The Orthodox Church is one of the largest religious groups in the world. Yet, it remains an enigma in the West, especially among those who mistake it either for a Greek version of Roman Catholicism or for an exotic mixture of Christianity and eastern religion. Many, however, are coming to recognize the Orthodox Church for what it is: a worldwide community of Christian disciples that has been faithful to the apostolic command, “stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or by our epistle” (2 Thess 2.15). Consequently, growing numbers of people are finding their true home in the Church that has “continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers” (Acts 2.42).
Among these converts are dozens of contemporary philosophers. Some are accomplished, world-renowned, senior scholars. Others are junior scholars in the earliest stages of their careers. As a group, they belong neither to any particular philosophical ‘school’ nor to any particular Orthodox jurisdiction. What they have in common is a desire to enter deeply into an authentic and loving communion with the Living God, with God’s people, and ultimately with all of God’s creation.
Turning East is a collection of autobiographical essays in which sixteen of these philosophers describe their personal journeys to the Orthodox Church, explain their reasons for becoming Orthodox Christians, and offer a sense of how their conversions have changed their lives.