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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Orthodox Way
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 20 November 2015
A superb introduction to Orthodox Christianity. A book that is very much written for the lay reader but that also manages to convey the deep richness of the Orthodox spiritual way. For those of us who are western, and thus unfamiliar with the Eastern Orthodox Church, the book unearths the various differences in theology and praxis between the eastern and western church, but without confusing the reader with terminology or comprehensive theology. Such differences, can be in certain respects, rather astounding and very thought provoking indeed, but without losing the essential fundamental similarities that all Christian churches/ denominations hold. Orthodoxy is a beautiful but simple form of Christianity where the church is considered a hospital for its flock as opposed to a court of law, which unfortunately can often be the perspective in western Christendom. Orthodoxy seems to offer that middle way between the sole authority of the church ( Catholicism) and the sole authority of the individual (Protestantism). Therefore the book is an essential read for those whom wish to broaden their perspectives of Christianity. A particular orthodox teaching that stands out for me is that a God of love does not create a place called Hell. Conversely, Heaven and Hell are the same place, they are being in the presence of God, and it is the person's own perspective of being in this presence that makes such an experience either Heaven or Hell...wow!
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on 2 June 1999
Bishop KALLISTOS (Ware), famous for his companion volume "The Orthodox Church", presents in this offering a comprehensive approach to Orthodox spirituality. While "Church" deals with the history, organization, structure and basic theology of the Orthodox Church, "Way" is concerned exclusively on the Orthodox spiritual life -- the Orthodox "way" of spirituality. Having said that, since Orthodox theology is in its essence mystical and closely related to spirituality, KALLISTOS' book covers much spiritual theology from the Orthodox perspective. This is not a complicated treatise for experts, but a readable, usable guide for everyone wishing to uncover the incomparable glories of Orthodox spirituality. A tremendous guide to Orthodoxy "from the inside out".
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on 15 March 2017
Do you need more then religious info ? Meet the Way !
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on 26 August 2009
I bought this book whilst browsing through a cathedral bookshop a number of years ago. It literally changed my life. 2 years later I was received into the Orthodox Church and have never looked back. There were many threads leading to this conclusion but foundational among them was reading this book. Timothy Ware is an English born Bishop of the British Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and is better known to the Orthodox as Metropolitan Kallistos (his 'church' name). He, too, undertook a journey of faith and theology into the Eastern Orthodox Church as a young man and this book contains the fullness of his experience and wisdom in producing a characteristically succinct account of 'how' the Orthodox conceive Christian theology. His companion book, 'The Orthodox Church', contains more about the history and organization of the Church leaving this book to examine the underlaying beliefs common amongst all the different Orthodox jurisdictions (Greek, Russian, Serbian etc..).

It's not a long read, and I devoured it in an afternoon, but it leaves you thinking.
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on 6 December 2010
This is a basic must have book (along with the Orthodox Church by Ware as well) by a man many look to around the world as a sort of "pope" of the Eastern Orthodox Church, well academic wise. Almost any college with a comparative religions class will assign the Ware books the Orthodox Church and the Orthodox Way as a starting place for understanding a major branch of the now three branch Christian church of Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

I heard this man speak not that many years ago in my town. He is a delightful leader and thinker for many around the globe. This is a book that needs to be on your shelf at home.
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on 1 November 2010
Although I am not Eastern Orthodox, I can highly recommend this book to any Christian. It is clear about Orthodox doctrine, and presents it in a very appealing way: it is clear that Bishop Kallistos lives and loves his faith. He is also very well read, both in and outside the Orthodox tradition, and at the same time a good communicator. Buy it! Also, have a look at an even smaller book by him "The Power of the Name" on the Jesus prayer - brilliant stuff!
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on 4 March 2013
The book and contents as a whole are more than ok. It is the condition that disappointed me. It had pen marks, comments, words hi-lighted so the description was not correct
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on 22 December 2013
A very well written book, explaining with care and sensitivity the basic outlines of Orthodox belief and spiritual practice. A lovely variety of source material is also used and cited for those wishing to explore the themes of the book in greater detail. Well worth having on your bookshelf
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on 31 October 2015
A very clear, succinct and impactful explanation of Orthodox Christianity which not only makes perfect sense but also answers those doubting questions and contradictions which exist in post-reformation western Christianity.

If the Disciples could be transported through time to visit modern churches, there's no question that they would find the Orthodox Church's liturgies recognisably familiar to their first century worship.

Kallistos Ware does a great job of explaining esoteric theological concepts and making them accessible to the lay people. The book has a good structure which builds progressively in each chapter.

Without being critical of the Roman Catholic and protestant churches, the author makes it very clear what has been lost from their versions of Christianity over the 1000 years since the schism.

The quotations and reference notes (comprising almost half the page count) are impeccable.

I found this book so enjoyable and inspiring that as soon as I finished it I went back to the beginning and started reading it again. I can't say that about many books! Very highly recommended.
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on 3 September 2016
“The Orthodox Way” is Bishop Kallistos Ware's sequel to “The Orthodox Church”, published under his lay name Timothy Ware. The term Orthodox refers to Eastern Orthodoxy, i.e. the churches in communion with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople. These include the national churches of Russia, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria and Romania. Kallistos was British and served the Greek Orthodox Church in Britain. His bishop title was honorific, Kallistos being the bishop of Diokleia in Asia Minor, an ancient town which no longer exists (!).

While “The Orthodox Church” is an easy read and a popular introduction to the history and faith of Eastern Orthodoxy, “The Orthodox Way” is more difficult and theological, albeit not as hard as Vladimir Lossky's “The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church”. Bishop Kallistos' book could perhaps be described as a series of personal reflections on the Orthodox tradition. While the author never strays very far from that tradition, he is irenic and frequently references Catholics, Jews, Anglicans (including C S Lewis) and even Origenes and Jacob Boehme. Hibernating Renaissance Platonists might find some chapters interesting.

People with a “rationalist” approach to faith will not. Ware never attempts to prove the Orthodox faith “rationally”. Instead, he appeals to experience, both our immediate experience of the world as meaningful and beautiful, and more specific experiences such as mystical vision and the transformation of mortal man through a life of prayer. Above all, Ware emphasizes the experience of love: between man and God, between two humans, and within the human community. While Ware calls himself a “panentheist”(pan-en-theist), his Orthodox faith is rather classically theist, with a permanent ontological distinction between man/matter and the divine. It's not clear why he chooses the problematic term “panentheism” to describe it. Perhaps the author wants to emphasize that Christianity believes in the inherent goodness of matter and doesn't want to escape it, but rather to elevate it. Humans aren't reincarnating souls temporarily inhabiting physical bodies, but unique individuals consisting of both body, soul and spirit. Even God, who is pure spirit, took a human body in the incarnation. Matter is therefore a “natural” part of reality. Of course, this celebration of the material is tempered by a strong ascetic streak. The way to elevate matter to heavenly status goes through a struggle against “sinful flesh”. Ware is Orthodox, but evidently not a supporter of Radical Orthodoxy!

An important theme for Ware is criticism of industrialization and environmental destruction. Respect for Nature, which is God's creation, is emphasized. Humans are “above” Nature in the sense that they can communicate directly with God, but they are not some kind of despotic overlords. Rather, humans are a kind of midwives for Nature's elevation to the Divine. When humanity is redeemed, Nature is redeemed with it. Nature worships God through humanity, since humans are self-conscious and have free will. Humans can change Nature and hence perfect it, but Kallistos connects this with God and the sacraments, rather than with scientific attempts to “improve” the Earth: the foremost human sacrifice to God during the liturgy is the bread and the wine, products of Nature perfected by human hands into which God's grace has descended.

Otherwise, I was struck by how “old fashioned” Kallistos Ware sounds. He defends all the traditional Church dogmas which liberal Christians have jettisoned or reinterpreted: creatio ex nihilo, the fall of man, the virgin birth, the incarnation, the general resurrection, the existence of the Devil and demons, etc. While God isn't “male” in the human sense, the symbols under which God wants to be worshipped are male and should not be changed. Jesus was, of course, male. So is the Orthodox priesthood (although Ware says relatively little about the Church itself). A bit like Lewis, he doesn't reject evolution outright, but rather attempts to circumvent the issue. The traditional attitude is what attracts many converts to Eastern Orthodoxy. The mystical streak and the liturgy are others.

“The Orthodox Way” is, to be honest, an extremely tedious book. Unless you are extremely interested in the subject, you will need a lot of patience if you want to read it cover to cover. But yes, if you want to know more about Eastern Orthodoxy, you may want to go through this material. When you do, keep this review of the highlights in mind! ;-)
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