Publisher: Birth of the Theotokos Monastery
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Written by Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, Bishop of Nafpaktos and Hagios Vlasios in Greece (1945-), The Mind of the Orthodox Churchis a thoughtful attempt at summarizing some of the main features of the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, and does so as systematically and comprehensively as possible. It was published in 1998 by Birth of the Theotokos Monastery in Lavadia, Greece. The copy available in the Paradosis collection is an English edition translated by Esther Williams.
If there is any issue at all with Bishop Hierotheos’ work, it is that which is intrinsic to his goal – writing conclusively about the ‘mind’ of the church. Yet even if it is impossible to fully examine such a broad subject, Hierotheos’ work is still incredibly useful for those seeking a relatively brief, yet as comprehensive as possible, summary of the Eastern Orthodox Tradition. Each chapter of The Mind of the Orthodox Church attempts to survey a small subject in Orthodox thinking – whether it be self definition, ways of life, contemporary struggles, church discipline, or even the legacies of the Church Fathers. The collective identity of the Church and its theology as such appears to be most fascinating to the author – and several chapters are systematically devoted to the theology of the ecclesia and its terminology. Bishop Hierotheos writes clearly and precisely, and for newcomers to the academic study of the Orthodox Church, The Mind of The Orthodox Church is well suited as an introduction.