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Introducing the Orthodox Church: Its Faith and Life [Paperback]

Anthony M. Coniaris
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Atlantic Books (1 Mar 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0937032255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0937032251
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 15.2 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,363,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By VStam
Format:Paperback
This book is a fantastic introduction to the Orthodox church. If you are at all interested in how Eastern Orthodoxy has maintained the traditions and truth of the early church in both belief and practice, then this book is for you. It is very easy to read including quotes from church fathers, contemporary theologians and secular thinkers but each theological issue is treated with the seriousness it deserves. Fr Coniaris uses everyday examples to emphasise the key points he is making and each chapter finishes with a short summary. This book is for everyone - you don't have to be an academic to understand it but if you are, you won't feel short-changed!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  12 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Succinct & to the Point! 3 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Coniaris writes very well. Unlike Shaeffer's angry"Dancing Alone" or "Our Hearts' True Home" (tomeof 14 women's journies to the Orthodox faith) this book is a flat-out "telling it like it is" book on what Orthodoxy is without slamming other faiths. He isn't a self appointed holy man, nor does he refer to other faiths as rubbish (although he does not ascribe to them!)This isn't a defence of Orthodoxy but rather an explanation of what it is. He covers basic beliefs, holidays, sacraments, the whole gamut. It is great to have on your bookshelf as refernce!
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Interesting and Clear Presentation of Orthodox Theology 17 Jun 2003
By David Bennett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Coniaris has written what is perhaps the best primer on Orthodoxy. As an Anglican, I have often considered becoming Orthodox as our communion becomes beset with problems. Whenever I have a theological question, particularly a sacramental one, I usually consult this book first. It is highly detailed, yet simple and easily understood. A caption in the front of the book suggests it is for those curious about the Orthodox faith, and for confirmation classes, and I think it is excellent for both.
Some of the topics include The Church, Jesus, the Nicene Creed, Icons, Sacraments (i.e. mysteries), Prayer, and the Bible. Coniaris' tone is non-polemical, and he does not condemn others as he lauds the Orthodox faith. This is in contrast to Frank Schaeffer's writings, which are also intended for those discovering Orthodoxy. In some ways all 215 pages of this book read like a historical Christian commentary on major themes, because the writings and wisdom of the ancient Church are generously quoted. However, Coniaris does keep the discussion current as well. He uses many jokes and modern illustrations to explain key theological points. For instance, when describing the mystery (and difficulty) of the Trinity he tells of a boy singing in the choir of a Church that uses the Athanasian creed. When the little boy sang the 8th verse, the boy would sing under his breath, "The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, the Holy Spirit incomprehensible, ...the whole thing incomprehensible!"
Overall, this is a fine book for those exploring the Orthodox Church, those in it, and those who just want a taste of ancient Eastern Christian theology. Often in the Western churches the wisdom of Chrysostom, Gregory Palamas, Symeon, and other great theologians are largely ignored. Thus, this book has many purposes, and even if you don't read it all the way through, keep it as a reference book; there is a lot of great theology contained within.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for inquirers class! 28 Feb 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book covers the Orthodox faith in complete detail and answers questions pertaining to the doctrine and liturgy of the faith. Simply written and easy to understand. We use this text in our inquirers study class.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent reading for all those interested 6 April 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I was assigned to read this book as my introduction to the Orthodox faith for my upcoming conversion. I was surprised at the readability of the book. The author makes many modern day references to explain the point he is trying to make.

The book goes into detail about different aspects of the church to answer all your questions. It not only explains the what, but the why, people do certain things in the Orthodox Church. It has chapters devoted to praying, saints, icons, etc., explaining in detail why people do what they do with each.

If you have an interest in the Christian Orthodox faith, or are curious about why certain things are done in your church, read this book - it can only serve to make your experience more enjoyable when your questions are answered
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Intro to Orthodoxy 23 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the catechism for us average folk. Fr. Coniaris takes us into the Orthodox Church and makes all those confusing theological terms make sense. He relates the teachings of the Church to everyday life and is well-known for his edifying and sometimes amusing anecdotes. This is recommended as a good general catechism.
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