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The Orthodox Way Paperback – September 1, 1995
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I first read an earlier edition of "The Orthodox Way" many years ago as an Evangelical Christian, shortly after I began looking into the Orthodox Church. At that time it communicated to me that something profoundly spiritual was going on in this church of "smells and bells," robes and formal liturgical worship. It introduced me to the mystery of God, and made me realize that it was important to spend less energy talking about and trying to understand God, and to spend more time getting to know him in prayer. This is where I first encountered the idea that theology in the strict sense of the word is "the contemplation of God himself."
It was this book that explained the importance of the Trinity, not only as part of the Nicene Creed, but that God has been Trinity since before the book of Genesis, and a proper understanding of him will drive how we commune with him. My first reading introduced me to new terms and concepts: apophatic approach (saying what God is not rather than what he is), apatheia (dispassion), passion (any disordered appetite or longing that takes possession of the soul), nous (spiritual intellect), nepsis (watchfulness, sobriety and wakefulness), theosis (deified, or "christified," or "made sharers of the divine nature" [2 Peter 1:4]), and the difference between the "essence" and "energies" of God.Read more ›
Let me describe some other similar books, to help you find what you're looking for. Ware's book "The Orthodox Church" introduces Orthodoxy to a Western audience, briefly covering history and some of the more common misunderstandings Westerners have. Though a little dry, it's most people's first book on Orthodoxy. Another very good book by the same author is "The Inner Kingdom," a collection of essays on various topics. In it, he doesn't cover the fundamentals of Orthodoxy, but he addresses many issues (such as environmentalism, death, confession and so on) in greater depth. And perhaps the best book on Orthodox theology is Olivier Clement's "Roots of Christian Mysticism," which makes the heart and depth of ancient Christian tradition accessible to modern readers. Hopefully one of these books is what you're looking for!
(p.s. In case you are wondering, I am not Orthodox.)
While this book is not a systematic theology of the Orthodox Christian Faith, it does expound on a lot of the beliefs held in common by all Christians and by orthodox Christianity. The author discusses various ways of looking at God or understanding God:
1. God as Mystery
2. God as Trinity
3. God as Creator
4. God as Man
5. God as Spirit
6. God as Prayer
Epilogue: God as Eternity
Each chapter has descriptive sub-chapter titles, plenty of references, and ends with a compilation of sayings and words of wisdom. A complete and extensive bibliography, list of authors, and subjects reflect the depth of Bishop Kallistos Ware's writing.
For those of you who may be intimidated by the word "Orthodox" in the title, I would mention that the style of Kallistos Ware is non-polemical, but rather padagogical and inspirational. A great companion to this book would be the "Orthodox Church" by Timothy Ware (name before becoming bishop) or Daniel B. Clendenin two books on Eastern Orthodoxy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another great book by Archbishop Kallistos Ware! Compared to "The Orthodox Church," I would say this book is easier to read as he is not interested in repeating information... Read morePublished 14 days ago by Matthew M. Casserly
Interesting. Cleared up some confusion about Eastern Orthodox beliefs and practices. I found this a good purchase, along with other related publications.Published 22 days ago by f jones
As a new convert to Orthodox Christianity, I am finding this book a very informative guide to my new faith. I also recommend Bishop Ware's "The Orthodox Church".Published 2 months ago by Dutch
Excellent resource for someone considering conversion to Orthodoxy from another faith tradition.Published 3 months ago by Born in the USA
I loved The Orthodox Church, but really disliked this book. The question that I kept asking was, "who exactly is he writing to? Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer