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#374789 01/25/12 04:45 PM
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I have a request. Many of you out there are very knowledgeable.

As some of you are aware, I am a Byzantine Ruthenian Catholic who is in formation with the Carmelites. I am currently in my second year of theology studies for ordination. I am in my fourth year of simple vows (God willing solemn vows will be taken this coming August).

My formation is in the Roman Church though I do get out to the Divine Liturgy on Sundays when I am feeling well (as many of you know I have cancer). This coming weekend I will speak with the priest who is also a professor at one of the theology schools here in DC (not one that I attend).

I am currently attending WTU but that school is closing at the end of this semester and I will be transferring to Catholic University next year.

Now having said all that. I was wondering if any one could suggest any theology books or any other books that you feel could help me in my formation as a bi-ritual priest.

I have The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church by Valdimr Lossky, is that a good start?

Thanks for any assistance.


Br David, O.Carm.

Last edited by DavidB, the Byzantine Catholic; 01/25/12 04:47 PM.
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Byzantine Theology [amazon.com] by Fr. John Meyendorff is a standard book.

To keep up on new books, you should absolutely be following fellow forum member Adam DeVille's blog: http://easternchristianbooks.blogspot.com/

Last edited by JBenedict; 01/25/12 05:04 PM. Reason: add link
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Alexander Schmemann's 'For the Life of the World' is a must on the Liturgy.

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I was going to suggest the Schmemann book too, but hesitated because I have only heard about it, not read it myself.

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I would not counsel reading Lossky today without a great deal of qualification. His book seems forever stuck on various lists of "recommended" or "major" Orthodox texts, but while it was certainly very influential in its day, it is today very significantly out of date in important respects, particularly on scholarship about the filioque and ecclesiology. I would much more strongly recommend beginning with a work like John Zizioulas' *Lectures in Christian Dogmatics* (2008), which is really a quite splendid introduction to Eastern theology in a way that is more accessible than some of Zizioulas' other works.

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You might also consider The Face of God by Archbishop Joseph Raya.

Our continued prayers for your health and your spiritual journey!

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Everything I've read by Fr Schmemann (For the Life of the World, The Eucharist, Of Water and the Spirit, and one or two more)has been incredibly rich for me, as has been the Lossky that I've read (from Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, Image and Likeness, and Orthodox Theology). I also got a lot out of Meyendorff's "Byzantine Theology." For me, a least, all of these books have been rich treasures, and I would recommend them all.

Jaya #375106 02/01/12 01:48 AM
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Keep it coming!

I am making a list.

I am starting with Fr Schmemann's For the Life of the World.

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Eastern Christian Publications has a wide variety of Theology books available through our online catalog at www.ecpubs.com. [ecpubs.com.] There are books by Robert Taft, Robert Slesinski, Metropolitan Kallistos, and many others, many of which are not available from others sources. Most can be found in the category called "Eastern Christian Publications".

Jack Figel, Publisher

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I will second Jack and recommend you check out Eastern Christian Publications for some books. In particular I recommend "Uniatism" by Cyril Korolevsky, and "Ecumenical Reflections" by Archbishop Elias Zoghby. They are both polemics, but very well write. Korolevsky's work in general is held in high regard. Also, Fr. Taft's book "Liturgy: Model of Prayer - Icon of Life," Patriarch Gregorios III (Laham)'s book "Introduction to the Liturgical Services and Their Symbolism in the Eastern Church," and the two books by Fr. Lawrence Cross, "Eastern Christianity in the Byzantine Tradition" and "Image, Symbol, and Mystery: An Eastern Christian View of the Sacraments." All of those are excellent books.

Also, pretty much anything you can find by Met. John Zizioulas and Fr. John Meyendorff is going to be excellent.

For books by Eastern Catholic authors, I recommend anything and everything by Archbishop Joseph Raya. Also the two catechetical series put out by God With Us Publications are phenomenal. Eastern Christian Publications carries both books by Raya and the GWU catechetical series.

Bishop Nicholas Samra, eparch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Eparchy of Newton, also has a book of spiritual talks he has given available through the Eparchy's publications. I also suggest "Courage to Be Ourselves" by Bishop Joseph Tawil, if you can find a copy.

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I am presently working my way through Paul Evdokimov's Orthodoxy. I recommend it. I am not finding it to be an easy read. It's very different from most theology books I have read. Evdokimov is a poet at heart. I find it best to read one chapter, or even section of a chapter, at a time. Often I need to go back to re-read and re-read what I recently read.

One of the most difficult challenges I have faced intellectually is trying to understand the Eastern "difference." This difference is not easily verbalized. But Evdokimov is helping me to understand this difference, especially on the difficult and crucial question of human being as naturally graced creature. If I could only get to the point where I can actually state the difference between the Eastern and Latin comprehension of grace, especially as this relates to the Fall, I think I would understand everything. smile

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I would like to share my experience and advise you some books that just literary turned my life:

Shmeman "For the life of the world" and "The Eucharist -sacrament of the Kingdom"
and also his articles and "Diary 1973-1983"
http://www.shmeman.ru/modules/myarticles/topics_topic_id_14.html

Archimandrite Vasileios "Hymn of Entry: Liturgy and life in the Orthodox Church".
http://www.librarything.com/work/109672

Books by Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev http://hilarion.ru/works/bookpage/other
"The Mystery of Faith. An introduction to the Teaching and Spirituality of the Orthodox Church."

Works by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh http://www.mitras.ru/eng/eng_publ.htm




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