Welcome to the Orthodox Church: An Introduction to Eastern Christianity

Frederica Mathewes-Green
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Welcome to the Orthodox Church- its history, theology, worship, spirituality, and daily life. This friendly guide provides a comprehensive introduction to Orthodoxy, but with a twist: readers learn by making a series of visits to a fictitious church, and get to know the faith as new Christians did for most of history, by immersion. Mathewes-Green provides commentary and explanations on everything from how to "venerate" an icon, to the Orthodox understanding of the atonement, to the Lenten significance of tofu. It's the perfect book for inquirers and newcomers, but even readers who have been Orthodox all their lives say they learned things they never knew before. Enjoyable, easy-to-read, and leavened with humor, Welcome to the Orthodox Church is a gracious guide to the ancient faith of the Christian East.

"With exhilarating clarity, Mathewes-Green introduces the profound mystery at the heart of the Orthodox Christian faith: it is a way of life to be encountered and performed, it is not reducible to a range of propositions to be considered. With great charm and with characteristic wit and humor, she prepares the way for those who arrive at an Orthodox Church, letting them know how best to open their hearts to this worship that is both ancient and ever new." -Scott Cairns, poet, author of Slow Pilgrim: The Collected Poems of Scott Cairns

Frederica Mathewes-Green writes mostly about the Eastern Orthodox Church. She and her family converted in 1993, and her husband, Fr. Gregory, is pastor of the church they founded near Baltimore. She has provided regular columns and commentary for NPR's Morning Edition and All Things Considered, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Religion News Service, Christianity Today, and Ancient Faith Radio.