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Encountering the Mystery: Understanding Orthodox Christianity Todayby PATRIARCH BARTHOLOMEW
Synopses & Reviews
As Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I is the symbol of unity for the self-governing national and ethnic Orthodox Christian churches throughout the world. He is well known for his commitment to protecting the environment, and for opening communications with other Christians (especially the Roman Catholic Church) as well as with Muslims and other religious groups.
Written with personal warmth and great erudition, ENCOUNTERING THE MYSTERY illuminates the rich culture and soul of Orthodox Christianity. Bartholomew I traces the roots of Orthodox Christianity to its founding 2000 years ago, explores its spirituality and doctrine, and explains its liturgy and art. More especially, in a unique and unprecedented way, he relates Orthodox Christianity to contemporary issues, such as freedom and human rights, social justice and globalization, as well as nationalism and war.
With a recent rebirth of Orthodox Christian churches (particularly in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere in Central and Eastern Europe), there has been great interest in understanding this important branch of Christianity with its close ties to the traditions of the early Church. As USA TODAY recently reported, Orthodox Christian churches throughout the country are drawing converts attracted by the beauty of its liturgy and inspired by its enduring theology and teachings. But for the general seeker, whatever their background, ENCOUNTERING THE MYSTERY is a rich spiritual source that draws upon the wisdom of millennia.
The spiritual leader of Orthodox Christianity chronicles the history, culture, traditions, and tenets of his faith in a volume that traces the two-thousand-year evolution of the faith, the schisms that led to its split with Western Christianity, its doctrine and liturgy, its ties to the traditions of the early Christian church, and its enduring teachings and theology. 15,000 first printing.
About the Author
BARTHOLOMEW I, Archbishop of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch is spiritual leader for the world’s nearly 200 million Orthodox Christians. He is dedicated to advancing reconciliation among Christian, Muslim, and Jewish communities, and is an active proponent of environmental causes.
Table of Contents
Foreword / Kallistos Ware — Biographical note / John Chryssavgis — Historical perspectives : the Orthodox Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate — Song and space : art, architecture, and liturgy — The gift of theology : basic principles and perspectives — Vocation of love : monasticism as choice and calling — Spirituality and sacraments : prayer and the spiritual life — The wonder of creation : religion and ecology — Faith and freedom : conscience and human rights — Transforming the world : i. social justice ; ii. religion and society ; war and peace — Epilogue: The hope that lies within.
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