Friday, December 09, 2016

Book Review of Modern Orthodox Thinkers


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Modern Orthodox Thinkers: From the Philokalia to the Present
by Andrew Louth
IVP Academic
ISBN 978-0-8308-5121-8
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Every couple of years I go down to Kansas for a ministry/spiritual formation conference. At this conference, I also visit the Eighth Day Bookstore. It is run by an ecumenically minded orthodox fellow. This year I picked up some art work while I was there as well. More and more, as technology makes our world smaller, we are encountering people of other religious traditions. This is not only true among those in interfaith circles, it is is true as different strains of the Christian family encounter one another and interact more frequently.

In Modern Orthodox Thinkers Andrew Louth seeks to help those unfamiliar with the Orthodox tradition understand contemporary practices of Orthodox Christians worldwide. This book is heady stuff. It will require slow, deliberate, thoughtful reading. However, the goal of Louth seems to not only make us aware of modern Orthodox thought, but the thinkers of the last century or two in that tradition. Thus, each chapter tackles the contribution of a different person, and many of those chapters have pictures or illustrations of the theologian mentioned. I like this approach.

More and more, Christian teachers and ministers, and especially those interested in spiritual formation, are going to need to become more familiar with Orthodox practices and theology. This book would be a good start for thinking Christians to make a good start in that direction of ecumenical understanding.


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