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Orthodoxy: Evolving Tradition (Cistercian Studies) Paperback – January 1, 2009
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About the Author
David N. Bell is professor emeritus of religious studies at Memorial University and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He retired as head of the Department of Religious Studies at the end of 2011. He has published some two dozen books, more than a hundred articles, and a great number of book reviews. His most recent book, published May 2014, is The Library of the Abbey of La Trappe: A Study of its History from the Twelfth Century to the French Revolution (Brepols).
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One word of warning - Mr. Bell will occasionally say some very "unorthodox" things (no pun intended). Just keep going - the skid is over with quickly, and you will soon be back on solid ground.
That being said the author, Bell, takes an almost condescending attitude toward Orthodoxy that seems to me like he treats it like a poor little sister church. He is also very generous toward the Oriental "Orthodox" churches and prefers the term non-Chalcedonian rather than monophysite in a modernist nod to political correctness. The author is a big proponent of the insidious heretical temptation of our day, ecumenism. My view, after that of St. Mark of Ephesus, St. Gregory Palamas & St. Photios the Great is mocked as "hysterical opposition" to the author's obviously more enlightened view.
All that being said, there is some useful information in the book if it is read with great discernment and doctrinal solidness. I definitely would NOT recommend it for catechumans, nominal Orthodox, or those highly ignorant of real Orthodoxy. Far better is Timothy Ware's "The Orthodox Church" especially when read with a review/corrective book from the Center for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies, the title of which escapes me at the moment.