The Eastern Orthodox Church is the second largest church in the world, with 300 million members. Formally splitting from the Catholic Church in 1054, through the centuries the Eastern tradition grew more distinct. In this introductory volume, Andrew Louth surveys the rich tradition of the Eastern Church. Accessible to the newcomer and helpful to the faithful, Louth’s work is a valuable addition to the library of any Christian.
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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.
—John Behr, dean and professor of patristics, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
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.
—Averil Cameron, professor of late antique and Byzantine history, University of Oxford
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.
—Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity, University of Cambridge
Andrew Louth is professor emeritus of patristic and Byzantine studies at Durham University and a priest of the Russian Orthodox diocese of Sourozh, serving the parish in Durham. He earned his MA from Cambridge, his MTh from the University of Edinburgh, and his DD from Oxford.