Author Topic: Book on the Ecumenical Councils  (Read 1285 times)

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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« on: November 26, 2009, 01:03:09 AM »
Can someone direct me toward a helpful book on the ecumenical (and other important) councils of Orthodoxy?  I am even interested in those beyond the supposed "seven", like the Council of Jerusalem in the 17th century, the one about hesychasm, et cetera.

I would like a book that gives a brief historical introduction to each council with the circumstances leading up to them, and then providing the texts produced in the councils (canons, anathemas and whatever ever else these include).

Offline Salpy

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Re: Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2009, 01:18:33 AM »
I remember getting this book a while back and finding it very readable:

http://www.amazon.com/First-Seven-Ecumenical-Councils-325-787/dp/0814656161

It's been a while, but I don't recall it having the actual texts of the councils.  You can probably find those on line, though.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2009, 01:39:05 AM »
Thanks for that recommendation.  I am aware of that book, but I do not believe that it was written by an Eastern Orthodox author, and contains some Roman Catholic biases.  The title the "first" seven implies that there were many more.  So for any other recommendations, I am interested in books with the texts from the councils.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 01:39:15 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline Salpy

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Re: Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2009, 02:38:02 AM »
Thanks for that recommendation.  I am aware of that book, but I do not believe that it was written by an Eastern Orthodox author, and contains some Roman Catholic biases. 

Just because there is a bias doesn't mean it can't be useful.  I found it useful in that it provided a lot of history surrounding the councils.  If I was able to overlook his anti-OO bias (he calls us the M-word throughout the book) I would think you could overlook whatever Roman Catholic bias he may have had.  If you are looking for something with the actual texts, though, you probably would need a different book.

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2009, 02:43:33 AM »
No such book exists in English. There are books by Protestants and Catholics. And so far as I know there is one English overview (without the actual texts) by an Orthodox Christian, The Ecumenical Synods of the Orthodox Church: A Concise History, by Fr. James Thornton.

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2009, 02:49:54 AM »
The Ecumenical Synods of the Orthodox Church: A Concise History, by Fr. James Thornton

Is it any good?  If not, what did you use to wrap your mind around the situations surrounding the councils?
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 02:50:07 AM by Alveus Lacuna »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2009, 10:02:19 AM »
No texts survive from the first two Councils, except their canons.On this good book is:
The Church of the Ancient Councils: the disciplinary work of the first four ... By Peter L'Huillier
http://books.google.com/books?id=Umse6CFnt3MC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Peter+Huillier#v=onepage&q=&f=false
Which has what you are looking for on the canons of all the first four Councils.


On the Fourth Council, there are the complete surviving texts in a good (but not free from bias) annotated translation with all you are asking for:
The acts of the Council of Chalcedon, Volume 3 By Richard Price, Michael Gaddis (Liverppol Translated Texts for Historians, a series I highly recommend).
http://books.google.com/books?id=6IUaOOT1G3UC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Council+of+Chalcedon#v=onepage&q=&f=false

The Photian Schism: History and Legend By Francis Dvornik remains the authority on the 8th Council, but the only translation (Dvormik leaves a lot in the orginal languages) is
http://web.archive.org/web/20050530090000/http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/8-9synods.html
http://web.archive.org/web/20050530090702/http://www.geocities.com/trvalentine/orthodox/dragas_eighth.html

A full, but dated, translation of the Synod of Jerusalem
http://books.google.com/books?id=G1h5ijh3YcwC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Synod++of+Jerusalem#v=onepage&q=&f=false
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 10:03:22 AM by ialmisry »
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Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2009, 08:37:31 PM »
Wow!  Thanks for all of the links!

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Book on the Ecumenical Councils
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2009, 04:23:25 PM »
How about texts of the 5th-7th Ecumenical Councils?  Something like The Church of the Ancient Councils, but that deals with the later councils and controversies?  Keep in mind that I am only interested in printed books currently for sale, not in online links to translations of the councils.