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Orthodox Faith

While the late Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko was revising his four-volume series, The Orthodox Faith, he asked the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Christian Education [DCE] to develop study resources/questions for each volume.

“In May 2016, the DCE made available a series of questions and resources for the series’ third volume, Church History,” said Matushka Valerie Zahirsky, DCE Chairperson.  “A similar set of 73 questions and answers for the six-chapter first volume, Doctrine and Scripture, is now available.  As in the case of the third volume, each question is keyed to the text’s page numbers, while answers are provided in a separate document.

“The questions and answers can be used to review each chapter, either by groups or people reading books on their own,” Matushka Valerie explained.  “Several answers also offer points for reflection.  The answer to a question about the Church Fathers’ attitudes toward pagan religions, for example, quotes words of Saint Basil the Great, who did not reject pagan thought and writings altogether.

“Some leaders of reading groups have found it helpful to give participants answers to look for as they begin reading a chapter together,” Matushka Valerie continued.  “For example, in chapter one—‘Sources of Christian Doctrine’—they could look for answers to these questions: Are all Church canons unchangeable?  What is an apologist?  In chapter two—‘The Symbol of Faith’—they could find answers for these: Why is the Orthodox Church reluctant to call God the Supreme Being?  Why are we human beings not told the exact time of ‘the end’ of all things?”

The resources also may be used in conjunction with other educational materials available from the DCE.

Similar study guides are being prepared by DCE staff members for the series’ other two volumes—Worship and Spirituality.