Orthodox Christianity: A Very Short Introduction by A Edward Siecienski

Summary: A brief introduction to Orthodox Christianity.

I have said many times that as much as the Very Short Introduction series is uneven, I keep returning to it because it serves a helpful niche. These are books that are about 100-125 pages, usually with good bibliographies, that give someone without much background an introduction to the important aspects of a topic. I read at least 3 or 4 a year, especially when I can find them at my library on Audible’s lending library (Premium Plus catalog). This one was free for me to listen to with my Audible membership.

The book was divided into three main parts. The first was Christian history, focusing on Nicaea to the spread of Orthodoxy into Russia. The second was about Orthodoxy’s theological and liturgical development. The third focused on what made Orthodoxy different from Roman Catholicism. There was a concluding section about modern challenges and developments within Orthodoxy.

Overall, this was one of the better VSI books. The author was clear about what was necessary, and the audience he was writing to, without getting too distracted by any particular part. As with any book of this sort, there can be quibbles with what was and was not included. And I wouldn’t be reading it if I were not interested in more background, so in some ways, the very act of reading it admits that I don’t have the content background to evaluate the decisions. But this isn’t my first book, or my fifth, on Eastern Orthodoxy, and based on what I do know, I think this was a good introduction.

Orthodox Christianity: A Very Short Introduction by A Edward Siecienski Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audible.com Audiobook

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