J. J. Overbeck was an Orthodox layman who played a central role in the early development of modern Western Rite Orthodoxy. He began his life’s service as a Roman Catholic priest and studied at the Vatican Library, but in 1857, he left his position and moved to England. A translation project of Ephrem the Syrian ignited his interest in the Orthodox Church and he soon converted. In 1866, Catholic Orthodoxy and Anglo-Catholicism was published. It became the foundation for Overbeck’s work towards reunion of the Orthodox and Anglican Churches for the next 20 years.
Can unity exist without a formal intercommunion between the branches of the church? Overbeck’s answer: “An invisible intercommunion amounts, in significance, exactly to an invisible Church. But inasmuch as a visible Church has been founded by Christ, a visible intercommunion is so materially necessary . . . that an attempt to deny or destroy it would be tantamount to apostasy from Catholicity.” Overbeck describes the church using biblical imagery—one body with many parts and the different branches of one tree. With extensive references to Scripture and Church tradition, he expresses his argument and fervent desire for reunion. His efforts and writings—most specifically this volume—were foundational for future reunion schemes between Western Christians and the Orthodox Church.
The Logos version integrates seamlessly into your personal digital library and allows you to access dictionaries and other reference resources with a click. Read your preferred Scripture translation alongside Catholic Orthodoxy and Anglo-Catholicism for a more robust understanding of this period of Church history.
Some may deem it wise not to startle the minds of settled persons by what they term a revolution in religion. Some may deem it preposterous to oppose the rocky wall of the Church to the wild waves of a certain school of human science and researches. Some may deem it harsh and cruel to hurt the feelings of friends, whose most sacred convictions we attack unreservedly. Oh! It is painful, I know, to disagree with those who are dear to our heart. But truth is uppermost and permits no bartering, no deference to circumstances whatever.
—J. J. Overbeck
- Examines Scriptural basis for intercommunion of the Church
- Describes historical connections between the Orthodox and Anglican Churches
- Title: Catholic Orthodoxy and Anglo-Catholicism
- Author: J. J. Overbeck
- Publisher: Trübner & Co.
- Publication Date: 1866
- Pages: 200
About J. J. Overbeck
Joseph Julian Overbeck (1820–1905) was an Orthodox layman who played a central role in the early development of modern Western Rite Orthodoxy. He was born in Bonn, Germany, and attended the University of Bonn where he specialized in Syriac. He was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood and studied at the Vatican Library, and became a professor at Bonn. However, he left his position in 1857 after marrying and moving to England. A translation project of Ephrem the Syrian ignited his interest in the Orthodox Church and in 1866, Catholic Orthodoxy and Anglo-Catholicism was published. It became the foundation for Overbeck’s work towards reunion of the Orthodox and Anglican Churches for the next 20 years. His work was widely distributed in Russia, where it became very popular with Orthodox missionaries.