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Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future Paperback – July, 1997

3.8 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I consider it the most important book I have read on the subject to date ... I have recommended it ..." -- Constance Cumbey, author of The Hidden Dangers of the Rainbow

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Saint Herman Pr; 4th edition (July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 188790400X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1887904001
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #262,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Eugene, a.k.a. Father Seraphim Rose, was studying for a Master's degree in Chinese language so he could penetrate more deeply into the study of Chinese religion and philosophy when he converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Consequently, he understood very well Eastern religious spirituality and its relation to western religion (see "Christ the Eternal Tao"). He was not a bigot. Contrary to the beliefs of many modern people, a bigot is one who holds any opinion ignorantly and inflexibly; it is not intended to refer to those who hold certain currently unpopular opinions. There is more real bigotry in many of these reviews than Father Seraphim ever included in any of his writings. He was not a bigot, but he was enamored of a Truth, and he found the locus of this truth to be contained in the Eastern Orthodox Faith. He never said that there was no truth in other religious traditions. That being said, I understand why those who are outside this faith might have trouble with this book. The truth is, it's not addressed to them, but to the faithful of the Orthodox Church. He is not trying to insult the Charismatic who has learned to love Jesus in that context, or even the Hindu who derives strength and comfort from their religious practice, but to demonstrate the incompatability of these things with the ancient Christian Faith which Orthodox Christians hold, and is a warning to them to hold to the truths of their faith, and not to tolerate having them altered or watered down. The title does not identify Orthodoxy as "The Religion Of The Future", but instead contrasts it to this religion, which is being formed by those who have betrayed the truths of their own faith tradition in order to join with like-minded people in a congregation of those who have ceased to believe in truth.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
When first reading this book, I thought much of what Fr. Seraphim (+1982) was writing was extremist or alarmist, but I then began to realize that his arguments aren't trying to catch people in a rush of emotions. They are sober, well thought out, intelligent, and above all loving writings that seriously want to help elevate man above the non-fulfilling hum-drum world of unitarian and new age thought. Read the book with an open mind and prepare to be shaken up...I know I certainly was. Fr. Seraphim's book greatly changed the way I looked at a lot of modern "spirituality," and the dangers incurred in practicing them.
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Format: Paperback
I wish that I would have read this book when I was a teenager, about 13 years old, and just beginning to question religious and spiritual matters and investigate the Eastern, Neo-Pagan, and other religions. It's a shame that it has taken me so long to find it, but at least I finally found it! This book is an excellent discussion of the dangers of the new movements in Western "spirituality" -- such as the introduction of elements from Eastern religions, such as Buddhist meditation and Hindu yogic practices, Neo-Paganism, with its pseudo-revival of ancient demon-worship, and Pentecostalism, with its unquestioning acceptance of whatever "spirit" it is that takes possession of a man, causing him to behave in ways deeply contrary to the true movement of the Holy Spirit. Father Seraphim does a wonderful job of exposing all of this and contrasting it with the authentic, ancient spiritual tradition of the Orthodox Christian Church, the sole spiritual preserve of the Apostolic Faith.
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Fr. Seraphim Rose may have gotten his monastic name from a famously gentle Russian saint, but he had a warrior's spirit. His goal in life was to prove, by his own example, that a contemporary Orthodox Christian can still live exactly like a 3rd-century Desert Father, if only the will and the zeal were there. While doing this, he still found the time to write a number of passionate polemics (of which this book is the best-known) attacking what he saw as various forms of indulgence and temptation masquerading as "spirituality."

First, though, if you're reading this like an editorial, demanding to be convinced of the author's "correctness," this might not be for you. And, while we're on the subject, let me also suggest that this approach is unproductive. I think that, for better or for worse, people adopt beliefs by example, based on the moral authority of their role models, rather than on their philosophical "validity." We look down on huckster moralists who engage in the same hedonism they rail against when they think no one is watching. By the same token, I have to feel a certain respect for a man who backed up his beliefs by living a life of ascetic prayer in the mountains. "Agreeing" or "disagreeing" with him is not really important.

But on to the book. Its subject matter is somewhat eccentric, but that simply reflects the strangeness of various "spiritual" fads and trends in 1970s California.
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