Tuesday, April 24, 2007
I've just finished reading Markides's The Mountain of Silence, a sociologist's account of his experience with Orthodox spiritual practices in his homeland of Cyprus. The author makes the point that the Eastern Church, unlike the Roman Church in the West, never became involved in the secular concerns of the state, and so developed along a different, more mystical path, demonstrated most prominently by the monastic state of Mount Athos (the "Holy Mountain") in Greece, the site of many Orthodox monasteries like the one at right.
Now, I haven't taken a history course in years (about 30 of them!), but I don't recall ever studying Byzantium. Seems like it was considered the poor step-sister of the West; many historians tend to focus on Rome and its fall, and the development of the European states. So it's probably time I read more about the Orthodox Church. Better late than never!
But this was a great book, and I recommend it.