Originally published in 1964, Kallistos Ware’s classic work is an essential English-language study of the Greek church during Turkish rule. As Ware notes in the introduction, “four centuries of Turkish rule have left—for good or evil—a permanent mark upon the Greek Orthodox world,” and “without taking into account the way Greeks thought and felt under Turkish domination, and the way their theology developed between 1453 and 1821, it is all but impossible to understand the present condition of Greek Orthodoxy.”
This text includes compelling background information with a chapter covering the state of Orthodoxy under Islam, relations between the Greeks and Rome, and the state of learning and theology. Ware then provides an extensive biography of Argenti, and examines main theological problems debated by Argenti, including baptism, the Eucharist, purgatory, and papacy. Rounding off this valuable scholarly work is a list of Argenti’s writings and a bibliography.
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This is an important contribution to the virtually non-existent history of Orthodox theology of the ‘post-Patristic’ age. . . . the importance of the book goes beyond the personal case of Argenti: it helps us understand the tragedy of Eastern Orthodoxy at the time when the West was reaching the climax of its religious and cultural development. ‘Squeezed’ between Latin and Protestant influences, deprived of academic centers, Orthodox theology often surrendered to pressure. Mr. Ware’s point is that in the case of Argenti it avoided such a surrender and preserved its tradition from deviations and errors.
—Alexander Schmemann, St. Vladimir Seminary Quarterly