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Author Topic: read 'The Orthodox Church', 'way of pilgrim', st. nikolai's Catechism, now what?  (Read 1010 times) Average Rating: 0
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KShaft
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« on: September 01, 2011, 04:07:43 PM »

 Okay. In loading up on Orthodox reading. Whats some books some may recommend after those readings mentioned above?

 Ive read St. Theophan's 'Path to Salvation' too and that was a bit much to be honest. Very dense that one. A LOT to absorb. For instance in comparison, St. Agustine's 'City of God' reads like buttah compared to that one for me. Way easier read even though that itself is nothing to scoff at.

I was thinking perhaps 'The Orthodox WAY' (not church but by same author), perhaps the first volume of the Philokila, or grab the first church father that came up and read his stuff. Im sure some guys out there can make better recommendations. It be appreciated!

Thanks,

KS
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« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 04:13:22 PM »

The Orthodox Way is definitely the next thing you should read. I wouldn't touch the Philokalia, especially if you found Theophan a bit too much.
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« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 04:29:28 PM »

I think you can skip Orthodox Way, you won't find much there that's new, at least anything that isn't stated better in Vladimir Lossky's Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church. Read On the Incarnation by St. Athanasius. It's short and very easy to read. I would also recommend lives of saints or patristic homilies, like those of St. Gregory Palamas or St. Symeon's homilies in First Created Man.
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« Reply #3 on: September 01, 2011, 04:37:47 PM »

Way of the Ascetics, by Tito Colliander. An insightful little book that discusses repentance, love, prayer, etc. Here's an excerpt...

Quote
This decision not to rely on self is for most people a severe obstacle at the very outset. It must be overcome, otherwise we have no prospect of going further. For how can a human being receive advice, instruction and help if he believes that he knows and can do everything and needs no directions? Through such a wall of self-satisfaction no gleam of light can penetrate. Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight, cries the prophet Isaiah (Is. 5:21), and the apostle St. Paul utters the warning: Be not wise in your own conceits (Rom. 12:16). The kingdom of heaven has been revealed unto babes, but remains hidden from the wise and prudent (Matt. 11:25). We must empty ourselves, therefore, of the immoderately high faith we have in ourselves. Often it is so deeply rooted in us that we do not see how it rules over our heart. It is precisely our egoism, our self-centeredness and self-love that cause all our difficulties, our lack of freedom in suffering, our disappointments and our anguish of soul and body.

How Are We Saved?, by Met. Kallistos. A short book about how Orthodox Christians view salvation. Here's an excerpt...

Quote
Any theology of salvation that concentrates narrowly on the cross, at the expense of the resurrection, is bound to seem unbalanced to Orthodoxy. While insisting in this way upon the unity of Christ’s saving economy, the Orthodox Church has never formally endorsed any particular theory of atonement. The Greek Fathers, following the New Testament, employ a rich variety of images to describe what the Savior has done for us. These models are not mutually exclusive; on the contrary, each needs to be balanced by the others.

Father Arseny, 1893-1973: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father. Story about a holy man living in Soviet Russia. Here's an excerpt...

Quote
Father Arseny prayed on and on, and felt the support and help of his friends. Gradually he grew silent.
"He is going," said someone. Father Arseny felt also that he was dying; the barracks, Sazikov, Avsenkov, Alexei, the doctor Boris Petrovich - he could see them no longer, everything had disappeared, had faded away... After some time Father Arseny felt an unusual lightness grip him and heard an absolute silence surrounding him. He grew calm. His difficulty in breathing, the mucus that had blocked his throat, the fever that had been burning his body, his weakness and helplessness all disappeared. He felt healthy and energetic.

Now Father Arseny stood by his own bunk, and on it he saw a thin, exhausted, unshaven, almost white haired man with pinched lips and half open eyes. Near the man he could see Avsenkov, Sazikov, Alexei and a few more of the prisoners whom he, Father Arseny, especially knew and loved. Father Arseny looked attentively at the man on the bunk and suddenly realized with amazement that the man on the bunk was himself. His friends who were gathered near his bunk, the enormous barracks with its numerous population, the whole vast camp - Father Arseny was suddenly seeing it all with absolute clarity. He understood that just now he could see not only their physical appearance, but their souls.

On God and Man: The Theological Poetry of st Gregory of Nazianzus, by St. Gregory of Nazianzus. It's poetry... theological poetry.  Grin  Here's an excerpt...

Quote
But I, I have not kept God's holy mysteries,
with a soul initiated in the way again to heaven,
but the dust's weight weighs me down, nor could I manage
to cast my gaze to light, when I rose from the mud
Yes, cast it! But midway there arose a cloud, blocking the view,
the flesh stirred up by a mundane spirit.
Many cares turn about in my heart, this way and that,
empty things, from a wandering mind,
casting Christ, GOd the Word, far off...
But now, while God provided every member as good, to do good things,
evil has found them an instrument toward my death.
What is this law for me? How am I bound upon earth by flesh?
How, as a body mingled with light spirit,
am I not totally mind, a pure nature, not totally
a dust of lesser things, but something else, from both, and both?
Therefore I wage an unending battle of war, with
flesh and soul opposed to one another.
I am the image of God, and am drawn to wickedness...

If you are looking for a particular type of book (or topic), let us know Smiley
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« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2011, 05:05:20 PM »

I recommend works by Father Alexander Schmemann. The reason is that some Catholics believe his work to be relevant, such as the following tha appeared on Irish Theological Quarterly:
 
Schmemann's Challenge for Contemporary Roman Catholicism

 Neil Xavier O'Donoghue, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, padreodonoghue@gmail.com

Abstract

Alexander Schmemann is widely recognized as systemizing the discipline of `Liturgical Theology.' However, he himself considered his efforts to improve the liturgical celebrations of the Orthodox Churches of North America to be the main achievement of his career. This article analyzes Schmemann's work, focusing in particular on his contribution to practical liturgical renewal, his turbulent relationship with academic theology and his view of Roman Catholic liturgy. Then the argument is advanced that today, 40 years after Vatican II and in the wake of the external renewal of the official liturgical books, Catholics are in a better position to benefit from Schmemann's life work."

I have found Father Alexander to be always inspiring, profound and thoroughly orthodox--a modern day Chrysostom, and recommend the following:

Books:
    * Great Lent: Journey to Pascha (1969)
    * For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy (1970)
    * Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism (1974)
    * The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy (1977)
    * Church, World, Mission: Reflections on Orthodoxy in the West (1979)
    * The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom (1988)
    * Celebration of Faith: I Believe... (1991)
    * Celebration of Faith: The Church Year (1994)
    * Celebration of Faith: The Virgin Mary (1995)
    * The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann 1973-1983 (2000)

Articles available on line:
http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/index.html
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/SchmemannOrdination.php


« Last Edit: September 01, 2011, 05:05:53 PM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2011, 05:15:26 PM »

I recommend works by Father Alexander Schmemann. The reason is that some Catholics believe his work to be relevant, such as the following tha appeared on Irish Theological Quarterly:
 
Schmemann's Challenge for Contemporary Roman Catholicism

 Neil Xavier O'Donoghue, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, padreodonoghue@gmail.com

Abstract

Alexander Schmemann is widely recognized as systemizing the discipline of `Liturgical Theology.' However, he himself considered his efforts to improve the liturgical celebrations of the Orthodox Churches of North America to be the main achievement of his career. This article analyzes Schmemann's work, focusing in particular on his contribution to practical liturgical renewal, his turbulent relationship with academic theology and his view of Roman Catholic liturgy. Then the argument is advanced that today, 40 years after Vatican II and in the wake of the external renewal of the official liturgical books, Catholics are in a better position to benefit from Schmemann's life work."

I have found Father Alexander to be always inspiring, profound and thoroughly orthodox--a modern day Chrysostom, and recommend the following:

Books:
    * Great Lent: Journey to Pascha (1969)
    * For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy (1970)
    * Of Water and the Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism (1974)
    * The Historical Road of Eastern Orthodoxy (1977)
    * Church, World, Mission: Reflections on Orthodoxy in the West (1979)
    * The Eucharist: Sacrament of the Kingdom (1988)
    * Celebration of Faith: I Believe... (1991)
    * Celebration of Faith: The Church Year (1994)
    * Celebration of Faith: The Virgin Mary (1995)
    * The Journals of Father Alexander Schmemann 1973-1983 (2000)

Articles available on line:
http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/index.html
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articles6/SchmemannOrdination.php




What Second Chance said. I think "For the Life of the World" is my all-times favorite.
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« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2011, 05:17:38 PM »

Here is an example of Father Alexander's deep faith, from the conclusion of his address to an Antiochian Archdiocesan convention:

"The apparent end of the renaissance is not a defeat or a failure, but an inevitable step toward victory. It has forced us on every level to discover that we are one. It has brought us together, be it sometimes only in disagreement. What we have realized is the very simple truth: that all conversations about the future organization of Orthodoxy in America would have been vain and insignificant if we were not the Church. And that we are the Church is expressed and fulfilled in our eucharistic communion. It may have been very useful, very necessary for us to discuss in detail various ecclesiastical problems. But when Christ touches us with the light and the joy of our ascension with Him to the Kingdom of God and to the table of the Lord, then we understand the real scope of Orthodoxy in America.

Defeat is transformed into victory. Death is destroyed by death. Fear is swallowed up by joy. Darkness gives way to light. Suffering becomes a way to Christ. Such, for us, is the meaning of the Church, and one cannot escape it. I do not know what each one of us is to do in the light of what has been said, but God Himself reveals to each one of us what He expects from us. Through the biblical "still, small voice" we as Christians must rediscover our faith and recover our true vocation. At the same time, let us remember that our true vocation has already been defined: "You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people." And in the uniquely beautiful words of St. Paul (I Cor. 3:22-23) "…all are yours; and you are Christ's; and Christ is God's."

The Orthodox Church , November 1983

http://shmeman.ru/modules/myarticles/article_storyid_132.html
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« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2011, 05:30:28 PM »

This short talk can also give one some idea about Fr. Alexander Schmemann's personality, faith, and manner of thinking:

http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/betweenutopiaandescape.html
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« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2011, 05:32:31 PM »


I recommend works by Father Alexander Schmemann.

    * Great Lent: Journey to Pascha (1969)


Wish someone stuck this in my hands after about a month of going to liturgy.
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« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 05:57:48 PM »

Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Fr. Michael Pomazansky
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« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 06:37:07 PM »

Whats some books some may recommend after those readings mentioned above?

The Bible and some prayer book.
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« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2011, 06:38:20 PM »

I would recommend Fr. John Romanides' Patristic Theology.


I had the privilege of reading this brilliant work quite recently, and I can only begin to express my satisfaction. Such a deep composition and yet a magnificent introduction to Orthodoxy (as well as topics neglected by other authors). It is, in my most humble opinion, among the greatest of choices for anyone slightly interested in Orthodoxy.

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« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2011, 06:48:11 PM »

Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Fr. Michael Pomazansky

I have seen this. How is it different than Met. Ware's "TOC" ?

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« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2011, 07:21:14 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



This book is crucial, not just to understand the Orthodox spirit and vibe, but realistically even for Catholics and also Anglicans/Lutherans, realistically any of the fundamentally Sacramental traditions.

Father Meletios combines psycholody, theology, and philosophy together succinctly yet eloquently to explain the human experience in the context of the God and then the Seven Mysteries as the explanation to the healing of humanity.

I would also say perhaps you are ready just to jump right into the Fathers directly, reading the writings of fathers like Athanasius, Cyrill, Gregory the Theologian, John Chrysostom, Saint Basil, etc etc.  Sometimes I have the most spiritually insightful fun just diving in randomly Smiley

Stay blessed,
Habte Selassie
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« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2011, 07:23:58 PM »

Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Fr. Michael Pomazansky

I have seen this. How is it different than Met. Ware's "TOC" ?

It's a straightforward, no-nonsense, systematic explanation of Orthodox dogma, intended for use by Orthodox Christians. I like it as a reference; I don't know if it's something you really need right now. Its contents are available online here: http://www.holytrinitymission.org/books/english/dogmatics_pomazansky.htm
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« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2011, 08:48:16 PM »

The effort put into the recommendations on this thread is significantly greater than average.  Grin Huh Cheesy
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« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2011, 09:12:58 PM »

Next?
An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith
by St John Damascene

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/
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« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2011, 09:57:32 PM »

OP, Lossky's "Mystical Theology" is a bit much for a person new to Orthodoxy. Or at least the average person. I'd read The Orthodox Way.

I'd also recommend "Bread & Water, Wine & Oil."

Schmemann's "Great Lent" and "For the Life of the World."

"The Year of Grace of the Lord" goes through the Church Year and comments on the readings, hymns. I love this book.

A great saint's life: "An Extraordinary Peace: St. Seraphim, Flame of Sarov" by Fr. Lazarus Moore.

I second "Way of the Ascetics."
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« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2011, 12:25:21 AM »

Next?
An Exact Exposition of the Orthodox Faith
by St John Damascene

http://www.orthodox.net/fathers/

Thank you for this free book post!
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« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2011, 12:29:21 AM »

The effort put into the recommendations on this thread is significantly greater than average.  Grin Huh Cheesy

To which I am most obliged.

Perhaps a sticky is in order.
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