All of the books available here are autographed by Kh. Frederica. If you would like a special message from Frederica in your book please send her an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org (the bookstore manager will be automatically cc’d on this request; please do not remove her from the “Cc:” field of your email).
Also visit Kh. Frederica’s website for archives of her articles, book previews and family pictures!
Welcome to the Orthodox Church--Its History, Theology, Worship, Spirituality, and Daily Life
This friendly guide provides a comprehensive introduction to Orthodoxy, but with a twist: readers learn by making a series of visits to a fictitious church, and get to know the faith as new Christians did for most of history, by immersion. Mathewes-Green provides commentary and explanations on everything from how to "venerate" an icon, to the Orthodox understanding of the atonement, to the Lenten significance of tofu. It's the perfect book for inquirers and newcomers, but even readers who have been Orthodox all their lives say they learned things they never knew before. Enjoyable, easy-to-read, and leavened with humor, is a gracious guide to the ancient faith of the Christian East.
"This book follows Frederica Mathewes-Green's tried and true recipe, of lucid writing marked by a strong sense of humor, but never escaping from the deepest spiritual realities. Do take warning, though. If you read this thoughtful and passionate book, you will run the risk of having to take the claims of Orthodox Christianity very seriously indeed."
–Philip Jenkins, Distinguished Professor of History, Baylor University
"I am simply thrilled that my dear friend Frederica Mathews-Green has written this primer on the Orthodox faith. First of all, she is one of the finest writers living—as I hope you will see shortly—and her ability to explain the ancient Christian faith to a generation hungry for more than flimsy rock-and-roll choruses and 'relevant' sermons is without parallel. This book will change lives." –Eric Metaxas, New York Times Bestselling author of Miracles and Bonhoeffer
"This is more like a friend than a book. It's the voice you hope to hear beside you in church, murmuring explanations and encouragement as you make your journey. I highly recommend it."
–Rev. Dr. Christopher Metropulos, Executive Director, Orthodox Christian Network
"With exhilarating clarity, Mathewes-Green introduces the profound mystery at the heart of the Orthodox Christian faith: it is a way of life to be encountered and performed; it is not reducible to a range of propositions to be considered. With great charm and with characteristic wit and humor, she prepares the way for those who arrive at an Orthodox church, letting them know how best to open their hearts to this worship that is both ancient and ever new."
–Scott Cairns, poet, author of Slow Pilgrim
The Jesus Prayer: The Ancient Desert Prayer that Tunes the Heart to God
The Jesus Prayer has historically been passed on face-to-face, from one Christ-loving person to the next, down the generations ever since the desert saints. It is learned in a community of fellow-believers, all of whom are aware of their need and sin, trying daily to resist temptation better and love God more. As you form the habit of saying this prayer in the back of your mind all the time, it soaks into you, like dye into cotton, and colors the way you encounter every person and circumstance you meet.
“Frederica Mathewes-Green offers the most comprehensive book to date on the Jesus Prayer – a spiritual jewel for anyone who yearns for a real and continuous presence with Christ. She illuminates the history, theology, and spirituality of Orthodoxy, so that the Prayer can be understood in its native context, and provides practical steps for making it a part of our being.” —Praise for Frederica Mathewes-Green
“Frederica Mathewes-Green is a sparkling writer. Not only is her material fascinating, but so is her perspective as a thoughtful and irenic Orthodox Christian." —Brian McLaren
“One of the most gifted writers on religion in America today…. [She has] a stunning historical range and a capacity to move gracefully from the informative to inspirational….eye-opening, innovative, and important." —Steven Waldman, Beliefnet.com
The Lost Gospel of Mary: The Mother of Jesus in Three Ancient Texts
“From the first, Christians loved Mary. Christians today stand behind these fervent believers and peer over their shoulders. Frederica Mathewes-Green writes: 'I hope that we will be able to see what they saw, and come to love her too.' We’ll do that by reading three ancient texts about Mary. In each case we’ll begin with some historic background, and then move to consider theological and cultural questions (sometimes, uncomfortable questions) that the document raises. …
“Together in one remarkable volume, these three texts open up the life of Mary, and her role in the church, in new and sometimes startling ways.
“Do you want to get to know Mary a bit better? Are you interested in entering a faithful Marian spirituality? Let Frederica Mathewes-Green facilitate a rich, traditional, authentic meeting of Mary. When it comes to spending time with the mother of our Lord, this book is second only to Scripture.” —Lauren F. Winner, author
“The Mary that Frederica Mathewes-Green gives us in these winsome texts —a palpably real woman, at once humble and exalted— transcends the differences that persist even today among the main streams of the Christian tradition, not least because this Mary points beyond herself to the ultimate source of our hope and our joy." —John Wilson, editor, Books & Culture
First Fruits of Prayer: A Forty Day Journey Through the Canon of St. Andrew
“In this fascinating and sometimes magisterial guided exploration of an eighth-century hymn that is central to Lenten religious practice for the Eastern Orthodox, Mathewes-Green encourages her readers not only to examine but also to personally apply fundamental Christian concepts like repenting, understanding the nature of sin and experiencing God in prayer. A skilled interpreter of the theology and history of the Orthodox tradition, Mathewes-Green arranges the Great Canon of St. Andrew, bishop of Crete, into 40 readings accompanied by scriptural references, commentary, theological reflection and questions.
Mathewes-Green, who has clearly done her scholarly homework, sets the stage by giving a brief overview of Andrew’s life and an abbreviated paraphrase of the life of St. Mary of Egypt. (This account of a female hermit’s meeting with a monk on a Lenten retreat is also read during the service of the Great Canon. This gem from the early church is alone worth the price of the book.) While some readers may be put off by Mathewes-Green’s apparent conviction that her denomination has preserved the soul of the early church while Western Christians have strayed, others will find her insights both evocative and provocative.” —Publishers Weekly
The Open Door: Entering the Sanctuary of Icons and Prayer
“This book presents a unique opportunity for readers to visit an imaginary church and see icons “in action” throughout the year—to stand alongside worshipers for whom the use of icons is a natural part of their devotional lives. Reproductions of icons on the book jacket and in the inside text allow the reader to view the icons that would be found in a typical contemporary Orthodox church, as Frederica Mathewes-Green explains their history and theology.” —Publishers Weekly
Gender: Men, Women, Sex, Feminism
“Is hell a male-only club?” Frederica asks this provocative question as she takes us on a journey through her early years as a feminist, a conversion experience to Christianity, and the realization that men and women are unique yet equal. She gives us glimpses into her meetings with prominent feminists, takes us through Crisis Pregnancy Centers and explores the idea of early marriage as a way to mature and healthy adulthood.”—Publishers Weekly
The Illumined Heart: The Ancient Christian Path of Transformation
“Advocating a return to the universal spirituality that characterized early Christianity, Mathewes-Green urges readers to seek out their historic Christian roots. Arguing that contemporary Christianity is increasingly culture dependent, she attempts to rediscover a unifying faith that transcends all modern cultural messages. To truly live in Christ, current believers must travel the often-arduous mystical path of the ancient church.” —Publishers Weekly
The Illumined Heart Companion Guide
“This study will enable individuals or groups to use The Illumined Heart in a group, Bible study, or retreat thereby coming to a better understanding of the spiritual practices of the first Christian communities. Designed to be used by both teachers and students alike, this Companion Guide gives readers a key theme for each chapter, insightful quotations from the text, and reflection questions. Scriptures are also supplied which enable students to see the Biblical basis for the truths that The Illumined Heart presents. Learners seek deeper insights into the character and life of the early church, and the revitalization of their own spiritual practices. This new Companion Guide should be a welcome resource.”
At the Corner of East and Now: A Modern Life in Ancient Christian Orthodoxy
“When this book succeeds, it does so beautifully: Mathewes-Green has crafted a stirring tribute to Eastern Orthodoxy, geared for the beginner. She patiently explains Orthodoxy’s emphasis on tradition and conciliar decision making, rigid fasting requirements, use of icons and commitment to transcendent liturgy.” —Publishers Weekly
Facing East: A Pilgrim’s Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy
“The homespun mingles with the majestic in this affectionate account of a family’s romance with an ancient form of Christianity. The author, a columnist for the Religion News Service, was a lapsed Roman Catholic who tried Hinduism before becoming a charismatic Episcopalian; her husband, Fr. Gregory, pastor of the Holy Cross Mission in Baltimore, is a former Episcopal priest. …[T]he couple has joined a contingent of evangelical Christians who have, in recent years, been converting to Eastern Orthodoxy. Mathewes-Green offers an intimate glimpse of this piece of the contemporary American religious landscape. Writing with charm and humor and a convert’s zeal, she weaves reflections on family life, friendship and personal spirituality with descriptions of Orthodox worship and fellowship. “ —Publishers Weekly
Real Choices: Offering Practical Life Affirming Alternatives to Abortion
“Providing pregnant women with alternatives that are practical, realistic, and life-affirming, this book examines some of the questions that surround abortion and the reasons many women choose abortion. Matthewes-Green explores the resources available to alleviate the problems that come with an unplanned pregnancy and tells how those resources can be improved.” —Ingram
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