Short Eastern Orthodox Book Reviews

I’m glad to post religious reviews today, for the Feast of the Nativity. The following are books I enjoyed very much; unfortunately, I don’t have time to write a long review for each, if I want to catch up with the reviews of all the books I read in 2013 before the end of the year!

Year of Grace of The Lord

The Year of Grace of The Lord:
A Scriptural and Liturgical Commentary
on the Calendar of the Orthodox Church

Lev Gillet
aka A Monk of Eastern Church
Translated by Deborah Cowan


Publisher: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press
Pub. Date: 1980
ISBN: 978-0913836682

Genre: Nonfiction / religion


Buy Link

As the subtitle clearly states, the book follows the liturgical year of the Orthodox Church, starting on September 1st, and through 7 chapters comments on each feast, with its meaning and the meaning of the scriptural passages attributed to each feast.

Lev GilletThere’s always a very simple and refreshing style to Lev Gillet, and it has always been a delight for me to read his meditations on Scripture. He always comes up with deep and simple ideas and images, and make you see things in a different perspective, full of pure goodness from the heart. I inserted here his picture, as I believe you can see the goodness of the man on his face.
You can read more about this fascinating man here. His biography by Elisabeth Behr Sigel is amazing!

I’d like to quote here a few passages:

The 3 conversionsLight at Easter

An external event, be it even the Resurrection of our Lord, has no practical value for souls unless it translates itself, in them, into an increase of that inner Light which must direct our whole life.

We are justified by faith, but faith is nothing unless it transforms our life, unless it bears fruit, and leads to holiness.


Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses

Therapy if Spiritual Illnesses
Jean-Claude Larchet
Translated by Kilian Sprecher


Publisher: Alexander Press
Pub. Date: 2012
ISBN: 1896800394

Genre: Nonfiction / religion


Buy Link

As mentioned in my previous post on vol.1, I read this book in French many years ago. Not sure why, but the recent English edition came out in a 3 volume box set. I recently finished the 2nd volume, which deals with the movement from illness to health again, though the Sacraments and different means of implementation of the therapy.

The subtitle tells you more about the vast fresco of this book: An Introduction to the Ascetic Tradition of the Eastern Church.

The book covers ALL the themes related to Orthodox theology and spirituality, it is a mine full of tons of riches and multiple Patristic quotations.

The Table of Contents of the 3 volumes will give you a better idea:





19 thoughts on “Short Eastern Orthodox Book Reviews

  1. Thanks for these timely book suggestions. Seldom do I get to be informed about the Eastern Orthodox tradition. I’ll definitely check them out. Wishing you a Blessed Christmas, Emma!


  2. I don’t think I’ve read any books on Eastern Orthodoxy! I’m reading Roland Merullo’s The Vatican Waltz for review purposes now, and need to finish it ASAP before my digital copy expires. Happy reviewing in 2014!


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  4. Jumped over here from Fr. Stephen’s to say how much I love Larchet’s books! I read The Theology of Illness and Mental Disorders and Spiritual Healing a few years ago… does this set include these works or is it a different set?


    • No, the set is only Therapy of Spiritual Illnesses, so it’s just 1 book in 3 volumes. Maybe publishers think North Americans are more afraid than Europeans of BIG books?? I have read the others you mention, very good too, but Therapy offers a whole comprehensive view of Orthodoxy, majestic. Thanks for stopping by


      • Merci! Je voudrais avoir ces livres, mais ce sont tres cher! I’ll have to save up!

        Alors…. je apprendre le francais pour deux ou trois ans, et je voudrais lire quelques livres simples. Avez-vous de recommandations? (Excusez-moi pour mon mauvais francais!) Maintenant je lis “lettres a un gentilhomme russe sur l’Inquisition Espagnole” et “Les Soirees de Saint-Petersbourg” par Joseph de Maistre. Ce sont bons pour non-fiction, mais je cherche quelque chose d’amusant. Pouvez-vous indiquer la bonne direction? Merci pour votre aide!


        • Oui Tess, ces livres sont chers, mais c’est vraiment une mine, des références que vous pourrez utiliser toute la vie! Votre français n’est pas mal, l’important c’est pas les fautes, mais que je vous comprends! Il y a des livres orthodoxes très bons en français, par Lev Gillet, qui signe habituellement ses livres: Un moine de l’Eglise d’Orient. C’est un language très simple, profond, et très méditatif. Par exemple: Jésus, simples regard sur le Sauveur. Ou aussi Amour sans limites. Pour ce qui est de la fiction, il y a un auteur francophone contemporain que j’aime beaucoup, qui a un français très simple mais lui aussi très profond sur les relations humaines, les dialogues, c’est Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. Vous avez peut-être vu le film: Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran, basé sur son livre. Oscar et la dame rose est aussi très bon. Enfin, si ça vous intéresse, je donne des cours de français en ligne (par skype), vous pouvez m’écrire à ce sujet à: ehc16e at yahoo dot com.


          • Merci beaucoup pour votre recommandations! Je suis très excité! Mais où achetez-vous ces livres en ligne?

            Je ne vais pas oublie votre cours de français, peut-être apres de l’annee nouvelle. 🙂
            (J’ai besoin d’explications grammaticales… j’utilise Duolingo et les livres pour des enfants de la site “Les Petits Livres,” quels je lis à mes enfants. Ce sont bon pour immersion, mais, je ne sais pas les règles!)


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