The Orthodox Christian Church: History, Beliefs, and Practices by Prof. Peter Bouteneff

While not part of The Great Courses series, this is a lecture series very much in that tradition.  Professor Peter Bouteneff is an instructor at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.  His lectures are, as the title suggests, designed as an introduction to the history, beliefs, and practices of the Orthodox Church.

From time to time, I feel a spiritual call that leads me down various rabbit holes through the different religions and sects this world has to offer.  Though not a Christian myself, I grew up in the Western traditions.  As a student of history, and especially of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, as well as being a spiritual seeker, I’m fairly well versed in the Western side of things.  As of the point where I started this series, I had some knowledge of the early Christian traditions and just enough information on the Eastern tradition before and after the Great Schism to spark my curiosities… not that it really takes much to do that.  I’m inquisitive by nature.

In any case, the focus of this lecture series is to discover how the Orthodox Church is both similar and different to Catholic and Protestant beliefs and practices in the Western Church.  It’d designed for the beginner, offering a rudimentary history and outlines many of the different doctrines and questions of faith from an Orthodox perspective.  The instructor is clear and engaging, which is always a plus, and each lecture is less than half an hour long.  All in all, it’s a good little series.  I learned more than enough to satisfy curiosity and to answer a great many questions I had.  Anything that remains, this gave me a starting point from where to work.

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