Best Catholic Books about Orthodox history and doctrine

What is the best book out there to help me understand more about Eastern Othodoxy historically and doctrinally, and why the Catholic Church is right, historically and doctrinally?

I want something that would strengthen my reason and faith in my conversation with the Orthodox and help me to answer them as to history



The Sources of Catholic Dogma Henry Denzinger

This is the most historic you are going to get and believe the CCC uses it as a reference in places

Thanks Militii,

Would that be a better book to get than “Upon This Rock” by Stephen Ray?

Ok fair warning the one I mentioned is a serious dogmatic and doctrine book. Its very dry and not written to appease the reader…unless you like theology and ancient writings.

It sounds to me like you are more interested in an author with a theme and something to keep you reading. You wont find that with sources of Catholic Dogma. But it is one of the leading books within theology circles.

Honestly I like to read the ECFs works without the muddling of apologists intermingled with it. It allows me to form my own opinion and not be swayed by someone else’s opinion of the works.

*Rome and the Eastern Churches *by… I forgot. Aidan something? Or Adrian?

It’s lengthy and good.


J.M. Hussey, The Orthodox Church in the Byzantine Empire, Oxford History of the Christian Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 1986). A fine survey of Byzantine history and theology. It grapples with a range of key issues: the iconoclastic controversy, the Great Schism, and the Crusades.

Elizabeth Jeffreys, John Haldon, and Robin Cormack, eds., Oxford Handbook of Byzantine Studies (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009). Leading contemporary Byzantine scholars here bring together the fruits of recent research. The place to start one.

John Binns, An Introduction to Christian Orthodox Churches (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002).
Henry Chadwick, East and West: The Making of a Rift in the Church: From Apostolic Times Until the Council of Florence, Oxford History of the Christian Church (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003).
Robin Cormack, Byzantine Art, Oxford History of Art (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000).
Jonathan Harris, End of Byzantium (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2011).
Judith Herrin, Women in Purple: Rules of Medieval Byzantium (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002).
Romilly Jenkins, Byzantium: The Imperial Centuries, A.D. 610-1071, Medieval Reprints for Teaching 8 (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1991).
Alexander P. Kazhdan et al., The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium, 3 vol. (New York: Oxford University Press, 1991).
Derek Krueger, Byzantine Christianity, A People’s History of Christianity, vol. 3 (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2006).
Michael Maas, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Age of Justinian Cambridge Companions to Religion (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005).
John Meyendorff, Imperial Unity and Christian Divisions: the Church, 450-680 (Crestwood, NY: St. Vladimir Seminary Press, 1989).
Aidan Nichols, Rome and the Eastern Churches: A Study in Schism (Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 1992).
John Julius Norwich, Byzantium: The Early Centuries (New York: Knopf, 1988).
John Julius Norwich, Byzantium: The Apogee (New York: Knopf, 1992).
Lyn Rodley, Byzantine Art and Architecture: An Introduction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996).
Steven Runciman, The Eastern Schism: A Study of the Papacy and the Eastern Churches During the XIth and XIIth Centuries (Oxford, 1953). Dated, but a classic.
Steven Runciman, The Fall of Constantinople, 1453 (reprint of 1965 edition: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
Alice-Mary M. Talbot, Byzantine Defenders of Images: Eight Saints’ Lives in English Translation (Dumbarton Oaks, 1998).
Warren Treadgold, A History of the Byzantine State and Society (Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 1997).
Mark Whittow, The Making of Byzantium, 600-1025 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996).

Henry chadwicks book above is a good one to start with

James Likoudis wrote several books and articles on this topic in the last 30 years. He is a convert from Greek Orthodox to Catholic. Some of his writing is more for scholars, some for the general reader. You might find some of his writings online or in the library; not sure if in print. Some of his writing is short, could likely be accessed online, check his website.

Thanks, everyone. I appreciate it.


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