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The Orthodox Church: Second Edition Paperback – Jun 1 1993


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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: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #48,806 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

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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'All Protestants are Crypto-Papists,' wrote the Russian theologian Alexis Khomiakov to an English friend in the year 1846. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By X. Libris on Jan. 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By zonaras on July 13 2003
Format: Paperback
_The Orthodox Church_ by Timothy/KALLISTOS Ware is a history of the Orthodox Church first published in 1963. The first part of the book traces the Church's history from the First Ecumenical Council under the Emperor Constantine until the recent Communist regime in Russia and the ecumenical movement in which Orthodox churches have participated in. The main focus is on the Russian and Greek churches, and the account of the Russian Orthodox Church under Communism was particularly disturbing. The story of how the three Romes rose and fell was truly great: Rome fell apart and was overrun by barbarians, and Constantinople was ordained the new capital of the Roman Empire by Constantine, and Christianity became the official religion of the Empire. Constantinople in turn was taken by the Turks in the 1400s and became incoperated in the Ottoman Empire, which was officially Muslim but protected Christians. The Slavs and other peoples of Eastern Europe in the meantime were Christians at this time, and Moscow, the capital of Russia became the new "Rome" with the Grand Duke adopting the title "Czar" or "Caesar" in Russian. The second part of _The Orthodox Church_ outlines the doctrines, worship and positions of Orthodoxy and compares both their similarity and differences to Western Catholicism and Protestantism. The only shortcoming of this book was that it did not discuss the Nestorians and Mononphysites enough, as these ancient Christian sects broke off from the Church before the East-West schism of 1054 and remain very similar to Orthodoxy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paulette Bachynsky on April 23 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book at university thirty years ago. I now recommend it to people who ask me about the Orthodox faith as I am now a convert to the faith. Timothy Ware provides a concise overview of the Orthodox faith from a religious and historical stand point. The language and style of the book draws in the reader in making them want to absorb the beauty and strength of the Orthodox faith.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Ogara on Sept. 13 2001
Format: Paperback
When Bishop Ware first wrote this book, which was around 1970, it was truly a useful introduction to the Orthodox Church for those who know nothing about the subject. Since then, it suffers the sad fate of familiarity. Most educated Orthodox that I have met have read it, including probably almost all Orthodox clergy that are literate in English, and it has been criticized considerably in some quarters since then, particularly the sections on Orthodox eschatology, the sacraments and ecumenism. Sometimes these complaints are unfortunately and unfairly leveled based on the fact that Bishop Ware is an Anglican convert.
Given that Orthodoxy, by its nature, has no infallible living authority on what it teaches, there is going to be dispute over what is "correct." I believe that Bishop Ware wrote this book mainly to explain his faith to other Christians, and it should be appreciated on that basis; it was meant to be a starting point, not a definitive explanation of Orthodoxy. It is a good place to start on the subject, rather than with the spate of books on Orthodox spirituality that have been in vogue in the last ten years or so. If that's what you want, I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Orthodox Church is Eastern Christianity's attempt to introduce itself to Christian readers from either a Protestant or Roman Catholic background. The book is written by Timothy (Kallistos) Ware, an Anglican convert to Orthodox Christianity, making the writing clear for anyone with an English speaking background. This also helps the reader since Ware has perspective from both Western and Eastern Christianity. The book reflects an understanding of both traditions; since the Anglican tradition itself reflects the dual Protestant and Roman Catholic character of the Western Church, Ware is an ideal candidate for explaining the Eastern Orthodox Church to Western Christians of any background. Ware introduces the reader to Orthodox Christianity in two parts: history and theology. The first half of the book is dedicated to the history of the Orthodox Church and is divided chronologically from the Acts of the Apostles to the 11th Century Schism to the attacks made by the militant atheists of Soviet Russia. The second half of the book is dedicated to the theology of the Orthodox Church, looking at a very wide variety of theological issues such as the nature of God, the role of the Church and its sacraments and the requirements for a reunion between the Eastern and the Western Church. The book is accessible and easy to read but highly condensed and meant as the first point of entrance into the world of Orthodox Christianity. Nevertheless, Ware does not leave out details and the book is rich in names, dates and the specific nuances of Orthodox theological positions. The Orthodox Church is the ideal place to start for any English speaking person interested in understanding the Eastern Orthodox tradition.Read more ›
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