Doctrine of the Orthodox Church

The Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-Begotten, begotten of the Father before all worlds, Light of Light, Very God of Very God, begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made: Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and was made man; And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; The third day He arose again, according to the Scriptures; And ascended into heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father; And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; Whose Kingdom shall have no end. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, Who proceeds from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, Who spoke by the prophets. And I believe in One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one Baptism for the remission of sin. I look for the Resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Basic Doctrines

Councils and Confessions | God and Man | Christ
The Holy Spirit | The Holy Trinity | The transcendence of God
Modern theological developments

The structure of the Church

The Canons | The Episcopate | Clergy and laity | Monasticism

Worship and sacraments

The role of the Liturgy | The Eucharistic Liturgies | The Liturgical Cycles
The Sacraments | Baptism and confirmation | The Eucharist | Orders | Penance
Penance | Anointing of the sick | Marriage |

The Church in the World

Architecture and Iconography | The Church and the World
Missions | Orthodoxy and Other Christians
Church, State and Society

The goal of Christian life according to St. Seraphim of Sarov
the conversation with Motovilov

Liturgical life is the center of Orthodox Christian spirituality and theology
interior of the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour, Moscow

A few useful links to start further research:

Dozens of valuable texts on Orthodox faith and life, Holy Scripture, Sacraments, texts by Holy Fathers, Lives of Saints, History of the church etc.


Patristic and theological texts in Greek and English

Writings by John Romanides, Rt.Rev Jerotheos Vlachos, George Florovsky, George Metallinos

1. Byzantine Medieval Web Links - a wonderful collection of links. The Site offers almost everything about the Byzantine Empire, its Art, Church and Society.

2. Medieval Sourcebook - great number of Web Sites offering answer to everything about the Middle Ages.

3. St. Pachomius Library Global Index - an immense collection of spiritual texts

4. ORB Reference Book for Medieval Studies - a multitude of useful information

5. New Advent Supersite - an impressive collection of patristic texts

6. Christian Classics Virutal Library - the works of the Holy Fathers

7. Church Fathers Database - Explore the works of the Holy Fathers, Search Engine

8. Argos Ancient World Search Engine - A powerful search engine with a host of interesting links.

The River of Fire - an inspiring article by Dr. Alexander Kalomiros analyzing the crucial theological concepts of God in the East and the West. This article is of great importance for understanding what makes Orthodoxy different from other heterodox Christian confessions.

Introductory surveys of the history and doctrines of Eastern Orthodoxy may be found in ERNST BENZ, The Eastern Orthodox Church, Its Thought and Life (1963; originally published in German, 1957); TIMOTHY WARE (KALLISTOS WARE), The Orthodox Church (1963, reprinted with revisions, 1984); JOHN MEYENDORFF, The Orthodox Church: Its Past and Its Role in the World Today, 3rd rev. ed. (1981; originally published in French, 1960), with special attention given to 19th- and 20th-century history; and DEMETRIOS J. CONSTANTELOS, Understanding the Greek Orthodox Church: Its Faith, History, and Practice (1982).