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Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy: Finding the Way to Christ in a Complicated Religious Landscape

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  286 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
This new edition of the bestselling Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy is fully revised and significantly expanded. Major new features include a full chapter on Pentecostalism and the Charismatic movements, an expanded epilogue, and a new appendix (“How and Why I Became an Orthodox Christian”). More detail and more religions and movements have been included, and the book is now ad ...more
Paperback, Revised, 416 pages
Published 2017 by Ancient Faith Publishing (first published May 2011)
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Kristofer Carlson
Apr 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodoxy
I first heard what became this book as a series of podcasts on Ancient Faith Radio. This book, while crossing much the same ground, isn't simply a transcription, but a re-imagining of the subject in book form. It seems to me the chapter on Roman Catholicism in particular has been much expanded, as have the sections on history of the Reformation and Protestantism in general. What is especially good about this book is that it is not merely critical, but also shows what the various different hetero ...more
Jan 06, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: christianity, e-books
I really liked it up to chapter 6, and then the structure or tone of the book shifted. Up until this point, Damick's treatment on what distinguishes Orthodoxy from Roman Catholicism and mainstream Protestantism was well written, and in-depth. I really didn't detect any snark, other than the provocative sub-heading under the Papacy, "A Different God?". (But we are often hardest on those to whom we are closest.) If anything, I felt Damick was very respectful in presenting various faiths and Christ ...more
Feb 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A decent, if ostensible, overview of various Christian groups and their general beliefs. It's very centred on North America for the most part and how they understand and practice Christianity, so it has the benefits and limitations such a purview brings. The USA is religiously fascinating from my perspective.

You can either read the book in this first edition, the second revised edition, or listen to his podcast on the 'Ancient Faith' website (which has the structure and content of the first edit
Feb 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Having grown up Protestant, attended many of the churches described in this book, explored new paganism and finally becoming orthodox almost 20 years ago, this book is a respectful comparison of many of these groups. Highly recommended for any orthodox wanting to understand other religious groups or for those spiritual seekers interested in orthodoxy. Highly recommended.
Stephen Hayes
Apr 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Orthodox seminarians
Shelves: theology, religion
In the plural multicultural world in which we live we encounter all kinds of religious ideas and worldviews. We very often encounter them as soundbites on broadcast media or tweets on social media, without any context, and so have no way to evaluate them in relation to what we already know. Orthodox Christians experience this, and, especially for those living outside traditionally Orthodox countries, what they hear from the world around the is likely to be different in many ways from Orthodoxy.

Nathan Duffy
Nov 28, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good catalog of the differences (and similarities, but mostly differences) in doctrine and practice between the Orthodox Faith and other religions. Primarily focuses on heterodox Christian communions, but at least touches briefly on all major religions. I imagine it will be a text I use fairly frequently as a resource. It also features helpful appendices for quick reference, especially the list of major heresies.

Fr. Andrew's writing is clear and to the point. While he pulls no punches in r
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodox
This book tells the story of how Christians have splintered from Orthodoxy over the years. It moves through the various denominations, grouping them and clarifying the theology that separates each of them.

It's a fascinating read straight through (though to the Orthodox reader, it brings some sadness as we watch exactly how the Enemy has confused so many people over these years), and then does double-duty, remaining on your shelf as a valuable resource -- a reference book, listing denominations a
Anam Cara
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: orthodox
I believe that every Orthodox Christian should read this book. Not only are differences explained between Orthodoxy and other faiths, but the similarities are pointed out. The reader also understands how various heterodox beliefs logically came about due to the thinking of the age or the founders. Many are reactions to the movement that preceded it.

I can't say enough good about this book.
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great book. I would go so far as to say a must read for the Orthodox laity. I especially like the pastoral guidance near the end of the book and in the epilogue!
Roger Bennett
Jan 27, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think Father Damick's reach exceeded his grasp a little bit on a few religious traditions. But it was a very ambitious undertaking and a remarkably good job overall.
Apr 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religious, 2014, orthodoxy
Loved the "quick reference" guide on Church heresy and Church belief.
Ross Bradfield
Aug 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An extremely thought provoking and eye-opening book. I would recommend this to not only fellow Orthodox Christians, but to anyone with questions concerning the faith.
Samantha (AK)
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is only technically a reread. I read the first edition of Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy in 2016, but the revised and expanded edition lives up to its name.

There's a lot of new content here. And the old content that remained has been altered in two ways: 1.) Tone --Where before it was largely aimed at Orthodox Christians looking to understand other traditions, it is now more broadly focused, and thus more accessible to the average reader. I think there's a good takeaway here for most readers, whe
May 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very interesting!
Okay, I bogged down during the seemingly endless varieties of evangelical Protestant groups, but having been there and done that stuff too many times, I felt comfortable skimming through those sections.
Not sure I totally agree with his assessment of Roman Catholicism, but I found the comparisons useful.
Again, I felt free to pick and choose which of the non-Christian religions interested me, but I may go back some day to read the rest and I would recommend this book to anyone e
Colter Nakai McAddis
Perfect for the Ortho-curious

Some of my friends and I have been on a journey to find the true church. Disenchanted by the products of Protestantism and struggling to believe that what Jesus came to found as His church is an invisible bond between hundreds of different groups professing different teachings and often condemning each other, we have recently begun to investigate Orthodoxy. In that investigation this book has proved a powerful tool. I would have paid the full price for this book if i
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I loved this book. It is not a book I would normally be interested in reading as I like reading the lives of Saints, book by or about Saints or elders, the desert fathers and mothers, etc. However, I am so happy I picked it up. Really, really great read.
Mar 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great overview of world religions and how they differ from Orthodox Christianity, written with a loving spirit, without judgement or condemnation toward the non- Orthodox.
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Your time will not be wasted

A wonderful look at many religions through the lens of Orthodox Christianity. If your at all interested, you will not be disappointed
William Swan
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars
Great book.
My only complaint is the chapter on Atheism/Agnosticism. I feel Damick could have spent more time than four pages, but I guess he hadn’t planned to write it when studying.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orthodoxy
A must read book for all Orthodox and Non-Orthodox, plus all walks of life. Gives a better understanding with all different religions and beliefs and how it exist and founded.
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This review is written with reference to the second edition (blue cover).


The Second Edition of Orthodoxy & Heterodoxy (O&H 2.0) is not the same thing as the first edition. When I started reading it I found that, even though I read the First Edition and listened to both podcasts (O&H 1.0 & 2.0) prior to picking up the Second Edition of the book, it still held my interest and attention. While a lot of topics covered in the book are the same (such as Roman Catho
Samantha (AK)
Review of the 1st Edition
"Doctrine Matters."

When a book claims to be from a certain perspective, it's generally worth the time to take the author seriously. This isn't a comparative religions text, as such, but it is a fairly thorough overview of the variety of Christian denominations (particularly in the USA), how they came to be, and--most importantly--why they fall short of what Eastern Orthodoxy recognizes as truth.

With the exception of the chapter on Roman Catholicism (which, by nature, is
Jun 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very concise book exploring not only the differences between Orthodox Christian doctrine and practices and those of other faiths, but also the common ground. I most enjoyed the first part of the book, dealing with Roman Catholicism and the Protestant denominations that resulted from the magisterial and radical reformations. These areas of the books were the most thoroughly researched, with many Orthodox and non-Orthodox sources. I was a little disappointed in the last few chapters con ...more
not a bad book at all. it's pretty comprehensive in bringing some light to different Christian communities and their differences with Orthodoxy. i think my biggest hangup is that i can hear Fr Andrew's voice (this book originated as a podcast series) and he has this smug, arrogant air about him which really grates on my nerves.

still, recommended for Orthodox who want to know more about other faiths.
Greg Reed
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: orthodoxy, theology
I read the first edition of this book, and learned quite a bit of things I didn't know. This edition I relearned many things as well as more things. I also believe the tone of this book was not nearly as confrontational as the first edition. It reinforced to me that I am following the correct path in my Christian life, which is what I believe was one of the intents of this book.
Jan 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Clears up all confusion regarding the multitude of sects, divisions, and offshoots in Christianity, and soundly proves Cardinal Newman's statement, "To be deep in history is to cease to be Protestant." Highly recommended.
Brian Jonson
Oct 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very helpful - think of it as a comparison between Orthodoxy and all other religions/beliefs, both Christian branches and non-Christian.
Jeffrey Lee
A high level overview of various religious systems. At times it feels a bit simplistic, but that has to do with length. Doing a comparative religions study in such a short book is challenging.
rated it it was ok
Dec 07, 2016
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The Very Rev. Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick is pastor of St. Paul Orthodox Church in Emmaus, Pennsylvania. He also lectures widely on Orthodox evangelism, history, ecology, comparative theology, and localism. He is a founding member and on the board of directors of the Society for Orthodox Christian History in the Americas. Fr. Andrew hosts the Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy and Roads from Emmaus podcasts, ...more
“Orthodoxy is marked by sobriety, not by emotional enthusiasm. It is also marked by a quite “ordinary” persistence in living the humble, consistent life of Christ, not by seeking out extraordinary experiences, especially supernatural ones.” 5 likes
“The category of validity allows for ecclesiastical lines to be crossed, even if there is no communion between ecclesial bodies. It allows Rome to recognize “valid” sacraments even outside its own self-understanding of the Church (i.e., the Church is only the Roman Catholic Church): Eastern Christians who are in fact separated in good faith from the Catholic Church, if they ask of their own accord and have the right dispositions, may be admitted to the sacraments of Penance, the Eucharist and the Anointing of the Sick. Further, Catholics may ask for these same sacraments from those non-Catholic ministers whose churches possess valid sacraments, as often as necessity or a genuine spiritual benefit recommends such a course and access to a Catholic priest is physically or morally impossible. (Vatican II, Orientalium Ecclesiarium, 1964) For the Orthodox, communion and all the sacraments exist only within one ecclesiastical communion. That is, Orthodox Christians may only receive the sacraments from Orthodox clergy. Likewise, Orthodox clergy may only give the sacraments to Orthodox Christians. (In cases of emergency, non-Orthodox are welcome to convert in order to receive the sacraments.)” 1 likes
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