One Holy Church:
The Oriental and Eastern churches are called Orthodox, while the Western is described as Catholic (Universal). Christians confess; "We believe in One, Holy, Universal (fellowship of the original three Apostolic sees; Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch), and Apostolic (based on Apostolic tradition of charitable service and preaching of the 'Good News'.
Eastern Orthodox Church:
A good starter for Protestant readers is Daniel Clendenin's 'Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A Western Perspective,' Baker, 1994, he reviews the eastern tradition with a comparative theological slant. To get a better understanding of Orthodoxy, it is recommended to review Bishop Kalistos Ware's 'The Orthodox Way,' St. Vladimir SP, 1996. Ernst Benz, 'The Eastern Orthodox Church, Its Thought and Life, Doubleday, 1963, is a helpful introduction, together with 'Timothy' Ware, The Orthodox Church, Penguin, 1993. A thorough yet accessible examination of Orthodox doctrines can be sought in 'The Spirit of Eastern Christendom,' Volume 2 (The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine, University of Chicago, 1974.
To begin with, declares Fr. Schmemann; "as the orthodox spiritual tradition constitutes the self-evident criterion for the evaluation of all other 'spiritualities'. ...This trend has no particular center, geographical or personal, no unique 'starets,' no institutional form of its own. ...In that world, where the term Orthodoxy meant not faith alone but also a culture, a way of life, an all-embracing world-view, inspired and generated by faith,..."
Ascetical & Mystical tradition:
Due to inconveniences at the time of translating this little manual from French, the first chapter is obscured, the translator was wrestling with the English equivalents, and corresponding terminology, which was not yet established in the UK or USA. This first chapter is elaborated in Section IV of Part 2, in 'The Study of Spirituality,' where K. Ware, A. Louth, and S.Tugwell alternatively develop this tradition, from the desert Fathers to Maximus the confessor. Professor S. Brock excels in exposing the Syriac Tradition, from the evaluation of the writings of the Eastern Fathers.
The Essentials of Orthodox Spirituality, is the core of this booklet. Fr. Gilet goes from the 'Aim and means of Christian life,' to "The stages of spiritual life,' in seven progressive basics.
Chapters 3-5 show the integrated spirituality of Fr. Gilet, who explores the Christocentric nature of Orthodox spirituality in three remarkable chapters: "The 'Baptizing Christ', 'Christ, the Sender of the Holy Spirit,' and 'Christ, our Passover.' Orthodox spirituality is conceived and portrayed by him as 'the new life in Jesus Christ,' not the cultivation Sigma of mere techniques of prayer, fasting, or other ascetic toil in the systematic investigation of an abstract idea!
The cherished Author:
A Monk of the Eastern Church is the well-known pseudonym for Father Lev Gillet (1893-1980), who has written many spiritually helpful books on biblical and spiritual reflections. Lev Gillet, a Roman Catholic turned Greek Orthodox was united to the Orthodox Church in 1928. He became deeply inspired by Orthodox piety, and monastic spirituality. After two decades he was appointed chaplain to the Fellowship of St. Alban and St. Sergius, where he was dedicated to the cause of Christian unity. In the mid fifties he collaborated in an effort to revitalize orthodox fellowship of the youth in Lebanon and Egypt. His earlier books were translated into Arabic, and had cordial relations with leaders of those movements.