By signs, wonders, and miracles, Jesus showed compassion for his creation and revealed his ultimate purpose: the healing and restoration of humanity. This careful and at times word-by-word commentary of the biblical text stirs readers to reckon themselves among the characters in the Gospel stories: young and old; women and men; those afflicted with physical and spiritual maladies; those with great faith, and those far from belief.
The author studies these miracles of Jesus within the framework of the lectionary of the Orthodox Church, connecting stories from the Four Gospels to the seasons and cycles of worship that spiritually shape faithful hearers of the Word.
The impact of the contemporary ecumenical movement on the life of the Church in the 20th century has been immense. Orthodox involvement has steadily increased over the years and is now generally accepted as a given. Still, many questions remain unanswered and unasked. How did the modern ecumenical movement begin? What were the causes, motivations, and reasons for its development? Why and how did the Orthodox first become involved? Did the movement for Christian unity begin with the 1920 encyclical “To the Churches of Christ Everywhere” and arise out of a search for “unity in truth” and doctrinal agreement, as is often maintained?
In this lecture, Fr. Peter Alban Heers, doctoral candidate at the School of Theology of the University of Thessaloniki, answers these questions, extensively citing authoritative sources of ecumenical history to bring us face-to-face with the historical record. The missionary movement of the 19th century, the YMCA and student movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the first World Mission Conference in Edinburgh in 1910, and the 1920 encyclical of the Church of Constantinople are all examined in order to shed light on the origins of the contemporary ecumenical movement. This booklet is essential reading for all those interested in Orthodox involvement in the ecumenical movement.
“Markides’s work is an excellent resource for spiritual seekers of all levels, answering questions about Christianity in general, and Eastern monasticism in particular.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Markides, a native Cypriot, tells the tale of this journey in a tone that’s loose and light . . . The importance of this book is potentially immense.”
“Spirituality with refreshing honesty . . . Markides’s book calls attention to the existence of an ancient form of mysticism within the bonds of modern Christianity.”
“I was most interested in the text, and I have learned many things from it. It forms an excellent overview of traditional Orthodox ascetic and spiritual teachings, in a lively style which may reach many people who would not read a more ‘ecclesiastical’ presentation. May it do much good.”
—BISHOP KALLISTOS WARE
In an engaging combination of dialogues, reflections, conversations, history, and travel information, Kyriacos C. Markides continues the exploration of a spiritual tradition and practice he began in Riding with the Lion. His earlier book took readers to the isolated peninsula of Mount Athos in northern Greece and into a group of ancient monasteries. There, in what might be called a Christian Tibet, two thousand monks and hermits practice the spiritual arts to attain oneness with God. In his new book, Markides follows Father Maximos, one of Mount Athos’s monks, to the troubled island of Cyprus. As Father Maximos establishes churches, convents, and monasteries in this deeply divided land, Markides is awakened anew to the magnificent spirituality of the Greek Orthodox Church.
“Founded on spiritual experience, Orthodox theology is a living entity today no less than hundreds of years ago. The same questions have always confronted us: What is truth? What is the meaning of life? How can one find joy and peace of heart? What is the way to salvation? Christianity does not aim to dot all the “i”s by answering every question the human spirit asks. But it does open up another reality which transcends all that surrounds us in this earthly life.”
In The Mystery of Faith Hilarion Alfeyev provides a personal commentary on the teaching of the Orthodox Church, its historical development and its relationship to the spiritual life. Drawing on ancient texts and contemporary sources, he combines a clear exposition of the central doctrines of God, the Trinity, creation, the Church, prayer and the sacraments with an exploration of their meaning for today.
Newly translated from the hugely successful Russian edition, The Mystery of Faith is now available in English for the first time. The English translation is edited by Jessica Rose.
HILARION ALFEYEV, Metropolitan of Volokolamsk, is chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations. He has studied under Metropolitan Kallistos Ware at Oxford University, lectured at the Moscow Theological Academy and is the author of more than 300 publications on dogmatic theology, patristics and church history as well as several compositions for choir and orchestra.
JESSICA ROSE is an author and a practitioner and teacher of pastoral care.
A softcover edition of an English translation of The Mystery of Marriage: A Fellowship of Love by Hieromonk Gregorios, elder of the Cell of St. John the Theologian, Koutloumousiou Monastery, Mount Athos. Trim size: 6×9, 53pp.
This book examines, on the basis of Holy Scripture and the writing of the Holy Fathers of the Church, the Orthodox understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage. In addition to explaining the sacrament itself, Hieromonk Gregorios spends considerable time on the spousal relationship, both prior to and after the marriage, with a view to helping couples understand how to establish a strong and lasting bond of love under the lordship of Jesus Christ.
Contents: Introduction: Marriage as a Fellowship of Love, 1) Acquaintance and Betrothal, 2) Life Before Marriage, 3) This Mystery is a Great One, 4) The Spouses as a Union of Love, 5) The Celebration of the Sacrament, 6) Children, the Fruit of Love, 7) Sharing a Spiritual Father, 8) A Shared Spiritual Life, 9) EPILOGUE: Love Conquers Death
Writing both for the Orthodox and the non-Orthodox, the author explains why, in spite of wide ethnic diversity, Orthodox Christians speak confidently of “the” Orthodox Church. This stimulating and informative presentation of Orthodoxy as the “right glory” of apostolic Christianity, still alive in the world today, is illuminated by pertinent examples from Orthodoxy’s long, glorious, but often suffering history as the “Kingdom of the Holy Trinity” on earth.
The author proposes that the Holy Fathers’ teaching that God is beyond human concepts applies equally to God’s Church, its mystery being rooted also in the dual nature of Christ and the triune nature of God. Like holiness, the Church’s mystery becomes a personal reality only through an on-going, ascetic love for Orthodoxy’s liturgical life, whereby the believer gains an ever-deepening intimacy with Holy Scriptures and Holy Tradition as well as with Jesus Christ as Lord and God.