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Author Topic: Is there something I could read to learn Orthodox theology and doctrine?  (Read 1896 times) Average Rating: 0
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Android_Rewster
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« on: December 17, 2012, 07:51:31 PM »

 If you looked at my last thread, I'm considering becoming an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

 But it's rather hard to find a lot of information on Doctrine and Theology. Is there anything I could read or look up for information?
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« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2012, 09:05:20 PM »

If you have access to Facebook, I have some articles posted here:

https://www.facebook.com/ExcerptsOnOrthodoxy?ref=hl

Click on "about," then click on "see more" and you can scroll down to find the topics that may be of interest.



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« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2012, 09:20:55 PM »

This is the book I am reading:



It touches up on almost everything.  Some are more in-depth than others, in some cases you may feel that the discussion is a bit advanced.  It is a bit heady but really gives a lot of serious information.  I heard that Metropolitan Kallistos' book is better for beginners.  But if you feel you want a serious overview, this might be better.
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« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2012, 09:32:40 PM »

Michael Pomazansky's Orthodox dogmatic theology should keep you busy  Wink
http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0824/_INDEX.HTM

And there's Ancient Faith Radio
www.ancientfaith.com
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« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2012, 09:39:30 PM »

A book by Fr. John Anthony McGuckin was recommended.

I second it.

Lock the thread.

 Wink
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« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2012, 10:54:42 PM »

My favorite book I read when I was inquiring was The Mystery of Faith by Abp. Hilarion Alfeyev.

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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2012, 11:00:33 PM »

If you looked at my last thread, I'm considering becoming an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

 But it's rather hard to find a lot of information on Doctrine and Theology. Is there anything I could read or look up for information?

Attend as many Orthodox services (Divine Liturgy, Vespers, Matins, etc) as you can over a year, keeping your eyes and ears open, and you'll learn just about all you need.
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 11:52:56 PM »

Attend as many Orthodox services (Divine Liturgy, Vespers, Matins, etc) as you can over a year, keeping your eyes and ears open, and you'll learn just about all you need.

This can not be overstated!!!
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« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2012, 12:33:04 AM »

If you looked at my last thread, I'm considering becoming an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

 But it's rather hard to find a lot of information on Doctrine and Theology. Is there anything I could read or look up for information?

Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky is a fairly good introduction to Orthodox theology.
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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2012, 04:13:09 AM »

A sort of apophatic approach is taken in the book, based on the podcast on AFR,  Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick. He goes through many religions and then sects and cults giving a point by point comparative religions study. It's an enjoyable and easy read.

Pomozansky when you are ready for a heavier book.

And it is definitely true that the services are the best, most experiential way to understand the theology. A good sit-down with a priest would help too.
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« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 12:24:38 PM »

A great guide to Orthodox Spirituality:

http://orthodoxwayoflife.blogspot.ro/2010/07/orthodox-spirituality-by-fr-dimitru.html

And PDF: http://www.stgeorgegreenville.org/OurFaith/Orthodox%20Spirituality/Orthodox%20Spirituality%20-%20Commentary.pdf
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« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 01:39:05 PM »

Attend as many Orthodox services (Divine Liturgy, Vespers, Matins, etc) as you can over a year, keeping your eyes and ears open, and you'll learn just about all you need.

This can not be overstated!!!

...unless the only Orthodox churches accessible serve mostly or exclusively in a foreign language.  But even then, attending services and actually making contact with an Orthodox priest is much more productive than reading on its own.
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 02:16:59 PM »

A sort of apophatic approach is taken in the book, based on the podcast on AFR,  Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick. He goes through many religions and then sects and cults giving a point by point comparative religions study. It's an enjoyable and easy read.

Pomozansky when you are ready for a heavier book.

And it is definitely true that the services are the best, most experiential way to understand the theology. A good sit-down with a priest would help too.

Highly recommended!

I went through a bunch of stuff on Ancient Faith Radio.  If you commute to and from work and if you have a smartphone with a decent data plan or you can just download it at home and put it in you mobile music player, you can listen to the following:

1. At the intersection of East and West - all are excellent intros, but at the very least go through the discussion on the 7 Ecumenical Councils
2. Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy - listen to all of them
3. The Illumined Heart - this is a radio talkshow format podcast where there are guests who would discuss a topic.  There are a lot of material here and you can just go and look for the subjects that interest you.  My being ex-Roman Catholic, currently Eastern Catholic, I listend to the interviews of Roman and Eastern Catholic converts.  You can also listen to the interview with Met. Kallistos.
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 02:43:34 PM »

If you looked at my last thread, I'm considering becoming an Eastern Orthodox Christian.

 But it's rather hard to find a lot of information on Doctrine and Theology. Is there anything I could read or look up for information?

Attend as many Orthodox services (Divine Liturgy, Vespers, Matins, etc) as you can over a year, keeping your eyes and ears open, and you'll learn just about all you need.

This, this, this and this. 

I know you still want book recommendations, and I'll give you the one I think is the absolute best on the subject, but at the end of the day, I became Orthodox when I stopped worrying about reading and just started living the Sacramental Life of the Church.  Attend all the services you can, listen closely to the hymnody and the services, and you will learn everything you need.  It's all there.

The best book I have read on Orthodox theology and practice is Father Anthony Coniaris' "Introducing The Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life."
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 02:44:46 PM »

A sort of apophatic approach is taken in the book, based on the podcast on AFR,  Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick. He goes through many religions and then sects and cults giving a point by point comparative religions study. It's an enjoyable and easy read.

Pomozansky when you are ready for a heavier book.

And it is definitely true that the services are the best, most experiential way to understand the theology. A good sit-down with a priest would help too.

Highly recommended!

I went through a bunch of stuff on Ancient Faith Radio.  If you commute to and from work and if you have a smartphone with a decent data plan or you can just download it at home and put it in you mobile music player, you can listen to the following:

1. At the intersection of East and West - all are excellent intros, but at the very least go through the discussion on the 7 Ecumenical Councils
2. Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy - listen to all of them
3. The Illumined Heart - this is a radio talkshow format podcast where there are guests who would discuss a topic.  There are a lot of material here and you can just go and look for the subjects that interest you.  My being ex-Roman Catholic, currently Eastern Catholic, I listend to the interviews of Roman and Eastern Catholic converts.  You can also listen to the interview with Met. Kallistos.

Let me add to this Stephen Robinson and Bill Gould's excellent "Our Life in Christ" podcasts.  They are not making any new ones, but the archives are there, and they are awesome.
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2012, 06:07:07 PM »


+1...just started this one!

The best book I have read on Orthodox theology and practice is Father Anthony Coniaris' "Introducing The Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life."

+1....especially for the new one

As for AFR, I also found "Foundations of the Orthodox Faith" with Fr. Andrew S. Damick&"Worship in Spirit&Truth (commentary on the Divine Liturgy)" with Fr. Hopko very helpful as well.
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 06:19:49 PM by Margarita » Logged
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2012, 06:29:44 PM »

There are a number of free books -- including Ware's The Orthodox Church and Pomazansky's Dogmatic Theology -- available in HTML and .doc formats if you have an ereader here.
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« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2012, 09:17:32 PM »

Android Rewster: As somebody who is currently on the journey as well, I'll give you a couple of tips from my experience.

A book that I have found to be very helpful is one already recommended: Father Anthony Coniaris' Introducing The Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life.  It combines easy reading with very practical teachings.  While it doesn't cover any particular topic greatly in-depth, it hits on everything important to Orthodoxy. 

I have Kallistos Ware's book The Orthodox Church to be enlightening about who the Orthodox are.  His book The Orthodox Way was a very good read for discovering more about doctrine.  It is more in depth than Fr Anthony Coniaris' book, but doesn't cover as many topics.

Like others have said here, one of the best ways to learn it is to simply attend Divine Liturgy at a parish and get to know a priest.  Schedule meetings with him and ask lots of questions.  That's what I've done and have found, as others have said, that when it stops being about learning about Orthodoxy and more about living Orthodoxy, you may find yourself drawn to it.  I have.
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« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2012, 09:21:38 PM »

Welcome to the forum Android_Rewster (though I see you've been here a while... but nonetheless, hello!)

...and candora, welcome as well Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2012, 04:25:18 AM »

Welcome to the forum Android_Rewster (though I see you've been here a while... but nonetheless, hello!)

...and candora, welcome as well Smiley

Asteriktos has written some excellent articles about Orthodox doctrine and faith. Maybe he can post a link to them.


Selam
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« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2012, 06:21:43 AM »

Asteriktos has written some excellent articles about Orthodox doctrine and faith. Maybe he can post a link to them.


Selam

Here, Here!  Please post the link!  Btw, interesting avatar Asteriktos
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« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2012, 09:01:22 AM »

I'm guessing this thread is being referred to  angel
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« Reply #22 on: December 23, 2012, 06:43:33 AM »

I'm guessing this thread is being referred to  angel

Yes! Give thanks Asteriktos. BTW, have you been culling these articles into a book? If you need some advice about self-publishing, PM me.


Selam
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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2012, 09:43:06 AM »

I'm guessing this thread is being referred to  angel

Thanks for the hit of knowledge  Cool
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« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2012, 09:59:34 AM »

All books of Archimandrite Zacharias are awesome:

-Remember Thy First Love (Revelation 2:4-5): The Three Stages of the Spiritual Life in the Theology of Elder Sophrony
-The Enlargement of the Heart: Be ye also enlarged (2 Corinthians 6:13) in the Theology of Saint Silouan the Athonite and Elder Sophrony of Essex
-Christ, Our Way and Our Life: A Presentation of the Theology of Archimandrite Sophrony
-The Hidden Man of the Heart (1 Peter 3:4): The Cultivation of the Heart in Orthodox Christian Anthropology
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« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2012, 04:40:13 PM »

I am surprised that Met Kallistos Ware's book The Orthodox Way has not yet been mentioned.  This is the first book I would put into the hands of an inquirer.
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« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2012, 08:33:42 PM »

 I've borrowed "Orthodoxy" by G.K. Chesterton. I hope that one's okay.
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« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2012, 08:50:03 PM »

I've borrowed "Orthodoxy" by G.K. Chesterton. I hope that one's okay.

That one isn't about Eastern Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2012, 04:56:36 AM »

I've borrowed "Orthodoxy" by G.K. Chesterton. I hope that one's okay.

That one isn't about Eastern Orthodoxy.

Right. Great book, but it's not about the Orthodox Faith. Chesterton converted to Catholicism from Anglicanism. But he did identify himself as an "orthodox" (little "O") Christian.



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« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2012, 02:42:40 PM »

 Ah. Bummer.

 Okay, well I'll definitely look at the stuff you guys have recommended! Thank you for all the replies! Smiley
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« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2013, 01:54:06 PM »

Ah. Bummer.

Just about everyone seems to like Chesterson's Orthodoxy so I don't think you made a bad choice even though it isn't about Eastern Orthodoxy. Let us know how did you like it. Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2013, 11:38:15 AM »

I just finished Father John Romanides' "Outline of Orthodox Patristic Dogmatics."  It is not a really easy read, but it is rather short, and is very, very good.

The section on Ecclesiology is worth the price of admission by itself.
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