my sig.  Wink
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« Reply #37 on: December 10, 2003, 03:43:35 PM »

Syllabus it is, I guess.  Of course, one thing you will want to do as we get far enough in Path is to consider other books to read afterward we finish this.  That way everyone can vote for that and buy it if necessary, new syllabus Wink, and we can just jump right in.  Unless everyone thinks a break in between books is called for?
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« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2003, 05:40:51 PM »

With a Jan 10 start date, that gives everybody 31 days to actually get the book and to read the first bit (which I will post shortly).

Sound good?

good Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2003, 07:43:44 PM »

I wish someone would give me a syallabus for life.  :-";"xx
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« Reply #40 on: December 10, 2003, 07:45:16 PM »

Don't we all...
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« Reply #41 on: December 10, 2003, 07:50:29 PM »

Can we have the Cliff's Notes?
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« Reply #42 on: December 10, 2003, 08:05:42 PM »

But Spark Notes got me an A without having read the original book!
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« Reply #43 on: December 10, 2003, 08:06:04 PM »

And they're online for free, you never have to buy them unless you want to (I did).
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« Reply #44 on: December 11, 2003, 01:08:15 PM »

With all these willful desires for shortcuts, Cliff Notes, Sparks Notes, etc., I can see the path to salvation may be a long trek.
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St Rupert (Robert) of Salzburg, pray to God for us.
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