Eastern Orthodox Christianity: A Western Perspective
In this reliable and engaging survey, Daniel Clendenin introduces Protestants to Eastern Orthodox history and theology with the hope that the two groups will come to see their traditions as complementary and learn to approach one another with a "hermeneutic of love" that fosters "mutual respect, toleration, and even support."
This revised edition includes a new preface, a new chapter, and an updated bibliography. In addition to updated demographic information, Clendenin examines at length a particular aspect of Orthodoxy's intersection with Protestantism-its growing exchange with evangelicalism.
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As an evangelical, this book was accessible in understanding Eastern Orthodoxy. Clendenin is an evangelical with a sympathetic mind toward the Orthodox church. The areas where he disagrees with ... Read full review
TITLE: "Orthodoxy from a cultural and historical perspective. Very solid but not comprehensive." February 9, 2006
Daniel B. Clendenin has done his research. Not only does he have the credentials (Ph.D. in Theological and Religious Studies, Drew University) but he has also spent some years teaching religion at the Moscow State University (right after the communist soviet union collapsed in '91) right in the heart of Slavic Orthodoxy - (Moscow has also the nickname of the 3rd Rome, in christian history).
Considering that Clendenin has been and still is a Presbyterian, it is very assuring to read this book and realize how non-polemical and theologically un-biased it is. A great companion for this read is Clendenin's other book "Eastern Orthodox Theology - A Contemporary Reader."
This book is written from a Protestant and Western perspective. Basically Clendenin tries to explain Eastern Orthodoxy to the average Western man and woman or your average Protestant churchgoer. A lot of this introduction has to do with the cultural and mystery/mystic-driven aspect of Orthodoxy.
He starts the book with two chapters on church history, a great foundation necessary to understand the early development, isolation, and ethos of Orthodoxy.
The following four chapters are discussions and explanations of four important aspects of the Orthodox faith and theology:
3) Apophatic theology and the mystery of God,
4) Christ's image and the use and meaning of icons in Orthodoxy,
5) On the authority of Scripture and Christian Tradition, and
6) Theosis - a very Orthodox term and concept.
The last chapter (#7 - "Hermeneutics of Love") presents balanced analysis and questions challenging the Orthodox believer as well as the Protestant Christian. This chapter is the one where I had the most to learn from.
As a result of reading this book and the companion I have a much better understanding of Orthodoxy (as a Protestant Christian) and have things to talk about with my Orthodox fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Other books I would recommend on the topic of Orthodoxy are Timothy (or Kallistos) Ware - "Orthodox Church" and especially "Orthodox Way."
Preface to the Second Edition
A Brief History
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