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Rome and the Eastern Churches: A Study in Schism Paperback – Jun 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; 2nd edition edition (Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586172824
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586172824
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 14.5 x 2.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,041,163 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 11 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
Ut Omnes Unum Sint 1 April 2010
By JT - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have been eagarly awaiting this new edition of Fr. Aidan's classic work - Rome and the Eastern Churches - and I was not disappointed. This is a scholarly introduction to Orthodox-Catholic ecumenism spanning centuries and draws upon the scholarship of Byzantine specialists such as Frs. Dvornik & Gill and a spectrum of Orthodox writers. The second Ignatius edition is accompanied by an additional author's preface and remains a fine example of Fr. Aidan's thorough approach and open-mindedness, complemented by an engaging writing style.

I notice that Amazon does not have a search inside feature for this book, so here below is the table of contents to tempt prospective purchasers:

1. The Concept of Schism
2. The Church of the Assyrian Christians
3. The Church of the Oriental Orthodox
4. The Estrangement between Rome and Constantinople I: General Trends
5. The Estrangement II: The Role of the Emperor
6. The Estrangement III: The Growth of the Papal Claims
7. The Photian Schism and the "Filioque" (a 45 page treatise!)
8. Michael Kerullarios and the Issue of the Azymes
9. The Second Council of Lyons and the Notion of Purgatory
10. The Council of Florence and the Stumbling Block of Rome
11. After Florence: The Way of the Uniates
12. The Second Vatican Council and the Dialogue of Charity

This book is not only a historical treatise, it considers the situation facing each community in the present day and has helpful sources for additional reading. I would love if future editions could further consider the influence of the threat of Islam, the topic of erastianism and the challenges facing the Orthodox churches in liberal countries such as Finland and to an extent Greece and the implications of this for the wider Orthodox communion.

Finally, while the history of Orthodox-Catholic relations could be viewed as a sad picture of nationalistic divisons and political struggle, I think there is great hope for the future (although Fr. Aidan would be more hesitant). As I write this review on Maundy Thursday I pray that there will come a time, here on earth, when we may all be gathered around the one altar and truly fulfill our Lord's words "that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me"

Further Reading - On the Issue of Papal Authority

You Are Peter: An Orthodox Reflection on the Exercise of Papal Primacy - By Orthodox lay theologian Olivier Clement, recommended by Fr. Nichols (Available through Amazon)

And On This Rock: Witness Of One Land & Two Covenants ~ Exegesis on the word 'Rock' in the New Testament by Fr. Stanley Jaki (Available through Amazon)

The Keys of the Kingdom: A Tool's Witness to Truth ~ Exegesis on the 'Keys' also by Fr. Stanley Jaki (Available through Realviewbooks-dot-com) (See also his booklet on Papacy and Orthodoxy)

Conscience and Papacy (Letter to the Duke of Norfolk) ~ Books by Cardinal Newman on the papacy are a must read, his Letter to the Duke of Norfolk and Essay on the Development (1e) are available through Realviewbooks-dot-com.

There are numerous more popular reads on the topic - several published by Ignatius Press!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Must Read Written With Honesty, Charity & Humility 3 July 2010
By Scophocles - Published on
Format: Paperback
"If Westerners can learn from the riches of the East, should Orientals reject everything that originates in the treasury of the Christian West?" (136) Laced with wisdom, eloquence, and honesty, Fr. Nichols' volume is an irenic tour de force. The author leaves no stone unturned in providing an indepth and comprehensive study of the complex - and at times tragic - divisions that keep Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians from enjoying coommunicatio in sacris.

Nichols addresses many important topics and themes germane to his subject matter, including, among other things: patristic distinctions between schism and heresy, the emergence of the Papacy, the evoluation of the Ecumenical Patriarch and Pentarchy, differences in theological methodology between the East and West, nuances in Latin and Greek terminology, the cultural implications of high and low Christologies, the signifiance of the Creed and the controversial "Filioque" addition in the West, the use of leavened or unleavened Eucharistic bread, the prayer of consecration and transformation of the Eucharistic hosts, the schismatic implications of the Crusades, and other barriers to reunion. I found his volume most informative and illuminating on multiple points. It's a volume that cost me more than one highlighter.

In exploring the depth of historical theology, politics, linquistics, philosophy, and finer points of Trinitarian theology, Nichols makes a profound contribution to the hope a future reconciliation between these two apostolic traditions. Though he remains unsure as to what the future holds his work is a great encouragement - to one neither yet Catholic nor Orthodox - of the Pneumatological possibilities of reconciliation between those who claim such reconciliation with the Father through His Son.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
"Can this greatest of all ecclesiastical reunions be brought off?" 16 Jan. 2011
By Stratiotes Doxha Theon - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Fr. Nichols attempts to give the current state of affairs between Rome and the various eastern churches. Some are in complete communion with Rome, others are in union to lesser degrees, and of course the Orthodox church is the largest out of communion. With a balanced and fair assessment of the history behind east-west relations in political, theological, and ecclesiastical understanding, Fr. Nichols asserts there is great hope for that which seemed impossible not long ago. Perhaps the long night of disunion could come to an end within our own generation - though there are still substantial obstacles.

Christians of both traditions will find this balanced and candid discussion invaluable in understanding the issues to be resolved and the difficulties that lie ahead. All wishing that we be one as Jesus prayed will want to be familiar with these issues and the history behind them. As Fr. Nichols asserts, "...without historical study there can be no illumination of existing reality." Honesty in history and balance in understanding are necessary from all involved. This work is a great place to start that understanding.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The Other View 10 July 2012
By roanstephen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for the Orthodox Christian to understand the mind set of the Roman Church in this age of the thawing relationship between East and West. It clearly lays out the Roman view of the world and allows an Orthodox believer to see behind the words they speak.
8 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Rome and the Eastern Churches 5 July 2010
By John Hench - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is written as a textbook for serious students who need to know all the arcane facts about the Eastern churches. The book should be edited so that half the book is an appendix. The book has some very intersting insights about the schism in the church, and would be readable for a large audience if it were edited to half its size. The chapter on Culture halfway through the book is terrific. I believe most history buffs would give up on it after the first chapter in its present form.
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