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Take the High Road

Last night, Mark, an Orthodox friend, handed me a copy of Road to Emmaus, a little magazine I had never seen before. It’s an attractive publication, well illustrated and meticulously edited, with a keen sense of the enduring relevance (and living presence) of the Fathers. The articles range from the devotional to the theological, with some good, sound advice on family life thrown in.

Mark had read my post “But Syriously, Folks,” and so he knew of my interest in the Syriac Fathers. And he knew that the editors of Road to Emmaus share this interest — and many others! In my hand right now are RTE’s fascinating articles on the saints and scholars of ancient Antioch, on the Stylite movement in Christian antiquity, on the dispersion of ancient manuscripts in libraries throughout the world, and on the patristic interpretations of the Lord’s Descent into Hell.

The articles are intelligent, but accessible to non-specialists (like me). What’s very cool is that they’re sumptuously illustrated, with up-close photographs of inscriptions, archeological sites, icons, manuscripts, pottery, church interiors, monasteries. Now, this is living.

The editors apparently travel the world to interview top scholars in various fields related to Orthodoxy. Their authors write with intelligence and real academic rigor, suffused with a faith reminiscent of the Fathers themselves. They also show extraordinary ecumenical sensitivity — hospitality is perhaps a better word. This Roman felt right at home in their pages.

RTE posts some sample articles on the website (though, unfortunately, few that deal primarily with the Fathers!). They also sell their back issues, which are well indexed on the site. Start with 2005. It was a very good year. Happy shopping!