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The place to learn Orthodox Spirituality is in a parish of the Orthodox Church, there really is no substitute for being part of a living community, to work out one's salvation with fear and trembling.  In some cases that is not a viable option, because still at least in the USA there are vast areas that do not have an Orthodox parish for hundreds of miles.  In that case as in alot of people I know have read their way to the Church.  On this page I am listing the books where one can find out what it is about the Orthodox that  is so different from the western churches.

For the Orthodox Daily Lectionary visit:

OCA - Feasts and Saints - Daily Scripture Readings


The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocrypha

The Revised Standard Version not the New Revised Standard Version.   The NRSV was rejected for public and liturgical reading by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America for errors in its translations.  The NRSV tried to use inclusive language for people, but in places that changed the meaning of the text when it changed a singular noun or pronoun for a plural one.  An example of that is Psalm 1:1 in the RSV it reads:

"Blessed is the man..."
In the NRSV it reads:
"Happy are those..."

The Orthodox Study Bible

This Bible contains the New Testament and Psalms in the New King James Version.  It is the only Orthodox Study Bible in English.  It also has ikons, Orthodox prayers, and a lectionary of the readings of Church for the year.

The New English Bible with Apocrypha

This is the Bible I like and use for my private devotions, I love the English that is used in this version.

Next to the Bible in the Orthodox heart is:

The Philokalia

This a collection of spiritual texts compiled by St. Nikodimos of the Holy  Mountain and St. Markarious of Corinth.  In the Greek it is a five volume work of which the first four volumes have been translated into English.

The Art of Prayer: An Orthodox Anthology

This book was compiled by Igumen Chariton of Valamo during the first part of this century.  It contains writings, most of which come from St. Theophan the Recluse and St. Ignatius Brianchaniov.  I highly recommend this book!

The Way of a Pilgrim

A classic of an unknown author out of nineteenth century Russia

The Jesus Prayer

By a Monk of the Eastern Church.  A good history of the Prayer

Orthodox Spirituality

By a Monk of the Eastern Church.  A good introduction to the spirituality of the Orthodox.

Beginning to Pray

Courage to Pray

God and Man

Living Prayer


The titles before are all by Met. Anthony Bloom.  He is by far the best writer on prayer I have ever read.  I give his book Beginning to Pray to all people who want to pray, it is simply the best book there is on the subject.

On the Jesus Prayer

This book is by St. Ignatius Brianchaniov.  He was one of the spiritual lights of the Russian Church in the nineteenth century.

The Roots of Christian Mysticism

By Olivier Clement, a contemporary French Orthodox Scholar.  It gives the history of how mysticism developed in the Church.

Encounter With God: A Theology of Christian Experience

This is by Morton Kelsey, an Episcopalian priest.  This book did more for me than most others on how as a westerner I was trapped in a reductionist point of view when it came to reality.

A Night in the Desert of the Holy Mountain

By  Archim. Hierotheos Vlachos.  This book is about his meeting with a living saint on the Holy Mountain, in our own day.  The tradition is a live and this book bears witness to that fact.

Riding With the Lion : In Search of Mystical Christianity

By Kyriacos C.Markides  This book is here only because of the authors New Age thinking as he comes face to face with an Ascetic of The Holy Mountain, a most interesting account.

The Pearl of Great Price

By Sergi Hackel    It is the biography of Mother Maria a 20th martyr in the Nazi Holocaust. Met. Anthony Bloom calls her a saint for our time.

The books may be found at:

Finlander's Book Stop: Christian Corner

Powell's Books

Light and Life