The Reversion
Book Club
The Orthodox Worldview and the Middle Ages

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The Orthodox Worldview and the Middle Ages

Lectures 1-2 of Fr. Seraphim Rose's Orthodox Survival Course

The Reversion Book Club - Weekly discussion and notes on The Orthodox Survival Course by Fr. Seraphim Rose (Lectures 1-2)

Fr. Seraphim Rose structures this course in a way that is primarily concerned with an examination of the emergence of the spirit of the age in the modern west starting with the Great Schism and Rome’s departure from Orthodox tradition. He notes that his aim is to reveal how all of the modern west in its various revolutions and worldviews are of the same spirit of the age - rationalism, scholasticism, chiliasm, communism, etc.

This week we had a great turnout as the book club has been growing with great interest in the Orthodox Survival Course. Join us as we gain understanding of what Fr. Seraphim calls “the unfolding of the mystery of iniquity” in modern western man.

This week’s discussion outlines the following:

  • Introduction to these topics

  • Preliminary questions going into the text

Lecture 1: The Orthodox Worldview

  • Orthodoxy is the only religion. Only Orthodoxy can make sense of world history.

  • Why is this content important? Why are so many drawn to understanding the spirit of the age?

Lecture 2: Middle Ages

  • Western rationalism introduces new innovations of Christian theology

    • Transubstantiation vs Orthodox divine mystery of the Eucharist

    • The weakness of scholastic arguments for the existence of God

  • Imagination and romance enters western Christian thought

    • “Fairy tales” introduced into hagiography (Story of St. Christopher)

  • Francis of Assisi finds a "new rule of Christian life" not found anywhere in the Fathers (e.g. stigmata, making a public spectacle of his new form of piety, considers himself a holy man) vs piety of Orthodox saints

  • Roman Catholic defense of stigmata / new miracles confirming the RC Church

  • Western changes in iconography as artistic expression


  • The religion of the antichrist will emerge as a “new Christianity”

    • “the unfolding of the mystery of iniquity”, the divinization of the world

    • Man replaces God as the criterion for truth

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