The Rudder (Greek: “Pedalion”) is a classic compilation of the holy canons or Orthodox canon law. Originally assembled by Nicodemus the Hagiorite and Agapius the Monk on Mount Athos in 1800, this work includes a dedication to Orthodox Christians from both Nicodemus and Agapius, along with a letter and recommendation on this edition from the Patriarch of Constantinople (ca. 1802) NEOPHYTOS VII. The present edition was translated into English from the fifth edition by Denver Cummings in 1957, and re-published at that time by the Orthodox Christian Educational Society of Chicago, Illinois. The Rudder is so named because of the symbolism often employed in the Eastern Orthodox tradition of the Catholic Church of Jesus Christ as a ship at sea. The master of the vessel is Jesus Christ, the sailors the holy Apostles and their successors, and the passengers all Orthodox Christians. The sea is symbolic of our present life, with the rudder of the ship representative of these holy canons, keeping the Church on course and safe from temptation.
This work includes the 85 Canons of the Holy Apostles, the Canons of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, the Canons of the Regional Synods, the Canons of the Holy Fathers (e.g., of Sts. Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, and Cyril of Alexandria), and a number of various instructions and forms for letters.
By adding this pivotal work to your Logos library, you can easily do searches throughout the canons for shared themes or topics, cross-references with scriptural citations, and even reference works by the Church Fathers that touch on the same topics as their canons (as with Basil the Great and Athanasius of Alexandria, for example). Whether you are a scholar interested in the finer issues (and interpretations) of canonical law in the Orthodox tradition, or simply a layperson wanting to know more about how the early Church addressed various issues of piety and worship, the Logos edition of the Rudder (in both Greek and English) is a must-have collection.
Nicodemus the Hagiorite (aka Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain and Nicodemus the Athonite) was an Orthodox Christian monastic, author, canonist, author of numerous Lives of the Saints and liturgical poetry, and compiler/editor of pivotal Orthodox writings such as the Philokalia, the Rudder, and the collected writings of both St. Symeon the New Theologian and St. Gregory Palamas. Born in Naxos, Greece in 1749, Nicodemus was tonsured as a monk at the Dionysiou monastery on Mount Athos in 1775. He reposed in the Lord in 1809 and was glorified as a Saint by the Orthodox Church in 1955. His feast day is celebrated on July 14.
Agapius the Monk was a friend of Nicodemus, fellow editor of the original 1800 Greek edition of the Rudder, and fellow monk (a Hieromonk or “priest-monk”) on Mount Athos.