Theology from A Bunch of Dead Guys
The Eastern Orthodox
"A vision appeared to Paul in the night;
There stood a man of Macedonia,
and prayed him, saying,
Come over into Macedonia,
and help us" (Acts 16:9).
rthodox Christianity developed from the church of the Byzantine Empire. Today's Orthodox Churches are situated predominantly in Eastern Europe, but Orthodoxy is a fast-growing movement even in the West.
Like Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy claims a direct line of succession back to the original apostles. Also like Catholicism, Orthodoxy observes seven sacraments. Worship in Eastern Orthodoxy is heavily sacerdotal and mystical.
The veneration of icons is perhaps the most notable feature of Eastern Orthodox worship. The faithful also practice a mystical spiritual discipline known as hesychasm, in which tranquility and spiritual light are sought by quietism and strict control of the body, measuring the phrasing of one's silent praying by the rythm of one's breathing, in order to unite soul and body in prayer.
The Orthodox recognize seven Ecumenical Councils, up to the Second Nicene Council (787). Orthodoxy and the bishop of Rome separated from one another in a schism that culminated in 1054. The issues had to do with Papal authority and a dispute over whether the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father only (Orthodoxy), or from the Father and the Son (the Western Church).