The Mystery of the Church

Feast of the Falling Asleep of St John the Evangelist and Theologian
The Mystery of the Church: A Course in Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Boris Bobrinskoy

Bobrinskoy__Mystery_of_Church_square.jpegFATHER BORIS, in his introduction, identifies a growing tension between the “original and ultimate Truth” of the Church, on the one hand, and its incarnation, on the other. Theologically speaking, the Church is a mystery, the “locus and mode of mankind’s communion in... Continue Reading

The Love of Learning and the Desire for God

Feast of St Ariadne the Martyr
The Love of Learning and the Desire for God: A Study of Monastic Culture by Jean Leclercq

Leclerq_Love_learning_square.jpgORIGINALLY presented as lectures to Benedictine novices over fifty years ago, this book conveys an immediacy and relevance that draws the reader into the neighborhood of ideas and culture that has so often rejuvenated ad renewed the wider Christian community. Leclercq offers countless insights into fundamental... Continue Reading

Happiness and Contemplation

Feast of St Anthimus, Bishop of Nicomedia
Happiness and Contemplation by Josef Pieper; introduction by Ralph McInerny

Happiness___Contemplation_Square.jpegIN THE "EIGHTH day,” says St. Augustine, we shall rest and see, see and love, love and praise. In this world of shadows, that trajectory still holds; leisure (rest) makes possible contemplation (seeing) in which is found a foretaste of our only lasting happiness (love and praise). Ten years after the publication... Continue Reading

Idiot Psalms

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Adrian & Natalie
Idiot Psalms: New Poems by Scott Cairns

Idiot_Psalms_Square.jpgFOURTEEN “Idiot Psalms” are surrounded by dozens of other poems by one of our favorite poets. This collection by Cairns follows several other works of poetry, essays, and memoir, and will prove his most challenging work yet. Acclaimed fellow poet B. H. Fairchild says of Cairns: “Among American poets of religious belief at the... Continue Reading

God in Patristic Thought

Feast of the Holy Apostle Thaddaeus
God in Patristic Thought by G. L. Prestige

God_in_Patristic_thought_Square.jpgThis is a recent reprint of a book first published in 1936, well worth revisiting because of its careful and organized look at themes in patristic Trinitarian theology. After meticulously combing through the works of the Greek Fathers to grasp the meanings of words as the Fathers actually used them, Prestige had assembled a lexicon... Continue Reading

Soil and Sacrament

Feast of the Holy Prophet Micah
Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith by Fred Bahnson

Soil___Sacrament_book_square.jpegSOIL AND SACRAMENT is the memoir of a pilgrimage about staying put. Author Fred Bahnson, though driven by a calling to grow food for people, had become burnt-out in his role as a community garden director. Realizing his current role was not a sustainable way to cultivate his spiritual and... Continue Reading

In Dominico Eloquio—In Lordly Eloquence

Afterfeast of the Transfiguration and Feast of the Holy Righteous Martyr Dometius
In Dominico Eloquio – In Lordly Eloquene: Essays on Patristic Exegesis in Honor of Robert Louis Wilken edited by Paul M. Blowers, Angela Russell Christman, David G. Hunter, and Robin Darling Young

In_Dominico_Square.jpgWE OFFER TWO reasons you’ll want this book: the vision represented by its honoree, Robert Louis Wilken, and the bright excellence of the essays themselves.... Continue Reading

The Bible and the Liturgy

Feast of Sts Silvas, Crescens, Epenetus & Andronicus the Apostles of the 70
The Bible and the Liturgy by Jean Daniélou

Bible_and_Liturgy_square.jpgDANIELOU'S Bible and the Liturgy has been a perennial favorite since Eighth Day’s humble beginning as a four-room bookshop. A quick skim of chapter sixteen even fleshes out the significance of our name, but it’s the premise on which Jean Daniélou builds his “justly famous study” that places... Continue Reading

Truth Is Symphonic

Feast of the Prophet Ezekiel
Truth is Symphonic: Aspects of Pluralism by Hans Urs von Balthasar

Truth_is_Symphonic_Square.jpgON THE KNOTTY issue of pluralism, we offer the profound erudition and musicality of Hans Urs von Balthasar. Herein, he reflects on the theme of pluralism and its relation to the truths of Christianity. With his utility of metaphor, von Balthasar is able to speak appropriately concerning many mysteries of God. He presents God... Continue Reading

Christ, Our Way and Our Life

Feast of the Holy Great Martyr Procopius
Christ, Our Way and Our Life: A Presentation of the Theology of Archimandrite Sophrony by Archimandrite Zacharias

Christ_True_Vine_Square.jpgArchimandrite Zacharias, a member of the Monastery of St. John the Baptist in Essex, England is the spiritual son of Archimandrite Sophrony, and therefore spiritual grandson of St. Silouan the Athonite. From all reports this humble, unassuming monk is as remarkable as his spiritual forebears.... Continue Reading

Toward a Eucharistic Vision of Church, Family, Marriage and Sex

Feast of the Righteous Fathers Sergius & Herman, Founders of Valaam Monastery
Toward a Eucharistic Vision of Church, Family, Marriage and Sex by Philip LeMasters

Christ_Serving_Square.jpgTHE AUTHOR describes this work as “an ‘apologetic’ essay that aims to ground sex and marriage in the Church’s understanding of the Eucharist.'” Sex and Eucharist in one essay?! Certainly, no other topics could seem more divergent, even opposed, yet LeMasters claims to see... Continue Reading

Old Testament Homilies - 3 Volume Set

Feast of the Nativity of the Forerunner John the Baptist and of St Elizabeth, Mother of the Forerunner
Old Testament Homilies – 3 Volume Set by St John Chrysostom; translated by Robert Charles Hill

John_Chrysostom_square_3.jpgALTHOUGH ST John may best be known for his commentaries on the New Testament (for which St. Thomas Aquinas declared he would give ''the whole town of Paris''), he was well-versed in Old Testament interpretation... Continue Reading

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction

Feast of St Moses of Optina
The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction by Alan Jacobs

Pleasures_Reading_Age_Distraction_Square.jpgIN RECENT YEARS, cultural commentators have sounded the alarm about the dire state of reading in America. Americans are not reading enough, they say, or reading the right books, in the right way. In this book, Alan Jacobs argues that, contrary to the doomsayers, reading is alive and well in America.... Continue Reading

The Noetics of Nature

Feast of Sts Alexander & Antonina the Martyrs
The Noetics of Nature: Environmental Philosophy and the Holy Beauty of the Visible by Bruce V. Foltz

Noetics_of_Nature_square.jpgWhen you look at the natural world around you, what do you see? Purely physical matter, valuable apart from any link with the supernatural? Many sense an intuitive link between science and this “materialist” perspective, assuming that scientific discovery depends on preserving the independence... Continue Reading

The Eighth Day

Feast of Nicephorous the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople
The Eighth Day by Thornton Wilder

The_Eighth_Day_Square.jpgWILDER WROTE The Eighth Day after a lifetime of scattered energy. Birthed during a concentrated twenty-month retreat in the southwest, it became what Wilder called his “only real novel.” It was, he said, as if Dostoevsky had reworked Little Women—set in a small American coal mining town. It is the story of two families, the... Continue Reading

The Mirrored World

Feast of St Theodosia, Virgin-Martyr of Constantinople
The Mirrored World by Debra Dean

MIrrored_World_Square.jpgIN 1758, IN AN AGE when the extravagant lives of the Russian wealthy seemed to mock the struggles of the destitute, one of the St. Petersburg noblewomen—once a carefree guest at balls and a presence at court—suddenly disappeared. She had recently been mystifying her friends with strange behavior: she had begun giving away all her possessions,... Continue Reading

Against Religion

Feast of St Irene the Great Martyr
Against Religion: The Alienation of the Ecclesial Event by Christos Yannaras; trans. Norman Russell

Yannaras_Square.jpgWHEN THIS ORTHODOX theologian tackles the greatest force undermining Christianity today, the usual suspects (materialism, secularism, etc.) don’t even make the list. The real tension, he contends, lies between Church—defined as the ecclesial “event” of participation in the Eucharistic body—and religion per se. Yannaras doesn’t stop, however, with... Continue Reading

The Feast of Friendship

Feast of Symeon the Holy Martyr & Bishop of Persia
The Feast of Friendship (2nd Ed.) by Fr Paul D. O'Callaghan

Eucharist_Square.jpgWHETHER THE author knows it or not, this is a profoundly humble book—in the sense of the Latin root of the word which indicates the soil from which something grows. The soil for this book is rich: the insights of Aristotle, biblical paradigms of friendship (David and Jonathan,... Continue Reading

The Aquinas Catechism

Feast of St John Climacus
The Aquinas Catechism: A Simple Explanation of the Catholic Faith by the Church's Greatest Theologian by St Thomas Aquinas; foreword by Ralph McInerny

Aquinas_Catechism_book_cover_square.jpgTHE TITLE OF St. Thomas Aquinas’s magnum opusThe Summa Theologia—can be misleading. A layman might think it is merely a “summary” of theology. The steep learning curve involved in understanding this great work makes one think: “If this is a summary... Continue Reading

The First Thousand Years

Feast of the Martyr Sabinas of Egypt
The First Thousand Years: A Global History of Christianity by Robert Louis Wilken

First_Thousand_Years_Square.jpg“CHRISTIANITY IS an affair of things.” This line comes late in Wilken’s book, but it sums up his entire approach to the rise and flourishing of the Church in the first millennium of its existence. For Wilken, the Church moved from a persecuted minority to an imperial... Continue Reading