Skip to main content

Eastern Orthodox Church: Getting Started

The body of modern churches, including (among others) the Greek and Russian Orthodox, that is derived from the church of the Byzantine Empire, adheres to the Byzantine rite, and acknowledges the honorary primacy of the patriarch of Constantinople.

Our library consortium is transitioning to a new Library System and search engine called CLICsearch.

 

Updating hyperlinks in progress:

 

     

  • If a link to a catalog record for a book or media item does not currently connect in this guide -- search for it again using CLICsearch on the library's website at http://www.stthomas.edu/libraries/.  Search for an item by its title, author, or keywords.  Now you will find up to date call numbers, locations, as well as find which CLIC libraries own your item.

Introduction

This guide provides a number of useful resources. Use the tabs above to explore these resources.

  • Finding Books--search for print or electronic books, located in a library or online
  • Finding Articles--good places to start when searching for journal articles
  • Websites--links to websites that may provide supplementary material

Note: Many of the resources listed here are limited to use by members of  The University of St. Thomas community (faculty, staff and students). If you are using the Guide off-campus, it will ask for a brief login to identify yourself as a member of The University of St. Thomas community before you can use these resources.

Eastern Orthodox Church

Three Bar Cross 

 The Three Bar Cross Explained

            The Orthodox Church affirms it is the Church founded by Jesus Christ and his apostles, begun at the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit in the year 33 A.D. It is also known (especially in the contemporary West) as the Eastern Orthodox Church or the Greek Orthodox Church. It may also be called the Orthodox Catholic Church, the Orthodox Christian Church, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, or simply the Church.

            The bishops of the Orthodox Church trace unbroken succession to the very apostles themselves, therefore ultimately receiving their consecrations from our Lord Jesus Christ. All the bishops of the Church, no matter their titles, are equal in their sacramental office. The various titles given to bishops are simply administrative or honorific in their essence. At an ecumenical council, each bishop may cast only one vote, whether he is the Ecumenical Patriarch or simply an auxiliary bishop without a diocese. Thus, there is no equivalent to the Roman Catholic papacy within the Orthodox Church.

            As with its Apostolic succession, the faith held by the Church is that which was handed by Christ to the apostles. Nothing is added to or subtracted from that deposit of faith which was "handed once for all to the saints" (Jude 3). Throughout history, various heresies have afflicted the Church, and at those times the Church makes dogmatic pronouncements (especially at ecumenical councils) delineating in new language what has always been believed by the Church, thus preventing the spread of heresy and calling to repentance those who rend asunder the Body of Christ. Its primary statement of faith is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.

            The Orthodox Church of today consists of fourteen or fifteen autocephalous churches and five autonomous churches, sometimes referred to as jurisdictions. Autocephalous churches are fully self-governing in all they do, while autonomous churches must have their primates confirmed by one of the autocephalous churches, usually its mother church. All the Orthodox churches remain in full communion with one another, sharing the same faith and praxis. There have been occasional breaks in communion due to various problems throughout history, but they generally remain brief and not developing into full schism. The Patriarchate of Constantinople is also the Ecumenical Patriarchate and has the status of "first among equals" among the Orthodox Churches.

            The most common estimates of the number of Orthodox Christians worldwide is approximately 225-300 million individuals.

Off Campus Access

ACCESSING ONLINE RESOURCES from OFF-CAMPUS

Online databases and electronic journals subscribed to by the UST Libraries are licensed for use by the St. Thomas community ONLY.  Because of this restriction, we need to verify that anyone accessing these databases is a current member of the St. Thomas community.

Subject Guide

Curt LeMay's picture
Curt LeMay
Contact:
Library Director / Theological Librarian
The Archbishop Ireland Memorial Library
Mail # IRL
Office - 101 Ireland Library
Library Liaison for Theology
Telephone: 651-962-5451
Fax: 651-962-5460
Website / Blog Page

Credit where credit is due

This very full  LibGuide owes most of its content, decoration and arrangement to David Cassens, director of the Pius XII Library at St. Louis University, whose Eastern Orthodoxy LibGuide is used as a template here, as it has been for LibGuides at other institutions.  Our thanks to David for his permission to use his inspiring work.