Extracted from Arthur Penrhyn Stanley’s Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church, this initial essay lays out his general perceptions of the Eastern Church. He considers the divisions of the church, the historical epochs into which it falls, and the general characteristics and the advantage of studying them.
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Extracted from Arthur Penrhyn Stanley’s Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church, this booklet represents the first lecture focused on the Eastern Church. Examining the authorities for the history of this division of the church, Stanley explains the major branches of this tradition from the Church of the East, the Greek Church, and the Russian Church. After this survey, the history is divided into epochs, beginning with the Councils, the rise of Islam, and then the rise of the Russian Empire. Stanley attempts to analyze the general characteristics of Eastern Christianity; overall he finds it speculative, rhetorical, and philosophical. He considers the doctrines of the Eastern Church, the sacraments, views of religious art, theology and hierarchy. These facets he compares with the church in the west. Seeing an advantage in this study, Stanley demonstrates how the isolation of the Eastern Church from the Western has lessons to teach church members in his own day.
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-1881) was educated at Oxford and became a clergyman in the Church of England. He was a tutor then Regius Professor at Oxford and went on to become the Dean of Westminster. He wrote several books during his career.