The Orthodox Church

By Timothy Ware (Bishop Kallistos)

Being an Orthodox Christian myself, it behooves me to know something about my religion, naturally. And this book, The Orthodox Church was both my first introduction and one of the books I now and then take up again, to refresh my memory.

  • Author: Timothy Ware (Bishop Kallistos)
  • Title: The Orthodox Church
  • Pages: 359
  • Published: 1993 (1963)
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • ISBN: 0-14-014656-3

The blurb says “A clear, detailed introduction to the Orthodox Church written for the non-Orthodox as wel as for the Orthodox Christians who wish to know more about their own tradtion”, and it doesn’t lie. It’s all that.

It is also singularly wide in its coverage, not missing the existence of ancient Orthodox Churches in the Middle East. Many people in the West believe that the Middle East has always been Muslim, don’t realize that Israel (or Palestina, I don’t want to get into that hornet’s nest), and indeed all of the Middle East, except for the Arab peninsula, used to be Christian until the Islamic invasions.

Anyway, before I start frothing at mouth from indignation about the way the Church is treated in Turkey and elsewhere and about how the much-vaunted medieval Islamic cultural superiority has its origin in the Byzantine Christian culture prevalent in the terrories occupied by Islam — this is a good book, and a good and instructive read.

Excerpts at: (possibly bootlegged)