Author Topic: Reading/online sources for learning Orthodox basics - recommendations?  (Read 1092 times)

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Offline Deborah

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Hello,

What books, catechisms or online sources would you recommend for (a hypothetical) someone interested in Orthodoxy who comes from a Calvanistic Protestant Christian background?  This person knows a few isolated facts about Orthodox faith and practice, but gets it confused with and has trouble teasing what they know about Orthodoxy apart from the beliefs of their former faith tradition.  They can only get to Orthodox services a handful of times a year because of distance, doesn't know any Orthodox Christians in their area, and is in contact with a priest who can answer the odd question, but doesn't have time to conduct a one-on-one long distance catechesis.

They are wanting a solid, even grounding on the basics of Orthodox Christian faith, belief and practice.  Something reasonably concise, to-the-point and easy to understand.  What materials would you point them to?  Thanks :)
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 08:04:31 PM by Deborah »
Live in South/East Auckland, Franklin or North Waikato regions of New Zealand? Interested in Orthodoxy? Need transport to an Orthodox Church? Want to meet others? Please send me a PM :)

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Offline TheTrisagion

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I suspect I will get flamed for this recommendation, but I found a very good, basic introduction to Orthodoxy to be:

The Illumined Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation by Frederica Mathewes Green

It is not deep and heavy, it gives a good overview of Orthodoxy and why it has the beliefs that it does.  It is a good starting point.
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Offline Tommelomsky

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The Orthodox Way by Metropolitan Kallistos Ware. It is great (just don`t recommend him-her the danish version, it drove me almost mad).
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Offline lovesupreme

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The OCA has Fr. Thomas Hopko's complete The Orthodox Faith series for free on its website. These are the same books that I went through during my catechism. Fr. Hopko has an interesting writing style that occasionally obscures his message, but they're overall very readable and basic.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 10:25:17 PM by lovesupreme »

Offline Tommelomsky

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The OCA has Fr. Thomas Hopko's complete The Orthodox Faith series for free on its website. These are the same books that I went through during my catechism. Fr. Hopko has an interesting writing style that occasionally obscures his message, but they're overall very readable and basic.

Yes, my priest recommended me the Rainbow series (catechism) and I can also recommend it.
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Offline Fotina02

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Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life.
By   Anthony M. Coniaris
http://www.regels.org/orthodox-catechism.htm

Covers basics, good intro.

Offline Arachne

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If they have a Kindle, or the Kindle reading app for PC or smartphone, I recommend Clark Carlton's The Faith and The Life. Most Protestant converts become familiar with The Way (aka 'pitching Orthodoxy to the Evangelical crew') but the other two, that focus on Orthodoxy in itself, are more useful.
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Offline katherineofdixie

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If they have a Kindle, or the Kindle reading app for PC or smartphone, I recommend Clark Carlton's The Faith and The Life. Most Protestant converts become familiar with The Way (aka 'pitching Orthodoxy to the Evangelical crew') but the other two, that focus on Orthodoxy in itself, are more useful.

Yes, Carlton's books really seem to resonate with my evangelical and Calvinist friends. I think he must be speaking their language.  ;)

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Offline mabsoota

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if you want to buy a proper academic course, you can try here:
http://www.lsocs.co.uk/

they do distance learning and i know some of the course writers, who are serious scholars who write extremely well.

Offline stavros_388

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I believe you can read much or all of Protopresbyter Michael Pomazansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology online here:

http://www.intratext.com/X/ENG0824.HTM

Note: Hide concordance links for easier reading.

I own the book, and it is clear, thorough, and concise (if a little dry at times).



Offline WPM

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'The Orthodox Church' by Sergius Bulgakov.

Offline Jeremy

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The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware: This goes into a lot of the history of the OC, which is very important and helpful to know.

How Are We Saved? by Timothy (Kallistos) Ware: This book is easy to read and succinctly, clearly describes the OC views on justification, sanctification, sin, human sinfulness, and overall salvation. I'm about halfway through it now, so I can't give a fuller idea of the book at this time. The author makes sure to point out specifically how the OC differs from Roman Catholic, Lutheran and Calvinist theology in this area, though I suspect it doesn't exhaustively cover these differences.

Offline Deborah

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TheTrisagion, Tommelomsky, lovesupreme, Fotina02, Arachne, katherineofdixie, mabsoota, stavros_388, WPM, Jeremy - thanks very much for the book, online and course recommendations.  A few of those items I've had my eye on for a long time, and I know that my friend will enjoy them as well. :) 

Thanks again
Deborah
Live in South/East Auckland, Franklin or North Waikato regions of New Zealand? Interested in Orthodoxy? Need transport to an Orthodox Church? Want to meet others? Please send me a PM :)

"You have made us for yourself, Lord; and our hearts are restless until they rest in You" - St. Augustine (my patron saint)

Offline IoanC

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This is not exactly a Catechism, but it's probably what you would learn after catechism or in conjunction with it. A guide to Orthodox spirituality from the teachings of Theologian Fr. Dumitru Staniloae which is available in print, as well. Pdf is at the following link:

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

Offline c.warren165

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The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Christian Theology.

I think this book is awesome.  It's not gonna get you started with practice, but is pretty comprehensive in scope.  Starts with an historical introduction, has 10 chapters on Doctrine and Tradition, and 8 chapters on contemporary theology.

This is for a more academic approach - I have learned a lot from it.

It covers all the basics, covering various schools of thought among theologians, always relating everything back to scripture and the fathers.

-Cody

« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 09:20:39 PM by c.warren165 »
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