What is everyone reading?

RaphaCam

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Just bought:
  • Introduction to Logics, by Cezar Mortari
  • The Art of Being Right, by Schopenhauer, commented by Olavo de Carvalho (Fabio Leite's teacher)
  • Essential French Grammar, by Seymour Resnick
I'll take them to the US along with the Organon (Aristotle) and GBWW, Volume 52 (Dostoyevsky).

Porter ODoran said:
Have you read his Livro do Desassossego?
Partially, but I still prefer Álvaro Campos among the heteronyms and the works actually signed by Pessoa even more. Have you? He's my favourite writer!
 

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RaphaCam said:
Porter ODoran said:
Have you read his Livro do Desassossego?
Partially, but I still prefer Álvaro Campos among the heteronyms and the works actually signed by Pessoa even more. Have you? He's my favourite writer!
Yes I have what's here called his Book of Disquiet from my Brasilian friend. I used to find it affecting, but now I'm too old. She also sent me some of his English poems by e-mail.
 

RaphaCam

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My favourite one is Mensagem. It's a short mystical retelling of Portuguese history, with the expectation of an eschatological return of King Sebastian to restore the Portuguese Empire forever. An authentic symbolist-modernist (he was between both literary movements) epopee.
 

Iconodule

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Porter ODoran said:
Iconodule said:
Porter ODoran said:
RaphaCam said:
Oh, we use epopeia a lot.
Well, sure, you're a romance language. Nice to see it's in your English too.
Well, English is just a dialect of Norman after all.
Take your time. You'll get your head wrapped around English eventually.
Don't you think you've taken this Rumspringa thing a bit too far? Maybe it's time to log off and churn the butter.
 

RobS

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Read the first two chapters of Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church by Vladimir Lossky.

Why oh why did I not read this years ago, reading it is euphoric.

I have to talk with my priest about the Law of God, I have profound disagreements with it, especially the section on the attributes of God. It's just not true. The other sections might be OK, but I feel this work is so amatuerish, Lord forgive me. I need something more rigorous perhaps. It's not like I just bumbled into Orthodoxy yesterday. It's like Fr Hopko said, some books work for some and others do not.

I am also reading Fr. Hopko's rainbow series online but I have the paperbacks ordered.

Also I look forward to receiving Iconodule's recommendations too.

So much to read but so little time. I need to be unemployed lol.

 

Iconodule

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Law of God is the ROCOR catechism. I remember being impressed by its comprehensiveness but it does show its age.
 

RobS

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Iconodule said:
Law of God is the ROCOR catechism. I remember being impressed by its comprehensiveness but it does show its age.
I will do as my priest asks, and I do keep a notebook of when disagreements arise or what is beneficial which I will share with him. Maybe I need to humble myself more, I want to start with the heavyweights but that could lead to pride. I have to start with milk before I can get to solid food.

You are right it is pretty comprehensive. I probably need to stop getting hung up over on those parts I have problems with.
 

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Iconodule said:
Law of God is the ROCOR catechism. I remember being impressed by its comprehensiveness but it does show its age.
What hip new orthodoxy its it too old to present?
 

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Porter ODoran said:
Iconodule said:
Law of God is the ROCOR catechism. I remember being impressed by its comprehensiveness but it does show its age.
What hip new orthodoxy its it too old to present?
Beard-and-Suspenders Mennodoxy.
 

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Iconodule said:
Porter ODoran said:
Iconodule said:
Law of God is the ROCOR catechism. I remember being impressed by its comprehensiveness but it does show its age.
What hip new orthodoxy its it too old to present?
Beard-and-Suspenders Mennodoxy.
Ouch!  ;D
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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nothing said:
Read the first two chapters of Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church by Vladimir Lossky.

Why oh why did I not read this years ago, reading it is euphoric.
I've had this book on my shelf for quite a while. Embarrassed to say I haven't read it. I'm gonna dig into it tonight on your recommendation. Thanks!

Selam
 

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Iconodule said:
It's a great book and very readable (at least it was for me).
I agree, I was surprised by how readable it was considering I have heard from others of its difficulty. There are other Orthodox theology books out there that are much more difficult than Mystical Theology.

Even that said, I am slowly and carefully reading it while also taking notes on some of the more profound parts that force me to contemplate on them. One page I have practically every sentence marked with my notes in the margins.

So Gebre, I think you will find it immensely pleasurable read. You already have a solid background in Orthodox theology from what I have read of your writings, so you should find the book to be a treasure trove. It has been enormously helpful to me in getting the right, well how can I put this, "attitude" when it comes to the common faith which Lossky delves into.

I hope you enjoy it.
 

RobS

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Iconodule,

I got with my priest regarding what I have been reading and he suggested I should read Orthodox Dogmatic Theology by Fr Pomazansky. He's aware that I'm, well how do I put this, beyond the basics of theology and would like me to read something more to my reading level if that makes sense.

I had the book like 5 years ago and I remember I enjoyed it. But I'm curious if you have any opinions on it or what I should be mindful of while I'm reading it.

Anyway so here's my reading for the next week:

Law of God - Divine Services section
St John's Gospel
Mystical Theology
Orthodox Dogmatic Theology
A chapter or two from Proverbs
A Psalm
The Creed
Sayings from the Desert Fathers, a few pages
Try to read a few Saint's lives.
Maybe I will start reading "Art of Prayer" as well, but my priest did not recommend it.
and of course continue to expand my prayer rule from not only just being the Evening prayers.

I need to get back to re-reading the Gospels, I keep finding my way back to Jewish Wisdom books like Ecclesiastes, Job, Proverbs, Sirach etc. (I'd throw in St. James Epistle here) because they are so profound. I need to be careful that my intellectualism doesn't lead to pride and intellectualizing the faith, rather than simply living it out.
 

Iconodule

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That's a lot in one week!

It's been a long time since I read Pomazansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. As I recall, it's a very straightforward, no frills presentation of the major subjects. I recall only one issue I had, which is that I wish he went a little more into the theology of icons- he explains why they are not idolatrous, how the honor to the image passes to the prototype, but he doesn't explicitly make the connection with the incarnation, though he does do this for relics. That was just one nitpick on my part and it may not even be accurate.

I really like The Art of Prayer. When you say your priest doesn't recommend it, do you mean he just didn't mention it, or he actually said not to read it?
 

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Iconodule said:
That's a lot in one week!

It's been a long time since I read Pomazansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology. As I recall, it's a very straightforward, no frills presentation of the major subjects. I recall only one issue I had, which is that I wish he went a little more into the theology of icons- he explains why they are not idolatrous, how the honor to the image passes to the prototype, but he doesn't explicitly make the connection with the incarnation, though he does do this for relics. That was just one nitpick on my part and it may not even be accurate.

I really like The Art of Prayer. When you say your priest doesn't recommend it, do you mean he just didn't mention it, or he actually said not to read it?
Well in regards to the theology books I probably won't have the time to finish them in a week. It's not a requirement, thankfully.

I told Father that I'd like to focus more on praxis and prayer, which is why I showed him the Art of Prayer book to supplement my prayer rule and directing my heart, soul, mind to God in prayer. I told him I'm trying not to cognitively pray, but pray in the heart, which has been difficult.

Anyway it was more of him just generally not liking the book. He said it was OK for me to read it but it wasn't something he personally recommended. Perhaps that maybe because it's more geared towards serious monastics rather than just beginners. We didn't spend too much time talking about it as we got into other topics. He does love Lossky though.

But the focus for this upcoming week will be on the Creed, St. John's Gospel, reading the lives of a few saints, some of Orthodox Dogmatic Theology and Mystical Theology. I'll try to incorporate the other readings in my list as I have the time.

For personal pleasure I am reading the Complete Fenelon, which I highly recommend to any Christian. I have been reading parts of it during my commute to and from work.

It was interesting that he thought Fr. Hopko's Rainbow Series was too simplistic and the web version lacks images. I agree with Father that it allows certain things, like during the liturgical services, to stick if you have images. I believe the paperbacks do have a lot of pictures.

Speaking of which during the workday I am listening to Fr. Hopko's Spirit and Truth podcast on the Divine Liturgy which has been another huge help in understanding. I feel now like I can go to services and not stand there wondering what is going on. I'm still far from grasping it. Hopefully my readings in Law of God will illumine more.
 

Gebre Menfes Kidus

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nothing said:
Iconodule said:
It's a great book and very readable (at least it was for me).
I agree, I was surprised by how readable it was considering I have heard from others of its difficulty. There are other Orthodox theology books out there that are much more difficult than Mystical Theology.

Even that said, I am slowly and carefully reading it while also taking notes on some of the more profound parts that force me to contemplate on them. One page I have practically every sentence marked with my notes in the margins.

So Gebre, I think you will find it immensely pleasurable read. You already have a solid background in Orthodox theology from what I have read of your writings, so you should find the book to be a treasure trove. It has been enormously helpful to me in getting the right, well how can I put this, "attitude" when it comes to the common faith which Lossky delves into.

I hope you enjoy it.
So I began the book last night. I can already tell I'm going to need about five highlighters for this one. The book was given to me along with a bunch of others years ago when our Church moved to a new location. This book stood out because of its title, but I knew nothing about it. It's been on my shelf for years. Perhaps it is God's will that I begin to read it now. And as if I didn't need any other reason, check this out:

I posted a quote from the book on my FB page last night, and a FB friend left me this comment:

It is said that Albert Camus read this book shortly before passing away, was impressed and said "this is something I can discuss with".

So now my love for Camus has grown even stronger, and my eagerness to sink my teeth into Lossky's book is even greater.

The cynic says, "Thanks for nothing!" I say, "Thanks to Nothing!"  ;)


Selam
 

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Anthony1986 said:
The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware
Speaking of this, hey Iconodule, if you want to respond to this, I'd like to ask you about modernism.

I recall you once called Kallistos Ware a modernist with his "liberal" views on issues like women ordination, uncritical acceptance of Darwinism, ecumenism and so on. I understand that "modernism" can mean many things depending on the context, but from an Orthodox Christian perspective how does one understand it and why one should be hostile towards it? I don't want to assume it merely means a deviation from the faith and tradition that has been handed down or an innovation in doctrine. Of course there are much more larger issues as far as the relationship one has to love, soul, death, God, truth, life and so on. On a superficial level, I also take modernism to have the idea where everything is reduced to a subjective experience, that one can decide truth for himself amongst a plethora of options. So for example today we can decide between various religions, new age beliefs and so on. But that was not the case in pre-modern times. If I had a time machine and went back to oh I dunno some small village during the Byzantine Empire in the 10th century, and talked to a villager about different religions he'd probably think I had gone mad! The notion of some kind of modern individuality of choosing or even creating truth never existed. Then of course in a, well I'm being vulgar and simplistic to keep this short, "postmodern" view all truth itself is constructed, there is ultimately no underlying truth. I kind of want to think postmodernism is modernism in hyperdrive, but a neat definition of it is pretty slippery.

Again I know how I am looking at one facet of modernism is very vulgar and this is obviously a topic that a lot of ink can be spilled over, but I'm more interested in what you take modernism to be, how one can identify that in Orthodox writings and perhaps even beyond that. My view of the Orthodox Church is that it is totally not modern, but I wouldn't say anti-modern because that would suggest in some opposition to it...which I'm not sure how that could be because the Church never arose in reaction to modernism. Maybe I'm wrong. I'd rather adopt G.K. Chesteron's "enchanted" or romantic view of the world which is something profoundly lost after the Enlightenment. To be a Christian is to be a true romantic, would you agree?
 

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Read the first part of Wounded by Love this weekend. I chose this book to be part of my reading the lives of the saints and I decided to pick a more contemporary saint.

There's one story in it that I'm not sure I understand the meaning. It's when St. Porphyrios is confronted by an American who is fleeing from the police from murdering his wife. He repents and St. Porphyrios lets him continue on his way. The following morning the police ask St. Porphyrios if he had seen that American man and he tells them he did not.

So what is the meaning of this story? That God forgives regardless of the sin and His mercy and forgiveness is different than worldly-sought punishment (the police)? Or is it the times where lying can be virtuous and leaving the man's fate ultimately up to God? He repented, absolved so it seem that St. Porphyrios no longer needs to meddle in the man's life by telling the police where he went.

I'm just not sure what to make of it.
 

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nothing said:
Anthony1986 said:
The Orthodox Way by Kallistos Ware
Speaking of this, hey Iconodule, if you want to respond to this, I'd like to ask you about modernism.

I recall you once called Kallistos Ware a modernist with his "liberal" views on issues like women ordination, uncritical acceptance of Darwinism, ecumenism and so on.
I probably did say that but my feelings have changed on most of these issues (I also think The Orthodox Way is a really good intro to Orthodox spirituality). Not that I am particularly in favor of women's ordination or pointless wine-and-dines at the WCC but they don't jump out to me as existential crises of the Church. I also think it's hard to deny that Met Kallistos has a point when he says that the reasons why women should not be ordained have not been articulated very well.

As you say, "modernism" and "modernity" are both catch-all terms that are not very useful and I try not to lean on them very much. There are a number of specific ideas traceable to the Enlightenment or Renaissance (e.g. the neo-Epicureanism that more or less morphed into modern science) but a catch-all rejection of "modernism" seems very thorny to me nowadays.

My view of the Orthodox Church is that it is totally not modern, but I wouldn't say anti-modern because that would suggest in some opposition to it...which I'm not sure how that could be because the Church never arose in reaction to modernism. Maybe I'm wrong. I'd rather adopt G.K. Chesteron's "enchanted" or romantic view of the world which is something profoundly lost after the Enlightenment. To be a Christian is to be a true romantic, would you agree?
It seems to me that Orthodoxy is definitely not simply a relic of bygone age but has lived, breathed, and grown with the times. That doesn't mean we uncritically swallow everything but the Church is as much modern as it was once Roman, medieval Russian, etc. The way we do things, the way we learn, speak about, and practice the faith, is thoroughly modern, though that doesn't mean it is cut off from the ancient roots.

An re-enchantment of the world is a project I broadly agree with provided it does not devolve into dreaming with eyes open, fantasy, retreating into some synthetic community, etc.
 

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Rooting through my shelves, I re-discovered my copy of John H Erickson's The Challenge of Our Past.

Though it's written in that tone that Orthodox and Catholic academic writing adopted in the 80s, some parts of it are pretty good. I liked the essays about historical understandings of penance and divorce, but some of the other essays are pretty skim worthy. Since none of the chapters really build on each other (they were originally separate essays/speeches gathered into one volume), I've been just skipping around as my interest dictates.
 

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Iconodule said:
Agabus said:
that tone that Orthodox and Catholic academic writing adopted in the 80s
I'm not sure I'm familiar with this. Any examples?
Imagine Schmemann had a concise editor who then adapted his work to sound like the '92 CCC.
 

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Agabus said:
Iconodule said:
Agabus said:
that tone that Orthodox and Catholic academic writing adopted in the 80s
I'm not sure I'm familiar with this. Any examples?
Imagine Schmemann had a concise editor who then adapted his work to sound like the '92 CCC.
Maybe a more concrete (and widely read) example of what it reminds me of comes from the other side of the ecclesial fence — Jerome Kodell's Eucharist in the New Testament.
 

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The Garden of Heaven: Poems of Hafez
The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells
 

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Started Part 2 of Wounded by Love and well I am totally gobsmacked. After reading Part 1, I was not expecting such profound wisdom. This is the tonic I so badly thirst for and it is probably a book I will continue to read for the rest of my life. I am so blessed to have found this book! Thank you Iconodule and Mor!
 

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nothing said:
Started Part 2 of Wounded by Love and well I am totally gobsmacked. After reading Part 1, I was not expecting such profound wisdom. This is the tonic I so badly thirst for and it is probably a book I will continue to read for the rest of my life. I am so blessed to have found this book! Thank you Iconodule and Mor!
Somehow I have managed to miss this one thus far even though it is fairly beloved.
 

RaphaCam

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I've bought here in the US so far:

Complete French All-in-One (Annie Hemingway)
Essential Modern Greek Grammar (Douglas Adams)
Early Christian Fathers (Cyril Richardson)
The Analects (Confucius)
Sun and Steel (Yukio Mishima)
The Essential Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe (Edgar Allan Poe)
German Grammar (Elke Gschossmann-Hendershot and Lois Feuerle)
English Gypsy Language (G. Borrow)
 

Mor Ephrem

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nothing said:
Started Part 2 of Wounded by Love and well I am totally gobsmacked. After reading Part 1, I was not expecting such profound wisdom. This is the tonic I so badly thirst for and it is probably a book I will continue to read for the rest of my life. I am so blessed to have found this book! Thank you Iconodule and Mor!
Though I haven't done it, St Porphyrios' book is just the sort of book I'd read cover-to-cover repeatedly.  Very few books make me feel that way.  It's unfortunate there's not more out there in English. 
 
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