Flesh of Our Brethren
Paperback, 314 Pages
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In the 19th century the Syrian Orthodox Church provided bishops for discontented Anglo-Catholics in Britain, Portuguese Catholics in Ceylon and Old Catholics in America. In 1933 it responded to a crisis among the Byzantine Orthodox in Hungary by consecrating a bishop for these congregations too. Although now a Metropolitan of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Abba Seraphim believes that there are certain parallels which may be construed to aid a more generous evaluation of these bishops and his detailed documentation, the fruit of 40 years research, provides the basis for such a re-assessment.
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Nov 6, 2007"Flesh of Our Brethren" This is an important and genuine contribution to the history of the Syrian Orthodox Church and to the biographies of the four Western Bishops ordained by the Syrian Orthodox Church. The book gives new information not seen or heard before and is replete with scholarly citations and footnotes. It is an impressive work. It is a reference book but it is also highly readable. It corrects previous histories and encyclopedias by giving true facts and true statements about them and their times with sufficient documentation. It is a must-have book for those interested in apostolic succession or church histories. I highly recommend it to both the scholar and the general reader. +Peter Paul Brennan
May 15, 2006"Flesh of Our Brethren" The writing of the history of Orthodoxy, Eastern or Oriental, for the West, no less than the history itself has given little encouragement for optimism. If the Orthodox Churches have almost universally ignored the West as a field in which the seeds of the Orthodox faith might be sown, keeping it as territory for the religious and cultural ghettoes, historians considering attempts at Orthodox evangelism for the West have sought to treat their subjects with little more than contempt. In part, this has been a result of inadequate research by lazy authors who tended to pick up bits and pieces of material from a variety of sources, many of them of dubious authority and authenticity. In part, it has also been a result of the writers appearing to accept the unorthodox (and quite probably heretical) approach taken by Orthodox authorities: Orthodoxy is Eastern and restricted to specific cultures, and anyone claiming to be Orthodox who does not comply with the... More > cultural (possibly even genetic) prerequisites is either self-deceived or fraudulent. Attempts at establishing an Orthodoxy for the West can therefore be ridiculed as, at best, curiosities doomed to fail, or, at worst, fraudulent schemes promoted by the deluded or the deluding. Such approaches are manifest in the two standard works dealing with the subject: Brandreth’s Episcopi Vagantes and the Anglican Church and Anson’s Bishops at Large. Brandreth’s book is further flawed by an enthusiastic and bitter hostility towards any Orthodox “invasion” of the West, and needs to be understood in the historical context of desperate, but ultimately unsuccessful, attempts by the Anglican authorities (in which Brandreth was involved) to gain approval from the Orthodox Churches as some sort of British equivalent to the Orthodox national churches. This necessitated the preservation of the ethnic mission model of Orthodoxy in the West, and opposition to any alternatives. Anson’s work was flawed, if made highly entertaining, by his strong sense of irony and sarcasm, but also by his zealous commitment (perhaps more zealous because he was a convert from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism) to the view that the Roman Catholic Church solely represented the entirety of true Christianity. Those he described as seeking to promote an Orthodoxy for the West could thus simply be written off as “failed” Roman Catholics. One of the problems confronting those trying to take a seriously scholarly approach to the history of attempts at establishing an Orthodoxy for the West, and most especially an Oriental Orthodoxy for the West, has been the apparent lack of accessible primary sources. Most writers have simply relied on repeating what other writers have written, often without identifying their sources. Abba Seraphim’s Flesh of Our Brethren breaks with the tradition of such. He has written a study of attempts to establish an Oriental Orthodoxy outside its traditional territories and cultures which derive from the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, basing it not only on some forty years of research, but also on previously unknown and unpublished primary sources. His published work on the subject goes back to 1971 and includes many journal articles. Also inevitably, while Abba Seraphim has solved some of the historical mysteries which had baffled previous writers in the field, some remain yet to be resolved. But his work is based in serious and sound scholarship, with an appropriate emphasis on primary sources, and with all sources, primary and secondary, clearly identified. He provides, as previous writers have not done, illuminating information on the critical historical and cultural contexts within which the events of which he writes occurred. His writing provides extensive quotations from primary sources, copious footnotes, a number of fascinating illustrations and a substantial bibliography. Dr Gregory Tillett< Less
Mar 23, 2006"Flesh of Our Brethren " His Eminence has completed an important work of history in the joyful history of the Church. Christ's Church (Body) has many parts and characteristics, the good bishop fills the gap for independent sacramental churches and traces God's blessing on them. Thank you for this work. Many Years Bishop. Dr. Fred Clary
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- Standard Copyright License
- British Orthodox Press
- April 24, 2006
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 1.17 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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- Syrian Orthodox Church ,
- Apostolic Succession ,
- Vilatte ,
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