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Christ the Eternal Tao

4.32 of 5 stars 4.32  ·  rating details  ·  114 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This book looks at Christ through the innocent vision of Lao Tzu. People of the modern West have to a great extent become jaded by Christian terminology and doctrinal constructions, yet many of them are drawn to the person of Christ Himself. This book seeks to develop not only a new way of seeing Christ, but also a new language by which to express His message, drawing from...more
Paperback, 552 pages
Published March 28th 2004 by St. Herman Press (first published 1999)
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David Withun
"In the beginning was the Tao, and the Tao was with God, and the Tao was God." That sentence, the opening of the Gospel of John translated from the Chinese version into English, says it all. Hieromonk Damascene does here what the Church Fathers of the first through fourth centuries did with their ancient Greek heritage: he takes up the ancient spiritual wisdom of the Chinese and uses the insights of long ago to illuminate the New Covenant of the coming of Christ -- the Tao, the Logos -- in the f...more
James Andersen
This book is truly an incredible read. For those who feel that Christianity is exclusively Western will be proved wrong by this book. This book attempts and succeeds in walking a balancing act between religious exclusivity and syncretism.

This book shows how Christianity is the fulfillment of all the worlds spiritual traditions both in their unique worldview's and practices, whether Judaism of the West or Taoism of the East, using this book and others I will attempt a great undertaking of trying...more
Any religion that claims to be universal and exclusive must be capable of bridging the cultural gaps between the various cultures of the human race. Christianity makes that claim and this book does an incredible job of explaining how a faith with Jewish roots fits in with the history of philosophy all over the world.

More importantly, this book provides a detailed and awe-inspiring introduction to Eastern Orthodox spirituality, which is something both Protestants and Catholics lack (Catholics due...more
John Pillar
Good book. There's a lot of variety in the book revolving around Jesus Christ and the concept of the Tao; ranging from poetry to practical spiritual practice.

For me personally, I found a good bit of affirmation of the foreshadowing of Jesus that I found when reading a translation of the Tao Te Ching. I appreciated the consistent message of the necessity of humbleness in our walk with Christ, as well as the emphasis the Jesus Christ must be our focus. I think the book provides a good balance betw...more
A fantastic read for any person who has grown up in the context of Western Christianity and has found it lacking a certain spiritual element. Damascene approaches the teachings of the Tao Te Ching from an Eastern Orthodox prospective, leaving a deep impression on the typical Western reader. (By the way, in most of my treatments, "typical Western" = Me. Thanks) Widespread in its topics, this book offers a fresh alternative to the overly-academic systematic theologies offered us by Catholic and Pr...more
[Paul said] And He made from one blood every nation of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth, and He ordained their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, in order for them to seek the Lord, if perhaps indeed they might grope for Him and find Him, and yet being indeed not far from each one of us; for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.’ (Acts 17:26-28, EMTV)

As Paul made their ‘Unknown God...more
Alex Petrovich
My Priest-Brother recommended this. Changed my thinking on religion altogether in that it made me think Bigger about God and the Universe. There is so much pride in religion these days; everyone thinks that only they have Truth. This book helped me understand the humility of spiritual experience can perhaps come from outside the typical well; that perhaps we are all looking for Truth and each have to find our own Tao to reach It.

Very Beautiful Literature.
Arthur Johnson
The book really changed my life, and set me on such a different path than what I was already on, but one that was so familiar.

Recommended to Christians, Buddhists, or anyone looking for answers.
Shawn E
There are precious few books that one returns to again and again. This is one of them.
Sep 01, 2011 Michelle-Marie marked it as to-read
After listening to the free podcast series from ANCIENT FAITH RADIO, I felt it was time to revisit the themes discussed and get a copy of the book, this time so I can take more notes. Not being familiar with Eastern Spirituality, this is to me a more interesting way to go about an introduction, through an Eastern (Christian) Orthodox perspective. Reviews by readers on Amazon encouraged me further in this direction.
Tom Rehbeck
Just started reading it! From a person who has been discouraged by the Western Church culture, I can see how this book will give me a different, non-religious view of The Way! Have only just begin to read, but feel this book will be one that challenges both my beliefs and non-beliefs! I feel an organic connection to its premise so far!
Mike Simmons
A fun read, if you want to wade through Lao Tzu. Damascene and Seraphim Rose help us see that the eastern religions had a vision of God that is not contrary to what was revealed by Jesus Christ when He entered this world as the Logos and the Way. A nice look into Eastern Orthodox Christianity in China.
This is several sections in one book - and I may have ordered the sections differently.

Having said that, each section was fascinating and beautifully written. Many truths are in this excellent book, I will definitely keep it as a re-read.
Kierstin Butler
Very good read. Thought it was a different kind of read, didn't turn out to be something I personally would WANT to read. But it was very well written.
I'm interested in reading this now. I have a smaller booklet with parts of it. I got it for my mom once, i think i'll borrow it from her. ;)
A great book on the Chinese philosophy of Tao and the Orthodox Church
Local book discussion.
Jul 12, 2014 Susan rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
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Hieromonk Damascene (secular name John Christensen) is hieromonk of Serbian Orthodox Church, and deputy abbot of St Herman of Alaska Monastery, Platina, California.

Born in 1961 in family with Scandinavian roots. Raised as a nominal Protestant Christian. By the time he began college, however, he believed that the highest spiritual reality was not a personal deity or God, but rather a transpersonal...more
More about Damascene Christensen...
Father Seraphim Rose: His Life and Works Not of This World: The Life and Teaching of Fr Seraphim Rose Genesis, Creation, and Early Man: The Orthodox Christian Vision Nihilism: The Root of the Revolution of the Modern Age An Unbroken Circle: Linking Ancient African Christianity to the African-American Experience

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