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Author Topic: Question to people who've read a lot of books on Orthodoxy  (Read 1057 times) Average Rating: 0
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Life according to Abe Simpson:
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« on: March 16, 2005, 12:14:18 PM »

This might be kind of a weird question, but here goes...

Most of the books I've read by Orthodox authors, or about Orthodoxy have been in Russian. Because it takes me basicly twice the time to read in Russian as it does in English, I've decided that this lent I'm going to be reading English books on Orthodox saints. This desire is a bit harder to put into action than I thought. The one book I have in English on an Orthodox saint is "From Earth to Heaven, The Apostolic Adventures of St. Innocent of Alaska," by Monk Andrew Wermuth (it was a gift). It's written in a rather sickly sweet tone in my opinion, and 1/2 the time I end up grinding my teeth 2 minutes into sitting down to read.
I remember reading a few chapters from "St. Innocent, Apostle to America" many years ago at a bookstore, and it seemed much more real.
So here's my question, what books would ya'll recommend about lives of saints that don't seem over-the-top as far as "oh, he was wonderful, so he went to Alaska, and it was wonderful, because the natives were wonderful, and because they were all so wonderful he was able to spread the word of God." (not an actual quote, but in the long run thats how it reads).
Hope the question makes sense.

BTW, I realize the first book I mentioned is much shorter than the second, and so of course it can't be as detailed, however, I'm talking writing style, not content.

« Last Edit: March 16, 2005, 12:19:11 PM by ania » Logged

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2005, 06:49:23 PM »

Those books about Fr. Arseny might be good. 

I know what you mean about sickly sweet hagiographies.  I find it difficult to find books about the saints for that exact reason.

Count-Palatine James the Spurious of Giggleswick on the Naze
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Great Martyr St. John the New of Suceava

« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2005, 04:09:08 AM »


If you're interested in reading short lives of many saints then I can recommend the Romanian Patericon by Fr. Ioanichie Balan. It's not going to be so useful if you want something in depth on a single saint, though. The translation's good, the style is not saccharine and you can find it on amazon (and probably elsewhere also).

I actually recommend this book often to other Orthodox, mainly because most non-Romanians know little about Romanian saints, apart from the obvious ones like St. Parascheva, St. Paisie of Neamt (Velichkovsky) and St. John Cassian, though people often don't think of such saints as Romanian.

I hope you get a chance to dip into it at some point even if it's not what you're looking for your lenten reading.


We owe greater gratitude to those who humble us, wrong us, and douse us with venom, than to those who nurse us with honour and sweet words, or feed us with tasty food and confections, for bile is the best medicine for our soul. - Elder Paisios of Mount Athos
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