I would like to introduce to you today a very important book. It is called The Eastern Christian Churches – A Brief Survey. It is, from my perspective, the best concise resource available on Eastern (Orthodox and Catholic) Churches.
What is even better, for people like us, in the so-called Majority World (oh, how I hate political correctness! what was wrong with the phrase ‘Third World’? or was it too obvious that the First World feels superior to us? they do, anyway, and the new phrase did not change anything about it; that is why I agree with Patapievici: ‘political correctness is the American version of communism’) here is the good news: the content of the book, in its seventh edition, is available free on the internet.
The author of this book is Rev. Ronald Roberson, CSP (member of the Missionary Society of Saint Paul the Apostle or Paulist Fathers). Here is a presentation of Fr. Roberson on the same site, of CNEWA (Catholic Near East Welfare Association):
Ronald G. Roberson, CSP, received his Bachelor’s degree in political science at the University of Kansas in 1972. He then joined the Paulist Fathers and studied theology at Catholic University of America in Washington, DC. Following his ordination to the priesthood in 1977, Father Roberson spent five years in pastoral ministry in Montreal, Quebec. He received a doctorate from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome in 1988 after defending his thesis on Contemporary Romanian Orthodox Ecclesiology. From 1988 to 1992 he was a member of the staff of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, where he worked in relations with the Orthodox. Father Roberson now lives at St. Paul’s College in Washington, DC and serves as Associate Director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
I met the name of Fr Roberson for the first time during my doctoral studies. He has written the first ever PhD thesis on the theology of Fr. Staniloae (a very good one, in fact). During that time I have started a correspondence with him and we continue to communicate from time to time. I also receive from him, monthly, the newsletter on Eastern Churches and Ecumenism published by the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs (SEIA) of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. I attach below, as an example, the last one. Enjoy!