Author Topic: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly  (Read 1471 times)

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Offline Agabus

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Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« on: August 08, 2011, 07:59:34 PM »
I've noticed that a lot of the Orthodox books available on the market are written for -- how shall I say this? -- bookish people. This doesn't bother me very much, as I'm the kind of person who gets annoyed at books that don't have enough footnotes, but I have a couple of acquaintances/relations who are interested in Orthodoxy but -- while not being dumb -- have a hard time digesting concepts articulated at a level beyond what one would read at a college freshman level.

What literature would you recommend for someone who prefers something written for laymen without college degrees?

(And please no Gilquest or Gallatin. Seriously.)
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Shiny

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2011, 08:19:32 PM »
Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy - Frederica Mathewes-Green
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline Alveus Lacuna

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2011, 09:10:31 PM »
(And please no Gilquest or Gallatin. Seriously.)

If you are excluding the "aww shucks" literature, then I really don't know what to give you.

Offline Benjamin the Red

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2011, 09:15:02 PM »
What's wrong with Gallatin?
"Hades is not a place, no, but a state of the soul. It begins here on earth. Just so, paradise begins in the soul of a man here in the earthly life. Here we already have contact with the divine..." -St. John, Wonderworker of Shanghai and San Francisco, Homily On the Sunday of Orthodoxy

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2011, 09:22:49 PM »
What literature would you recommend for someone who prefers something written for laymen without college degrees?

Fr. Anthony Coniaris, Fr. Seraphim Rose, Met. Kallistos Ware, Met. Anthony Bloom, Olivier Clement, Tito Colliander, St. Justin Popovich, Fr. Stanley S. Harakas, Fr. Joseph Huneycutt, Desert Father literature, Fr. Alexander Schmemann, and Fr. John Meyendorff
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 09:23:11 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline Volnutt

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2011, 09:23:39 PM »
Father Thomas Hopko's Rainbow Series is written in pretty simple language. So is These Truths We Hold from St. Tikhon's AFAIK.

Offline Shiny

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2011, 09:31:29 PM »
If you don' want to read, listen to anything by Fr. Hopko, even if you disagree with some of his opinions he delivers them in a concise and easy to understand manner.
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline Melodist

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2011, 09:44:50 PM »
If you don' want to read, listen to anything by Fr. Hopko, even if you disagree with some of his opinions he delivers them in a concise and easy to understand manner.

This is a really good idea.
And FWIW, these are our Fathers too, you know.

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Offline Shiny

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2011, 09:45:34 PM »
If you don' want to read, listen to anything by Fr. Hopko, even if you disagree with some of his opinions he delivers them in a concise and easy to understand manner.

This is a really good idea.
Steve the Builder is pretty good too. Very practical, I enjoy listening to him. His SSA podcast was exceptional.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 09:45:56 PM by Aposphet »
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline Agabus

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2011, 09:46:02 PM »
Father Thomas Hopko's Rainbow Series is written in pretty simple language.
I had forgotten about these.

Quote
So is These Truths We Hold from St. Tikhon's AFAIK.
I did not know about this. I will look it up.

(And please no Gilquest or Gallatin. Seriously.)

If you are excluding the "aww shucks" literature, then I really don't know what to give you.
A tall order, I know. :-/
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2011, 09:50:33 PM »
EDIT--Nevermind, my joke doesn't make sense now that you changed it from Bob the Builder...
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 09:51:46 PM by Asteriktos »

Offline Shiny

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2011, 09:54:53 PM »
EDIT--Nevermind, my joke doesn't make sense now that you changed it from Bob the Builder...
Ninja edit  :police:
“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

– St. Ambrose of Milan

Offline arimethea

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2011, 10:09:36 PM »
I've noticed that a lot of the Orthodox books available on the market are written for -- how shall I say this? -- bookish people. This doesn't bother me very much, as I'm the kind of person who gets annoyed at books that don't have enough footnotes, but I have a couple of acquaintances/relations who are interested in Orthodoxy but -- while not being dumb -- have a hard time digesting concepts articulated at a level beyond what one would read at a college freshman level.

What literature would you recommend for someone who prefers something written for laymen without college degrees?

(And please no Gilquest or Gallatin. Seriously.)

This is problem that I recognized when my sister-in-law was converting. I have started writing a simple introduction to Christianity geared towards those who do not like to read (99% of the American population). The rate I have been going with it (a chapter every 3 days). It should be ready for editing this fall and, my hope is to have it on shelves sometime in 2012.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2011, 10:10:11 PM by arimethea »
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2011, 04:38:04 PM »
Father Thomas Hopko's Rainbow Series is written in pretty simple language. So is These Truths We Hold from St. Tikhon's AFAIK.

All books by Fredrica Mathews Greene, especially "Facing East", and Fr. Hopko's Rainbow series which is paint by the numbers but he never talks down to you. Excellent for a newbie.

After that, even though it has an intimidating title: "Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition"
by Michael Pomazansky .  It is written very clearly.
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2011, 04:42:39 PM »
Oh and if they really really hate to sit down and read, there is plenty Orthodox Radio on the net these days. I would send them to

www.ourlifeinchrist.com.

They have archived dozens of hour long presentations on all the hot button and basic topics. The two guys who produced them are very casual and the conversation is upbeat and decently entertaining.

www.Ancientfaithradio.com also carries Our Life In Christ plus dozens of other presentations. Send them there.
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline bogdan

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #15 on: August 09, 2011, 05:38:40 PM »
God's Revelation to the Human Heart by Fr Seraphim Rose is good for those a bit more on the philosophical side.

Learning to Pray by Metr Anthony Bloom would be good for anyone I think.

Everywhere Present by Fr Stephen Freeman is great for getting people thinking about the divine in a different way.

Offline Jake

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2011, 06:47:03 PM »
One book I keep on my bedside table is by Fr. Anthony Coniaris, Introducing the Orthodox Church.

Offline Timon

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2011, 02:06:22 AM »
im not as much of a reader as i wish i was, but i just started reading "the mountain of silence" by kyriacos markides.  its not a super quick read, but its pretty easy to understand so far. (im only 2.5 chapters in...)

it has a lot of information about the church in the context of a story which is actually pretty interesting. its not textbook style at all.  check it out and read some reviews. it was recommended to me by a priest.

i listen to podcasts more often than i read though. i seem to digest the information better that way! i enjoy "the illumined heart" podcast, but there are many to choose from.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Orthodoxy for the non-scholarly
« Reply #18 on: August 10, 2011, 04:31:34 AM »
All books by Fredrica Mathews Greene, especially "Facing East", and Fr. Hopko's Rainbow series which is paint by the numbers but he never talks down to you. Excellent for a newbie.

Even if he ain't thrilled with it anymore, the one strength is that there ain't one point in there he doesn't back up with Scripture. He ties everything to Scripture. Could help those who want "Bible based teaching", which should be everyone.

« Last Edit: August 10, 2011, 04:31:51 AM by orthonorm »
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