With an estimated 250 million adherents, the Orthodox Church is the second largest Christian body in the world. This absorbing account of the essential elements of Eastern Orthodox thought deals with the Trinity, Christ, sin, humanity and creation as well as praying, icons, the sacraments and liturgy.
"Orthodox theology appears daunting at first glance, and with good reason, for terms and concepts differ from Western views in numerous and subtle ways. But in this volume Andrew Louth has opened a door into this faith that is both clear and accessible. Whether you've been Orthodox all your life, or have just begun to take an interest in Orthodoxy, this book will illumine your path."
"This personal presentation draws readers into a theology earthed in material reality and informed by liturgy which reflects the worship of heaven. Introductory and readable, it is illuminating for those already acquainted with the subject, and for non-Orthodox Christians it will facilitate an encounter with the depths of this 'other' tradition from which they will return with enriched understanding of their own."
"This is a charming, readable and accessible book. Louth delivers with delightful clarity a genuine sense of how deep and rich are the traditional resources for thinking about aspects of Christian belief, and how the Eastern Orthodox tradition draws on the sacramental rites and regular prayer practices of generations of believers, and on the wealth of patristic philosophy."
"Andrew Louth brings a lifetime of superior patristic scholarship to this volume, but casts aside all the usual academic cares to offer us a direct, personal vision of Orthodoxy as he knows and loves it. Central to the endeavor is the crucible of prayer: this is the touchstone for everything he wants to commend in the tradition he has embraced as his own."
"Andrew Louth has produced a humane, wise and very accessible introduction to the teaching and practice of Eastern Orthodoxy. He explains difficult doctrines in such a way that they make sense, and places a particular emphasis on prayer and worship. This is a truly excellent introduction, full of memorable passages and ideal for anyone who has wondered about Orthodoxy and wishes to have its main features explained."
"This is an exceptional introduction to Orthodoxy. Instead of presenting a summary of church history, teachings and practices, Andrew Louth grounds his account of the church and her theology in the encounter with God in liturgy and prayer, expounding historical controversies and theological themes as they arise out of that encounter. The result is both personal and profound, inviting readers to explore and experience for themselves the mystery of God in Christ."
Introduction: who are the Eastern Orthodox?
1. Thinking and doing, being and praying: where do we start?
2. Who is God? The Doctrine of the Holy Trinity
3. The Doctrine of Creation
4. Who is Christ?
5. Sin, Death and Repentance
6. Being Human--Being in the Image of God
7. Icons and Sacraments: the place of matter in the divine economy
8. Time and the Liturgy
9. Where are we going? The Last Things and Eternal Life
A Guide to further reading