Orthodoxy and Western Christianity: On Western Christianity
These articles are relevant to all "Western Christians"Roman Catholics or Protestants.
Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy, a collection of articles
from the ROCOR Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, DC.
Theology and Mysticism in the Tradition of the Eastern Church, by Vladimir
Lossky. Introduction to his book The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church.
Way Apart: What is
the Difference Between Orthodoxy and Western Confessions? by Metropolitan
Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of Kiev and Galic.
The Difference Between Orthodox Spirituality
and Other Traditions: Metropolitan Hierotheos (Vlachos) of Nafpaktos.
More information on his books and various articles.
Historical Study of Orthodox Theology: Some Basic Guidelines. Lecture
1 from Orthodox and Roman Catholic Relations From the Fourth Crusade
to the Hesychastic Controversy. by Archbishop Chrysostomos.
Franks, Romans, Feudalism and
Doctrine: an outstanding set of three unabridged lectures by Fr. John
Romanides (originally published in 1981 by Holy Cross Press). Provides
a much needed corrective to the typical Western understanding of the Roman
Empire and the history of the Christian Church.
The River of Fire, by Dr. Alexander Kalomiros.
Original Sin According to St. Paul: Fr. John S. Romanides.
On this see also the following three-part essay published in St. Vladimir's
Seminary Quarterly, by David Weaver: "The Exegesis of
Romans 5:12 Among the Greek Fathers and Its Implications for the Doctrine
of Original Sin: The 5th-12th Centuries" (Vol. 27, No. 3, 1983 &
Vol. 29, Nos. 2-3, 1985). Part I in Vol. 27 is titled "From Paul
to Augustine: Romans 5:12 in Early Christian Exegesis."
The Cure of the Neurobiological
Sickness of Religion, by Fr. John Romanides.
Are Protestantism and Roman Catholicism
Heretical? A timely compilation given some of the false teaching
prevalent in some Orthodox circles these days.
The Blessed (Saint) Augustine of
Hippo. His Place in the Orthodox Church: A Corrective. This is a compilation
of a variety of articles and excerpts from the Fathers dealing with the
proper Orthodox view of St. Augustine.
The Non-Orthodox: The Orthodox Teaching on Christians Outside
of the Church: by Patrick Barnes. My humble attempt to answer
a common question of inquiring Protestants and Roman Catholics.
“Monogamous Communion”: A Defense of “Closed” Communion, by Fr. Michael Shanbour.
The Ancestral Sin. Many thanks to Father Gregory Telepneff for alerting me to this new book by
the late Father John Romanides. Father Gregory writes:
"This book is a translation of Fr. Romanides' doctoral dissertation from Thessaloniki decades ago.
Readers of his various articles will recognize many of his favorite themes
from Patristic theology.
"Theologically, the scope of this work is very broad. Although primarily a book contrasting the
Patristic doctrine of Ancestral Sin with the Western, juridical notion
of Original Sin, it necessarily also, as you can see from the back cover
statement (below), traces fundamental ideas on theological anthropology,
soteriology, and the Essence-Energies distinctionideas which are at the
heart of the profound theological differences between Orthodoxy and the
"I regard this work, frankly, as an essential read for an understanding of Orthodox theology.
It strikes even deeper than Lossky's otherwise fine Mystical Theology."
The Roman West and the Byzantine East, by Archbishop Chrysostomos and
Bishop Auxentios. Available from The Center
for Traditionalist Orthodox Studies. This is a superb, short treatment
of general differences between East and West. "This little book takes
us back to the quest for truth and tells us why we Orthodox believe that
our Church is true to the Church established by the Apostles, why she
has historical and spiritual primacy. It does so by pointing out differences
and by the bold proclamation of Orthodoxy's uniqueness." [from the
back cover]. Also, I cannot resist including this excerpt from p. 10:
"All history, one might say, is artificial... The Western view of
the Christian past, however, is particularly artificialit
is a rather a "whopping lie," as the modern idiom would have
it, if only because it ignores the historical experience of more than
half of the Christian world, the Christian East, from which Western Christianity
itself derives! Yet, it has gained such ascendancy that one is hesitant
to challenge it. It is so ubiquitous that even Eastern Christians, especially
those living in the West, often embrace it themselves. And if they do
not, in fact, embrace it as their personal view, they often feel compelled
to speak within its framework in trying to present their own perspectives
on the Christian past. The Western view has, indeed, become triumphant,
despite its inadequacies in accounting, as we shall see, for a vast part
of Christian history."
The Collected Works of Georges Florovsky. Vol. XIII,
Ecumenism I: A Doctrinal Approach. Vaduz,
Europa: Bchervertriebsanstalt, 1989. I cannot too highly recommend this
book. Father Florovsky is one of the most noteworthy scholars of
the twentieth century. He was a man very well acquainted with Protestant
thought. Practically every chapter is loaded with insights that are applicable
to the Reformation, the Church, and Orthodoxy. Though out of print, some
of the volumes in his Collected Works can still be found in Orthodox
Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A Western Perspective,
by Daniel Clendenin. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1994. A very lucid and helpful
introduction to the Orthodox Church for a Westerner. Written by a fairly well-informed
evangelical protestant. It contains very good footnotes and an extensive bibliography. The
only drawback is that he does not deal with the two major areas of ecclesiology and
sacraments. See also his Eastern Orthodox Theology: A
Contemporary Reader. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1995, which is a good
supplement to his first book. It contains a collection of hard to find classic
articles and chapters from books by Orthodox theologians.
Dancing Alone: The Quest for Orthodox Faith in the Age of False
Religions, by Frank Schaeffer. Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Press, 1994. Frank Schaeffer is the son of
the late Dr. Francis Schaeffer. The first half is a jolting polemic concerning the
problems in Western Christianity, followed by a thorough treatise of the author's
solution: Eastern Orthodoxy. Though often unfair and sweeping in some of his criticisms of
the West, Frank has done an excellent job of stirring people up to consider the
"western dilemma" and to seriously consider a discovery of the riches of the
east. Worthwhile reading, but beware of polemic overgeneralizations and attitudes that are
often not accepted by many seasoned Orthodox Christians.
Truths regarding the creation ex nihilo, the destiny of man, Adam's sin and fall, the origin
of death, soteriology and God's relations with the world were exposited
as the doctrines of the primitive Church by the Apostles and post-Apostolic
Fathers of the first and second centuries. Hindered by the paradigms of
post-Augustinian thought, Western Christianity has rarely understood these
doctrines that predate by several centuries the commonly held juridical
ideas of original sin and atonement.
From the backmatter for The Ancestral Sin