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Author Topic: Orthodox Catechism?  (Read 3984 times) Average Rating: 5
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SSTeacher
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« on: September 11, 2009, 04:03:01 PM »

Is there an Orthodox equivalent of the Catechism of the Catholic Church?

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Mick
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2009, 04:17:34 PM »

As far as I understand, no. There are many catechisms written in particular jurisdictions by different authors. There is no one central editor of all of them, and there might be some points where they do not exactly match each other. For example, in Metr. +HILARION (Alfeev's) catechism, post-resurrection bodies are called "immaterial," while in other catechisms it is stated that they will be transfigured and yet material.

Here is one catechism that I occasionally check with:

http://www.gocanada.org/catechism/catech.htm
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2009, 05:00:13 PM »

The most important things are all contained here: http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/liturgy/liturgy.html
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Thomas
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2009, 05:50:02 PM »

Actually there are several good Catechism texts in use in the various jurisdictions.  Your local Orthodox Priest can refer you to one to use in your studies.  Some of the ones that I have read that are both readable and have recommended to  catechumen I direct in my parish are as follows (Please note some of the descriptions come from various publishing houses selling the the books) others are mine:

1)  Eastern Orthodoxy: A Way of Life by Anthony M. Coniaris. This book is highly recommended by Patriarch Athenagoras I as a spiritual milestone! Acclaimed by Dr. Nicholas Zernov, Archbishop Iakovos and numerous other Orthodox clergy and lay people as a simple book for the layman that makes the teachings of the Orthodox Church personal and practical. This book provides information on basic orthodox teachings, monasticism, marriage, Sacraments and Orthodox Theology.

2)The Law of God by Fr. Seraphim Sloboskoy
Perhaps my favorite book about Orthodox Life and the only comprehensive treatment of the Orthodox Faith for the layman in English, Fr. Seraphim's work begins with Creation, Church History, and ranges through many of the predicaments of modern life in the Faith. It is a useful tool for catechesis, for individual pondering, and should certainly be found in every Orthodox home. Its only drawback is that it is written by a Russian Orthodox Christian and thus leans more to Slavic practice and not the Byzantine practices of the Antiochian Church I am affizited with, still it is an excellent book I used with my family of 5 children when we entyered the church.

3. A Catechetical Handbook of the Eastern Orthodox Church by Dr. Diomidis H. Stamatis . This is a comprehensive Catechism by a noted Orthodox Scholar that I can highly recommended. It goes more deeply into Orthodox Theology beyond general lay levels of Bishop Kallistos Ware. The first part covers: What to Believe; The Existence of God; Incarnation; Redemption; Resurrection; Ascension; Judgment; The Holy Spirit; The Church and the Fathers; Remission of Sins; The End of Man. Part two covers: What To Do for Our Salvation; How To Be Sanctified; Daily Prayers; Spiritual Helps; Prayer and Worship; Divine Liturgy; Miscellaneous Topics. Part three focuses on: The Veneration of Icons; St. Isaac on Fasting; St. Chrysostom on Homosexuality; The Panagia; Women in the Church; Deaconess in the Early Church; Life After Death; Memorials; Monasticism; Ecumenism etc. Includes a Synaxarion of Selected Saints, the Celebration Dates of Selected Saints Throughout the Year, a Glossary and Bibliography. 592 pages.

4.  The Orthodox Church and The Orthodox Way by Bishop KALLISTOS (Ware). The Orthodox Church is a nice general overview of the Orthodox Church , a brief history , and introduction to the beliefs of the Church by the eminent Oxford University Professor and Bishop KALLISTOS ( Ware). The Orthodox Way is the next companion volume , it is an easy to read book that you can pick up and lay down without losing the thought. It is written clearly and simply with reference to both Eastern and Western Christian sources. It raises the basic issues of theology; God as hidden yet revealed; the problem of evil; the nature of salvation; the meaning of faith; prayer; death; and what lies beyond. It covers the belief, worship and life of the Orthodox Church.

5.A nice Catechism for families with small children is A VISUAL CATECHISM OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCH. By Metropolitan Hierotheos of  Nafpaktos, illustrated by Yannis Yeremtzes. A catechism for all ages with beautiful iconographic-type illustrations in full color of the Symbol of Faith and many aspects of the Church and Christian life, briefly explained.  it is short at 98pp

Well as you can see there is a great deal of Variety out there and there is one that will touch your heart and meet your needs in educating you in the Orthodox Faith.  There are also several good OCA catechisms that are based on topics the Rainbow Series is available on the web at www.oca.org  as well as several topical catechisms they have put out and are available through St Vladimir's press I believe.

Thomas
« Last Edit: September 11, 2009, 05:50:29 PM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2009, 10:49:47 PM »

Here's one by Fr. Thomas Hopko called "The Orthodox Faith" aka the Rainbow Series on oca.org
http://www.oca.org/OCorthfaith.asp?SID=2
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2009, 12:03:04 AM »

The Mystery of Faith: An Introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=mmasupremacyc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0232524726" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

and

Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=mmasupremacyc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=0938635697" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />

and

The Truth of Our Faith<img src="http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=mmasupremacyc-20&l=as2&o=1&a=9608677807" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important; margin:0px !important;" />
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Ortho_cat
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2009, 06:28:51 AM »

My favorite catechism I've encountered so far is "The Faith - Understanding Orthodox Christianity, an Orthodox Catechism" by Clark Carlton. Very clear and comprehensive, extremely well written, and full of eternal truths written in such a way that it is straightforward and easy to understand. I'm halfway through it..for the 2nd time! Cheesy

http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Understanding-Orthodox-Christianity-Catechism/dp/0964914115/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253269754&sr=1-1
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 06:29:33 AM by Ortho_cat » Logged
SSTeacher
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2009, 06:48:45 AM »

My favorite catechism I've encountered so far is "The Faith - Understanding Orthodox Christianity, an Orthodox Catechism" by Clark Carlton. Very clear and comprehensive, extremely well written, and full of eternal truths written in such a way that it is straightforward and easy to understand. I'm halfway through it..for the 2nd time! Cheesy

http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Understanding-Orthodox-Christianity-Catechism/dp/0964914115/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253269754&sr=1-1

Ortho_cat,

Thank you very much for your help.  I notice that you're a catechumen like me.  As you've encountered the different ideas and the totally different approach inside Orthodox Christianity have you found it difficult to "unlearn" stuff?

Cordially,
Mick
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Thomas
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2009, 09:33:01 AM »


Thank you very much for your help.  I notice that you're a catechumen like me.  As you've encountered the different ideas and the totally different approach inside Orthodox Christianity have you found it difficult to "unlearn" stuff?

Cordially,
Mick

I converted over 20 years ago, my priest after my conversion called me to be a Sunday School Teacher. When I asked him why he asked me to become a Sunday School Teacher his response was "You now know the basics and have been baptized, now I want you to grow in the faith as a small child does. For the next five years he had me teach first to the primary age group, then to tweens group , and finally in the Teens/youth class. How inspired he was for after my stint as a Sunday School teacher gone were my attachments to heterodox teachings and in its place was a heartfelt grasping of the eternal truths of Orthodoxy. He allowed me to go from a childlike understanding of Orthodoxy to grow in a natural process into  having an adult understanding of Orthodoxy full of an ever deepening understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Orthodox Practice. What a blessing!

Thomas
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SSTeacher
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2009, 09:56:00 AM »


Thank you very much for your help.  I notice that you're a catechumen like me.  As you've encountered the different ideas and the totally different approach inside Orthodox Christianity have you found it difficult to "unlearn" stuff?

Cordially,
Mick

I converted over 20 years ago, my priest after my conversion called me to be a Sunday School Teacher. When I asked him why he asked me to become a Sunday School Teacher his response was "You now know the basics and have been baptized, now I want you to grow in the faith as a small child does. For the next five years he had me teach first to the primary age group, then to tweens group , and finally in the Teens/youth class. How inspired he was for after my stint as a Sunday School teacher gone were my attachments to heterodox teachings and in its place was a heartfelt grasping of the eternal truths of Orthodoxy. He allowed me to go from a childlike understanding of Orthodoxy to grow in a natural process into  having an adult understanding of Orthodoxy full of an ever deepening understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Orthodox Practice. What a blessing!

Thomas

That’s an inspiring account, Thomas.  What a wise priest.  If you don't mind my asking, which of your pre–Orthodox presuppositions did you find the most difficult to abandon?

Curiously,
Mick
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2009, 03:51:10 PM »

My favorite catechism I've encountered so far is "The Faith - Understanding Orthodox Christianity, an Orthodox Catechism" by Clark Carlton. Very clear and comprehensive, extremely well written, and full of eternal truths written in such a way that it is straightforward and easy to understand. I'm halfway through it..for the 2nd time! Cheesy

http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Understanding-Orthodox-Christianity-Catechism/dp/0964914115/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253269754&sr=1-1

Ortho_cat,

Thank you very much for your help.  I notice that you're a catechumen like me.  As you've encountered the different ideas and the totally different approach inside Orthodox Christianity have you found it difficult to "unlearn" stuff?

Cordially,
Mick

Mick,

Of course! I struggle with my protestant baggage every day! 27 years of Southern Baptist hardwiring will do that to you. However, by the grace of God, I pray that He will help me to unpack it all and set it aside eventually, all in good time.

One thing about Orthodoxy is that so much of it just “makes sense”. Sure, I have had difficult issues embracing certain parts of Orthodoxy (especially in regards to the Theotokos and intercessory prayer) But I find that most (the large majority) of teachings seem to expound on , or incarnate, the beliefs that I already held, especially regarding the Trinity.  I could almost describe it as graduating from baby formula to solid food. It is truly a very rich and rewarding faith my friend, and the best advice I could give you is don’t get overwhelmed, and try  to keep your eyes on the forest through all the trees. If you ever need anything, or if any particular aspects of the faith are troubling you, feel free to PM me, because chances are I have encountered it and battled with it myself!  Smiley

Trent

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SSTeacher
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2009, 05:46:45 PM »

My favorite catechism I've encountered so far is "The Faith - Understanding Orthodox Christianity, an Orthodox Catechism" by Clark Carlton. Very clear and comprehensive, extremely well written, and full of eternal truths written in such a way that it is straightforward and easy to understand. I'm halfway through it..for the 2nd time! Cheesy

http://www.amazon.com/Faith-Understanding-Orthodox-Christianity-Catechism/dp/0964914115/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1253269754&sr=1-1

Ortho_cat,

Thank you very much for your help.  I notice that you're a catechumen like me.  As you've encountered the different ideas and the totally different approach inside Orthodox Christianity have you found it difficult to "unlearn" stuff?

Cordially,
Mick

Mick,

Of course! I struggle with my protestant baggage every day! 27 years of Southern Baptist hardwiring will do that to you. However, by the grace of God, I pray that He will help me to unpack it all and set it aside eventually, all in good time.

One thing about Orthodoxy is that so much of it just “makes sense”. Sure, I have had difficult issues embracing certain parts of Orthodoxy (especially in regards to the Theotokos and intercessory prayer) But I find that most (the large majority) of teachings seem to expound on , or incarnate, the beliefs that I already held, especially regarding the Trinity.  I could almost describe it as graduating from baby formula to solid food. It is truly a very rich and rewarding faith my friend, and the best advice I could give you is don’t get overwhelmed, and try  to keep your eyes on the forest through all the trees. If you ever need anything, or if any particular aspects of the faith are troubling you, feel free to PM me, because chances are I have encountered it and battled with it myself!  Smiley

Trent



Trent,

Thanks for your encouragement.  I've taken you up on your kind offer and sent you a private message.  Thank you very much for your help.

Mick
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Thomas
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2009, 05:58:05 PM »


Thank you very much for your help.  I notice that you're a catechumen like me.  As you've encountered the different ideas and the totally different approach inside Orthodox Christianity have you found it difficult to "unlearn" stuff?

Cordially,
Mick

I converted over 20 years ago, my priest after my conversion called me to be a Sunday School Teacher. When I asked him why he asked me to become a Sunday School Teacher his response was "You now know the basics and have been baptized, now I want you to grow in the faith as a small child does. For the next five years he had me teach first to the primary age group, then to tweens group , and finally in the Teens/youth class. How inspired he was for after my stint as a Sunday School teacher gone were my attachments to heterodox teachings and in its place was a heartfelt grasping of the eternal truths of Orthodoxy. He allowed me to go from a childlike understanding of Orthodoxy to grow in a natural process into  having an adult understanding of Orthodoxy full of an ever deepening understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Orthodox Practice. What a blessing!

Thomas

That’s an inspiring account, Thomas.  What a wise priest.  If you don't mind my asking, which of your pre–Orthodox presuppositions did you find the most difficult to abandon?

Curiously,
Mick

Mick

After 14 years as a Mormon, I had a lot of bad doctrine I had to get away from, especially the thinking in "Mormonisms" (that is using a word commonly used by Orthodox Christians but having a different meaning to Mormons than it did to  other Christians). By putting me in the position of teaching small children and growing in the Orthodox faith, I learned the right orthodox definitions and was able to change my entire way of thinking about scripture and salvation. I learned about the value of the Charisms that Priests are given to lead us to salvation.

Thomas
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Thomas
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