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The Orthodox Church (Simple Guides) [Paperback]

Katherine Clark
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

11 Mar 2009 Simple Guides
THIS BOOK WILL HELP YOU to appreciate the depth and beauty of the dominant form of Christianity in Greece, Russia and much of Eastern Europe to understand the tenets, nature and holy days of Orthodox belief to recognize the physical features of an Orthodox church, and the spiritual significance of icons to know what to expect and how to conduct yourself during Orthodox services and ceremonies Orthodoxy is the dominant form of Christianity in Greece, Russia, parts of Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Its practices are largely unfamiliar in the West, and have remained essentially unchanged since the earliest days of the faith. This lucid introduction outlines the tenets, nature and holy days of Orthodox belief with the Western reader in mind. It describes the physical church, especially icons, services, and common practices, and offers advice to visitors on how to conduct themselves so that they are accepted and feel comfortable. Several chapters concern the life of Jesus and the beginnings of Christianity; others trace the origins and history of the Church, with particular attention to its great champion, Constantine the Great. The present structure of the Church is described in brief, and the split between the Eastern and the Western Churches is related with differences clearly explained. The great antiquity and beauty of its liturgy, its essentially minimal hierarchy and its mystical yet pragmatic approach make the Orthodox religion a powerful medium for its profound and universal message. This deceptively simple volume takes the reader on a journey to the heart of the Christian tradition.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Kuperard (11 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857334876
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857334876
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 16.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 718,158 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Simple Guides: Religion is a series of concise, accessible introductions to the world s major religions. Written by experts in the field, they offer an engaging and sympathetic description of the key concepts, beliefs and practices of different faiths. Ideal for spiritual seekers and travellers alike, Simple Guides aims to open the doors of perception. Together the books provide a reliable compass to the world s great spiritual traditions, and a point of reference for further exploration and discovery. By offering essential insights into the core values, customs and beliefs of different societies, they also enable visitors to be aware of the cultural sensibilities of their hosts, and to behave in a way that fosters mutual respect and understanding.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple, Clear, Concise 9 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I would describe this little gem as an excellent pocket guide to the Orthodox church and the faith of Orthodox Christian believers. It covers the history, structure, beliefs and ritual of Orthodoxy in a clear and simple way. It also gives very helpful advice on what to do when visiting an Orthodox church. I would recommend this lovely little book as an introduction to anyone drawn to Orthodoxy, or indeed to any non-Orthodox person who has a desire to understand this most ancient of Christian traditions.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars contains wapping errors of fact 17 April 2009
I could hardly believe my eyes when I read this text. One of the most amusing mistakes is the statement that the Christians rejected in AD 70 the Talmud written five centuries later.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Orthodox Church: Short, Sweet and Clear 16 Oct 2010
By Archilochos - Published on Amazon.com
Religions - all of them - often do not put forth their best face to strangers, in that they can seem fusty and exclusive. In "The Orthodox Church," Katherine Clark has realized that simple explanations can make this ancient religion seem rich, persuasive, and full of beauty - whether you are a believer or not. Because the Orthodox church avoids dogma, is resistant to change, and is always welcoming without being evangelical, it can provide a window into the past as well as offer insight into contemporary problems. If you read it, your next visit to an Orthodox church will seem more comprehensible and full of beautiful ancient forms. Although I spend much time in Greece, this book has made me aware of much that I was missing. Most visitors to Orthodox countries sense that the churches and chapels are inviting, and now they'll know why.

--Jeffrey Carson
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great LIttle book! 19 April 2011
By Joshua - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great Little book! Covers a lot of history of the Orthodox church in a favorable light. I honestly couldn't put it down and that is good for a reference book. Great pictures in it as well. Very helpful to what I was looking to know from it.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the orthodox church 30 Sep 2009
By Georgia - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i have read this book and ordered it for my children to read--- they do not know greek and read only english -- this is an excellent book for the greek orthodox who wants to know his faith -- our previous wriiten and spoken religious books are in greek and i cannot understand them as well as this book...
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Covers the basics, but inferior to a number of other options 2 Oct 2012
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
The publisher Kuperard has a series of short (150-page) introductions to various religions, and Katherine Clark contributed this one for Orthodox Christianity. She discusses the basic creed of Orthodoxy (even retelling the whole life of Jesus to do so), the history of the Church and important doctrinal disputes in the early centuries, the church calendar, the structure of services (with advice on what to do if you are visiting an Orthodox parish), etc. Generally, Clark presents Orthodox belief without reference to anything outside it. Only in the last chapter does she note the differences between Orthodox Christianity and the Latins,

This book does manage to cover the basics, but it's hard to really praise it. There is some misuse of terminology (e.g. using the term "Byzantine Empire" when describing an event that happened in the 2nd century AD), a couple of questionable assertions about history (the Gospel of John was the first written, seriously?) and a convoluted and incomplete description of early heresies. The book is abundantly illustrated with icons, but they are reproduced in black and white and in small size, so they lack the ability to wow readers as in some other introductions to Orthodoxy.

Probably the only real audience for this book are institutions that are buying the whole Kuperard series. However, for individuals particularly interested in the Orthodox Church, there are better options. Timothy Ware's THE ORTHODOX CHURCH (Penguin) is the classic introduction. Readers of an academic bent will enjoy McGuckin's THE ORTHODOX CHURCH: An Introduction to its History, Doctrine, and Spiritual Culture (Blackwell). If you are coming from an Evangelical Protestant background, Peter Gillquist's BECOMING ORTHODOX speaks your language.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple Guide The Orthodox Church 12 Nov 2011
By vas5434 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
What a wonderful little book... so easy to read and understand. Now i understand the history of the church and so much more. Will buy extra copies for my children .
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