The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity
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Now available in paperback, this Companion offers an unparalleled survey of the history, theology, doctrine, worship, art, culture and politics that make up the churches of Eastern Christianity.
  • Covers both Byzantine traditions (such as the Greek, Russian and Georgian churches) and Oriental traditions (such as the Armenian, Coptic and Syrian churches)
  • Brings together an international team of experts to offer the first book of its kind on the subject of Eastern Christianity
  • Contributes to our understanding of recent political events in the Middle East and Eastern Europe by providing much needed background information
  • May be used alongside The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity (1999) for a complete student resource


Ken Parry is Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University, Australia. He is the editor-in-chief of The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity (Wiley-Blackwell, 1999) and has contributed to numerous other books and journals on Byzantine Christianity and the Christian East.


List of Illustrations.

Notes on Contributors.


1 Arab Christianity (David Thomas).

2 Armenian Christianity (Vrej Nerses Nersessian).

3 Bulgarian Christianity (Ivan Zhelev Dimitrov).

4 Byzantine Christianity (Hannah Hunt).

5 Coptic Christianity (Janet A. Timbie).

6 Ethiopian Christianity (David Appleyard).

7 Georgian Christianity (Stephen H. Rapp, Jr.).

8 Greek Christianity after 1453 (Vrasidas Karalis).

9 Romanian Christianity (Mircea Pacurariu).

10 Russian Christianity (Basil Lourié)

11 Serbian Christianity (Radmila Radic).

12 Syriac Christianity (Heleen Murre-van den Berg).

13 Eastern Christianity in the United States (Thomas FitzGerald).

14 Eastern Christianity in China (Jeremias Norman).

15 Eastern Catholic Christianity (Peter Galadza).

16 Eastern Christian Liturgical Traditions: Eastern Orthodox (Graham Woolfenden).

17 Eastern Christian Liturgical Traditions: Oriental Orthodox (Bryan D. Spinks).

18 Eastern Christian Iconographic and Architectural Traditions: Eastern Orthodox (Alexander Grishin).

19 Eastern Christian Iconographic and Architectural Traditions: Oriental Orthodox (Lucy-Anne Hunt).

20 Eastern Christian Hagiographical Traditions: Eastern Orthodox (Dimitri Brady).

21 Eastern Christian Hagiographical Traditions: Oriental Orthodox: Syriac Hagiography (Eva Synek).

22 Eastern Christian Hagiographical Traditions: Oriental Orthodox: Coptic Hagiography (Youhanna Nessim Youssef).

23 Eastern Christian Hagiographical Traditions: Oriental Orthodox: Armenian Hagiography (Vrej Nerses Nersessian).

24 Sociology and Eastern Orthodoxy (Peter McMylor and Maria Vorozhishcheva).



"Consistently highly readable and engrossing. This is an excellent overview of Eastern Christianity." (Expository Times)

"A masterful description of the major living traditions of Eastern Christianity. Its 24 chapters, each written by an accomplished scholar in the field, address the dominant ethnic and cultural categories of Eastern Christianity (Arab, Byzantine, etc.) along with their most characteristic features (liturgy, iconography, and hagiography). Each offers a concise, well-organized, and highly readable overview of the tradition in question, along with a representative bibliography ... Highly recommended." (CHOICE)

"Christian emigration, not least from the Middle East, means that there are growing communities of Eastern Christians in the West ... Eastern Christians are now companions to Western; and the latter will learn much about the former from this Blackwell Companion." (Church Times)

"A distinctive addition to the companion series and to its chosen sphere of knowledge." (Reference Reviews)

"A worthwhile collection, and one that should prove useful." (Ecclesiastical History)

"The Blackwell Companion to Eastern Christianity is quite unlike anything else available. It provides a scholarly and authoritative introduction to Eastern Christianity in its myriad variety, covering all the different geographical regions from the Balkans to China and reaching across to the States, and including all jurisdictions. It gives succinct accounts of their history and doctrine, with separate sections on liturgy, iconography and hagiography. Brilliant!"
–Andrew Louth, University of Durham

"This latest addition to the Blackwell Companion series constitutes the most comprehensive, authoritative and elegant account of the Eastern Churches ever published. Its twenty-four chapters, each the work of a specialist, combine full accounts of the history and life of each church with a series of outstanding surveys of their liturgical, iconographical and hagiographical traditions. The surveys of Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox liturgies are a formidable achievement and will be invaluable to students of liturgy Eastern and Western. This work is a definitive synthesis which will stimulate interest in the Eastern Churches at a time when many of them are under threat because of political upheavals. It will also provide a starting point for the further study of their fascinating traditions. Scholarship will long be in the debt of Ken Parry, the editor and organizing mind behind this wonderful collection."
–John Healey, University of Manchester

"A fitting companion volume to Parry's The Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity, this large enterprise will become an indispensable reference work for the study of Eastern Christianities from Egypt to China to USA. Particularly welcome is its emphasis on varying liturgical, iconographical, architectural, and hagiographical traditions."
Pauline Allen, Australian Catholic University, Brisbane