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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction to Orthodox theology, 3 July 2014
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Mr. P. G. Mccarthy (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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Well, I've really enjoyed reading Andrew Louth's little introduction. Louth is clearly quite passionate about his tradition and provides a very engaging and quite personal account. What struck me quite strongly (coming from an Anglican perspective), is just how surprising 'alien' some aspects of the tradition appear to be, especially 'Christian materialism' and the use of ikons; the use of these is justified by arguments to do with the Incarnation. The use of Scripture differs quite strongly too.

It is hard not to make comparisons. I would have thought Anglicanism more 'enlightened', but Louth is a little critical of the Western tradition; don't be too upset by that, he is bold and loves his tradition; and why not? You get a sense that this is a tradition that makes full use of ancient written sources in a way that the western churches certainly do not. The liturgy is also more fully developed, and therefore not vague. You also get a sense that this is a tradition that one can't be half hearted about; one can be a casual Anglican, but the same wouldn't apply here.

It is my guess that in the western traditions, the impact of Augustine is more strongly felt, and there is therefore more salvation anxiety (perhaps not helped by Calvin); but the Orthodox church seems to have escaped this; it is less individualistic.

But we Anglicans are keen to see our towns won for Jesus; we don't yet feel convinced that the use of ikons will have much of a role in this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last. A straightforward approach to Orthodox theology., 9 Jan 2014
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Professor Fr. Andrew Louth has produced what I expect to become a standard work for any reader interested in the Orthodox faith. He sets out his stall early on, so that we have some idea of his approach, and then throughout the book he moves one clear step at a time through each topic he chooses. I recall the late Abbess Thekla saying to me "Do you believe that Christ is God?". I responded that I did indeed believe Christ is also God. "In that case you are a true Orthodox believer - but you must still keep up your studies, so that you learn how He does it." Well, here in this book we are presented with the profound learning of an outstanding Orthodox scholar of our day who has given us an opportunity to keep up our studies. The scholarship is distilled into small pieces for those of us who have not reached the author's level of scholarship, helping us to get hold of it a piece at a time. No pomposity, just an Orthodox understanding that can only come out of great learning and a prayerful life.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Introduction, 8 Feb 2014
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CJ Craig (UK) - See all my reviews
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For those not familiar with the Eastern Orthodox Church this book is a good place to start. All the basics are there in a clear and easy read. Nothing is watered down - you get the truth presented in its fullness but it reads very smoothly. Highly recommended!
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