Since I encountered scores of Orthodox Christian pilgrims at various sites along the way during my April trip to the Holy Land, I’ve been inspired to learn more about Eastern Christianity. A while back I read and recommended Philip Jenkins’s The Lost History of Christianity and Jesus Wars and was struck by the story of the Eastern Church, one that is not often told in “the West.”
So this month I’ve been poring over Byzantine history. It might sound dry to you, but it really isn’t, I promise — it’s a whole new world to explore!
- Byzantium: The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire and Margins and Metropolis: Authority Across the Byzantine Empire by Judith Herrin — Herrin tackles the immense subject of Byzantine history topically, which makes her study readable and approachable for newbies to the subject.
- Budrus — This documentary, from the same team that made Encounter Point, highlights a Palestinian community’s struggle to oppose the building of an Israeli security wall through its property.
- Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames by Thich Nhat Hanh — Many years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., nominated Hanh for the Nobel Prize. Famous monastic Thomas Merton thought of Hanh as one of his closest friends and allies. Hanh approaches anger from a Buddhist perspective, but I’ve found his simple but holistic take on a topic to be personally helpful.