Sunday, October 30, 2011
My first book, The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy is now officially available from Regina Orthodox Press. Talked to the publisher Friday afternoon and my author copies have been shipped out as well. I should have my copies available something this coming week, so friends, family, and local purchasers the wait is almost over!
Monday, October 24, 2011
Big news everyone! My first book The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy: How Traditionalist Ideology and “Changeless” Canons Hurt the Orthodox Church is now available for pre-order from the publisher's website. The blurb from the publisher states that The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy “is an amusing yet poignant critique of the so-called Traditionalist Movement. It examines this modern day phenomenon by looking at the more outlandish Canons that traditionalists insist all Orthodox Christians embrace. Many of these supposedly changeless laws - from priests having ever longer beards to saying that all the Canons are "divinely inspired" - are silly, or even barbaric.”
Barbaric? Yes! That is, if you think excommunicating women for having a miscarriage and claiming that rape victims may have secretly wanted to be raped, barbaric. Contrary to popular opinion, Church law doesn't merely consist of a collection of ecclesiastical regulations which apply only to Liturgical rites and functions, like determining how many candles should sit upon the altar of a Christian Church. Canon law also consists of archaic and controversial laws which allows Christians to own slaves, forbids Christians from eating Matzo bread, and claims that masturbation is the work of Satan. While such Church laws find their origins in the Church of the Middle (or Dark) Ages, they actually remain on the books and enforceable within the second largest Christian Church on earth: the Eastern Orthodox Church. The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy seeks to expose these Church laws to the light of day and encourages all Christians to not run from Christianity's dark past, but to learn from and move beyond its ancient prejudices and superstitions.
While the book focuses upon Eastern Orthodoxy's modern day struggle between conservatives and progressives, it also helps bring into focus the fact that Christianity is not, nor has ever been perfect. I argue that old is not always better and that traditions are made to be broken, just as they have always been, from the very beginnings of Christianity itself. After all, a religion founded by a poor Jewish peasant who challenged and questioned religious leaders' hypocrisy, became a religion where religious leaders were to be obeyed without question in the course of just a few generations. The teachings ascribed to Jesus of Nazareth were lost in the shuffle of man made customs and regulations which have their origin not in Jesus the man, but in ancient Roman culture. The Crazy Side of Orthodoxy will give you a new perspective on the ecclesiastical regulations commonly known as Canon law, which is often far more entertaining and hilarious than most people could ever imagine.