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The Orthodox Church: New Edition Paperback – June 1, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Timothy Ware, His Excellency the Most Reverend Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia, was Spalding Lecturer of Eastern Orthodox Studies at Oxford University until his retirement in 2001.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 2 edition (June 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140146563
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140146561
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #71,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

194 of 199 people found the following review helpful By Kelli on May 14, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the best single-volume introduction to Eastern Christianity currently available. Bishop Ware's approach covers virtually all aspects of the Eastern Church -- history, theology, sacramentality, church organization, and the Orthodox diaspora with a special emphasis on rendering Orthodoxy comprehensible to Western Christian readers. Ware's approach is very ecumenical, and he frankly and even-handedly addresses the issues that unite and divide the Christian East and West. Because of his own dual background as a Westerner (he teaches at Oxford) who chose to become Orthodox, Ware is particularly well-situated to explain the wondrous and beautiful mysteries of Eastern Christianity to Westerners. While the book is in the nature of a broad overview, it actually covers the issues addressed in an impressive level of depth. The bibliography is also a great starting point for further reading and research, broken down helpfully by topic. This book is a must-read for anyone wishing to acqaint themselves with the riches of the Eastern Christian tradition.
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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful By X. Libris on January 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
"The Orthodox Church," by Timothy (Bishop Kallistos) Ware, is (and has been for decades) the number one book in the English language on the Eastern Orthodox Christian faith. It appears on virtually all recommended reading lists and bibliographies. (Not surprisingly, the number two book is "The Orthodox Way," by the same author.)
The cover states that this title is "a clear, detailed introduction to the Orthodox Church written for the non-Orthodox as well as for Orthodox Christians who wish to know more about their own tradition." I couldn't have said it better myself.
This volume is divided into two sections. Part one covers the history of the Church from the beginnings at Pentecost through Byzantium (the Seven Councils and the Great Schism), then the conversion of the Slavs, the Church under Islam, the Russian Church, and on into the twentieth century. Especially sobering is the author's summary of events surrounding the eastern European Orthodox Churches under communism. Coverage of the growth of the Orthodox Church in North America helps explain the current state of things.
Part two discusses faith and worship and covers such important topics as: Holy Tradition, God and humankind, the theology and structure of the Church, and detailed explanations of various components of Orthodox worship (including sacraments, feasts, fasts and private prayer). The final chapter, entitled "The Orthodox Church and the Reunion of Christians," explains various views within the Church concerning the ecumenical movement and the World Council of Churches, and highlights dialogues with various church bodies including Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Anglicans, and other Eastern Christian bodies such as the Coptic Church and the Armenian Orthodox Church.
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90 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Johannes Platonicus on February 8, 2001
Format: Paperback
As a Non-Orthodox Christian, I found Timothy Ware's edition of the "Orthodox Church" very helpful in coming to glimpse with the historical and doctrinal aspects of the church.
Part One of this book displays a well-defined and compact discourse concerning the Early Church, the Church of the Seven Councils, and the struggling Church in a state of siege and persecution.
Part Two makes evident the faith and worship of the Orthodox Church. In this section, Timothy Ware discusses the principles behind Orthodox Liturgy, the Sacraments, and God's relations with the individuals that constitute the invisible body of the Church. As a reader I discovered the the little things that engendered big friction between the East and the West. Also I found valuable information about the rise of communist Russia, the internal and external dissent between Orthodox Churches during this period, and the prevalence of a faith that has remained nearly unchanged throughout the ups and downs of its long history.
So I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in Church History, or for someone who simply wishes to look at the Orthodox Church from the pen of an Orthodox writter.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Labarum VINE VOICE on June 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
There has been a great surge of interest in Eastern Orthodoxy in recent years. Partly owing to the turn towards liturgical worship and historic Christianity by disenchanted Evangelicals, many have explored this great Christian tradition with a sizable number swelling its ranks. Almost without exception, one of the starting points on any such journey is The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware (now Bishop Kallistos Ware). Books listed as entry points for conversion are often polemical works but this is not the case here. Instead, Ware calmly states the position of Orthodoxy on issues facing the Church without any hint of rancor towards other Christian traditions. It is a mature understanding of the Faith of the Church that is Ware's greatest strength.
The irenic approach should not lead one to believe Ware is indifferent towards ecclesial affiliations. It is quite apparent he holds Orthodoxy as the one true Christian Faith. However, this does not lead him to wholesale condemnations of Christians in other traditions, but rather a clear contrast of the Orthodox position to those of the Western Churches.
Originally written when Orthodoxy had few converts in the West, Ware (who became Orthodox in 1958) gives an overview of Orthodox Christianity for those in the West who might find its beliefs and practices alien.
Intertwining theological and historical developments in the Church, Ware gives a highly readable analysis of the development of Orthodox doctrine and spirituality. The book is divided into two parts. The first of these presents an Orthodox view of Church history.
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