Cover image for An introduction to the Christian Orthodox churches
An introduction to the Christian Orthodox churches
Binns, John, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge, UK ; New York : Cambridge University Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xii, 270 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Introduction: identifying Orthodoxy -- Description: a map of Orthodoxy -- Liturgy: where heaven and earth meet -- Doctrine: believing in the Orthodox Churches -- Icons: revelation in image -- Monasticism: shaping of saints -- Popular piety: people, places, pilgrimage -- Mission: incarnation as proclamation -- Church and state: the dream of God's kingdom on earth -- East and West: the division of Christendom -- Prospect: a cautious reforming.
Corporate Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
BX320.3 .B56 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



This clear and accessible introduction describes the life of the Orthodox Churches of the Christian East from the accession of the Emperor Constantine in 312 up to the year 2000. It explores the nature of the various churches of the Christian East, both Chalcedonian and non-Chalcedonian Orthodox, the Church of the East, and Greek Catholic Churches. It explains both the common traditions and the different and sometimes divisive local characteristics. The distinctive Orthodox approaches to the themes of liturgy, theology, monastic life and spirituality, iconography, popular religion, mission, politics and the schism between East and West are discussed in turn. A final chapter examines the response of the Churches to their new freedom following the collapse of communism and the prospects for the future. For Christians of the West, a knowledge of Orthodoxy can open up fresh ways of looking at the Christian faith.

Author Notes

John Binns is Vicar at Great St Mary's, The University Church, Cambridge. He is also Vice-Chairman of the Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius, and a Director of the Institute of Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge. Dr Binns is the author of Ascetics and Ambassadors of Christ (1994), and joint editor of Cyril of Scythopolis: Lives of the Monks of Palestine (1992) and Great St Mary's: Cambridge's University Church (2000).

Table of Contents

List of illustrationsp. vi
List of mapsp. vi
Prefacep. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. x
1. Introduction: identifying Orthodoxyp. 1
2. Description: a map of Orthodoxyp. 9
3. Liturgy: where heaven and earth meetp. 39
4. Doctrine: believing in the Orthodox Churchesp. 61
5. Icons: revelation in imagep. 97
6. Monasticism: shaping of saintsp. 107
7. Popular piety: people, places, pilgrimagep. 135
8. Mission: incarnation as proclamationp. 143
9. Church and state: the dream of God's kingdom on earthp. 161
10. East and West: the division of Christendomp. 201
11. Prospect: a cautious reformingp. 233
Table of datesp. 251
Bibliographyp. 253
Indexp. 263