I’ve been reading a series of volumes on the history of the Church from the Eastern Orthodox perspective. I started in the middle with (EO) Fr. Andrew Louth’s volume that covers 681 – 1071 AD. I also have Fr. Meyendorff’s volume that covers the previous time period beginning with the ecumenical council of Chalcedon.
So far, I can highly recommend these books. They are the perfect complement to (Catholic historian) Warren Carroll’s excellent History of Christendom series. Carroll goes into more historical depth, but the Eastern Orthodox volumes spend more time on theological issues that occur throughout the history. Carroll, a Catholic, covered the Church in the West with great detail and skill. The Orthodox volumes naturally cover the Church in the East with greater depth and skill. Both series seek to provide a history of the Church both East and West, which is why they complement each other so well: you see each aspect of the Church from the other’s perspective, as well as from your own.
These books have been of invaluable help with the writing of my historical fiction book concerning the events leading up to the excommunications of 1054 AD. That book, with the working title Torn Asunder, is coming along, already it is over 10,000 words (an average novel might be 100,000 words, for comparison).
The book is an experiment for me: learning how to write fiction and specifically historical fiction and learning a lot about this period of history. The Latin protagonist, Crispin, fights in the Battle of Civitate where the Pope is captured by the Normans who control the south of Italy at the time. He ends up going with the Pope’s legate, Cardinal Humbert, to Constantinople, where he meets Philomena, the Greek heroine. Crispin and Philomena seek to stop the excommunications from happening but fail.
“What has happened to Catholic Answers publishing If Protestantism is True?” Many friends have asked me about that. The book has had other books jump ahead of it in the queue for Catholic Answers (all for very good reasons). It should come to the front of the editing queue in the spring of this year and hopefully be finished by the summer. The new title will likely be “If Protestantism were True,” but it will be a completely new book, retaining the strengths of the original while beefing it up significantly. A few months before the new book is published I will stop selling the original book.
Quick blog technical note: Something on the blog has been eating up cpu cycles on my hosting company’s servers. I’ve been trying to figure this out for a few weeks, and they are probably getting annoyed by it. So I’ve been cutting down features, plugins, etc. to try to isolate what is causing the excessive resource usage. I may have found the culprit, but it is too early to tell. In any case, I have had to cut off comments on posts older than 7 days in the meantime, disable the podcast player in blog posts, disable the blog footnotes in various posts, and so on. My apologies and hopefully I can figure this out. The blog is almost 8 years old and it could be that enough cruft is built up that I will have to re-install from scratch, migrate the database over, etc. You shouldn’t have to care about any of this but since some people have been affected by the measures I’ve taken, I wanted to let you know.
Regarding the homestead we put an offer on, I am happy to say it is now under contract. If all inspections go well, there should be no obstacles. Thanks for your prayers. If we do purchase the place, I will make a video tour of the land so you can see how neat it is!