For the Life of the World

Feast of St Innocent, Enlightener of Siberia & Alaska
For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Alexander Schmemann

For_Life_of_World_Square.jpegTHIS WATERSHED work of sacramental theology is really a fundamental redefinition of terms—secular, religious, worship, sacrament, sin, symbol—framed within an interpretive, movement-by-movement description of the Liturgy. It owes its greatness and its transforming power to Schmemann’s sense of the essential: that our fundamental role as human beings was... Continue Reading

Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers

Feast of St Hermas the Apostle of the 70 and Theophylact the Confessor, Bishop of Nicomedia
Becoming Fire: Through the Year with the Desert Fathers and Mothers edited by Tim Vivian; translated by Apostolos N. Athanassakis and John Eudes Bamberger

Becoming_Fire_Square.jpgA REMARKABLE double-movement took place within the Church at the close of the Age of Martyrs: Christian Empire and Christian Monasticism. Most historians treat these subjects separately, but we... Continue Reading

Leading Lives That Matter

Feast of St Romanos, Prince of Uglich
Leading Lives That Matter: What We Should Do and Who We Should Be edited by Mark R. Schwehn and Dorothy C. Bass

Leading_Lives_that_Matter_Square.jpgIF "INTEGRITY" means that a person is truly “integrated,” then few of us can claim it. We live in an unprecedented age, one of interior placelessness and the loss of wise community. Beyond a helpful push toward employment and autonomy,... Continue Reading

Death Comes for the Archbishop

Feast of St Pamphilus the Martyr & His Companions
Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Cather

Death_for_Archbishop_Square.jpegIN A LETTER written to The Commonweal about the origins of her novel Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather relates her enamoration with the Catholic Church of the Southwest. Its story moved her—the old mission churches, even abandoned and in ruins, had a physical reality beyond mere description. As she explains,... Continue Reading

On the Apostolic Preaching

Feast of St Nicephoros the Martyr of Antioch
On the Apostolic Preaching by St. Irenaeus of Lyons; trans. and intro. by John Behr


ST IRENAEUS may be considered the most important second-century Christian theologian. Having known Polycarp, who knew the apostles firsthand, Irenaeus's teachings remain close to the spirit of the apostolic age, inheriting both its vocabulary and theological convictions. The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching reflects this... Continue Reading

Of Water & Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism

Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord & Savior in the Temple
Of Water and Spirit: A Liturgical Study of Baptism by Alexander Schmemann

Of_Water___Spirit_Square.jpegAT ONCE A theological and historical commentary on the rites of baptism and chrismation in the Orthodox Church. Fr. Schmemann was uniquely gifted in being able to convey not only a new level of understanding of the sacrament, but a whole new dimension of experience... Continue Reading

The Experience of God, Volume 1

Feast of St Laurence the Recluse
Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: The Experience of God, Volume 1- Revelation and Knowledge of the Triune God by Dumitru Staniloae; foreword by Kallistos Ware; translated and edited by Ioan Ionita and Robert Barringer

Experience_of_God_Square.jpegTHE MARKS OF true and living theology, according to Archpriest Staniloae, are “fidelity to the revelation of Christ given in holy Scripture and Tradition . . . responsibility for the faithful... Continue Reading

Dialogue of Love: Breaking the Silence of Centuries

Feast of St Maximus the Confessor
Dialogue of Love: Breaking the Silence of Centuries edited by John Chryssavgis with contributions by Brian E. Daley, S.J., and Georges Florovsky

Dialogue_of_Love_Square.jpegECUMENICAL Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI boldly instigated a “pilgrimage toward unity” when they embraced at a historic meeting in Jerusalem on January 5-6, 1964. As the subtitle of this short but extremely important book indicates, this act literally broke the... Continue Reading

The Sacred in Life & Art

Synaxis of the Holy Theotokos
The Sacred in Life & Art by Philip Sherrard

Sherrard_Sacred_in_LIfe___Art_Square.jpeg“The concept of a completely profane world,” Sherrard writes, “of a cosmos wholly desacralized, is a fairly recent invention of the human mind.” The attempt to implement this standard as the force by which we determine the course of our social, economic, political and personal lives is even more recent and, according to Sherrard, enormously... Continue Reading

St John of Damascus: Writings

Feast of St John of Damascus and St Barbara the Great Martyr
St John of Damascus: Writings, Fathers of the Church 37, trans. by Frederic Chase

John_Damascene_square.jpgTHE IMPORTANCE of these texts in the history of Christian theology cannot be overestimated. Here in one volume (the only translation in its entirety in English) is St. John’s monumental Fount of Knowledge, comprised of “Philosophical Chapters,” “On Heresies,” and “An Exact Exposition... Continue Reading