Learn more Download now Shop now Learn more Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Best of 2017 Shop now Shop now



on 1 October 2011
I agree with the person who reviewed the Kindle version of the book. Although I do not have a Kindle, the footnotes to the book are important and not just ancillary or scholarly. You need to read them and if the Kindle version is not good, then you have a problem with this book.
The book itself is an excellent introduction to Orthodox Christianity. When I received it, I devoured it. In some respects it surpasses the Kallistos Ware book on Orthodoxy not because it is better in overall content but, because it is very full and directed towards the ordinary Christian reader in, perhaps, a more straightforward way. It suffers at time from a certain bad-temperedness when Fr. McGuckin feels strongly about something. Kallistos Ware's introduction is rather more temperate, and frankly more English in its evenness of tone, but this is more a matter of taste than anything else.
The one problem, however, facing most apologists of Orthodox Christianity is to explain why Orthodox Christianity is supposed to be better than Western Christianity, especially in the aftermath of the Enlightenment in the West. Most Orthodox apologists say that Orthodoxy is less polluted, so the speak, by the Enlightenment and, therefore, is an more original version of Christianity. This is undoubtedly true viewed from an historical and theological point of view but it does not explain why Orthodoxy is a more convincing version of Christianity. One is left with the suspicion that Orthodoxy has, not, in fact, dealt with the challenges of the Enlightenment. One hates to say it but this may give rise to suspicions that Orthodoxy is just native to parts of Europe that have not been affected so much by modern thinking (Eastern Europe, Russia etc.) and, therefore, despite its impressive antiquity and faithfulness to tradition, it is, let us say, just a tad behind the times but I don't want to be a snobbish old Western thinker. Neither McGuckin or Ware really tackle this problem head on and until they and fellow apologists of Orthodoxy do, Orthodoxy will continue to be fascinating but merely esoteric to outsiders.
0Comment| 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 March 2011
The content of the book may be very good, but the Kindle version is a disaster. Each chapter has endnotes (sometimes over 200) and many of the notes are not simply references, but contain significant discussion of points raised in the text. There is no easy way to move between body text and notes - there is no hyperlinking so unless you are able to remember several location numbers simultaneously in order to jump back and forth the Kindle text is useless for serious study. Buy the book, by all means, and profit from it, but don't waste money on the Kindle version. Shame on the publishers who released this, and shame on Amazon for retailing such a shoddy piece of work.
11 Comment| 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 September 2011
This is a book for the Orthodox and non Orthodox alike.

Professor McGuckin, himself an Orthodox Priest, explains with great clarity the structure and history of the Church; the importance of the seven early councils and the writings of the Church Fathers. The division of the Eastern and Western Churches are set out with the Orthodox Church having a collegiate structure as opposed to the Roman model of a supreme Pontiff. This conflict over authority in ecclesiastical jurisdiction was as much a cause of the Great Schism of 1054 as the disagreement over the Western insertion of the Filioque clause to the Nicene Creed.

He reveals the doctrines, sacraments and liturgies while pointing a way forward for Orthodoxy in the modern world while retaining its Holy Tradition.

This book will inspire and refresh all those searching for a greater and loving spirituality in our increasingly material and secular world.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 16 July 2011
This book provides an excellent introduction to the history and beliefs of the Orthodox churches. It is very informative and gives a flavour of orthodox spirituality and approach to prayer from an author who obviously writes from the heart as well, as from the head. The book shows a depth of scholarship. My only criticism of the book is about what it does not cover and include as it does not discuss the perspectives, beliefs and critiques of Orthodoxy of non Orthodox Christians. However, I would strongly recommend this book to anyone with a serious interest in Orthodoxy and it has certainly increased by desire to know more about the Eastern Orthodox churches.
0Comment| 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 4 February 2015
very good
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 1 February 2016
Masterful
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse

Sponsored Links

  (What is this?)