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There's more to Eastern Christianity than ethnic food bazaars, enclaves of immigrants, and clergy with beards. The mystical theology, spiritual disciplines, and rich liturgical worship of the Orthodox Church provide sustenance for anyone seeking resources for growth in the Christian life. Ancient teachings and practices persist in Eastern Christianity that hold together much of what Catholics and Protestants have separated. Believers of all stripes increasingly resonate with Orthodoxy's healthy synthesis of prayer, doctrine, liturgy, asceticism, and call to holiness in all areas of life. This ancient faith speaks with refreshing clarity to contemporary Christians who want to learn from a living tradition that is too little known in Western culture. This volume presents profound insights that will enrich, challenge, and inspire readers of all backgrounds. It invites everyone to encounter a spiritual tradition that is ancient, contemporary, and fascinatingly different.
"If you ever wondered what Christianity looked like in its early centuries and still looks like in the Orthodox Church of the twenty-first century, it would be hard to find a better starting point than Philip LeMasters' The Forgotten Faith."
--Jim Forest, author of Praying with Icons
"Drawing on his conversion to Orthodoxy, LeMasters introduces the mysteries that make Orthodoxy what it is with a gentle clarity befitting the great church. For anyone wanting to learn about the Orthodox faith there is no better place to begin than with The Forgotten Faith."
--Stanley Hauerwas, Professor of Theological Studies, Duke University
"Gracefully and without apology, LeMasters combines autobiography with evangelism in his review of ancient Orthodox teachings and their contemporary belonging. To say that this is popular and not serious theology does injustice to a narrative that is both scholarly and accessible. Buy it, read it, and give it to someone curious about Orthodoxy as an alternative in American Christianity."
--Harmon L. Smith, Emeritus Professor of Moral Theology, Duke University
"LeMasters knows both his subject and his readers intimately; yet there is not a hint of condescension. Written from heart to heart, there is a wonderful combination of telling anecdote and insightful commentary. The outcome is a book worthy of both prayerful pondering and critical appreciation."
--William J. Abraham, Professor of Wesley Studies, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University
"This fine primer on the moral and spiritual life is no venture in ecumenical neutrality. Simply, clearly, personally, but never polemically, LeMasters lays out the basic doctrines and practices of the Orthodox East. Thus does he demonstrate why, especially here in the West, it should not become a forgotten [form] but a vital form of Christian faith."
--Ralph C. Wood, Professor of Theology and Literature, Baylor University
Philip LeMasters is Dean of the School of Social Sciences and Religion at McMurry University and the Corporate Secretary of the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. A priest of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, he is the author of Toward a Eucharistic Vision of Church, Family, Marriage, and Sex (2004) and The Goodness of God's Creation: How to Live as an Orthodox Christian (2008).