CF104 Mysteries of Life and Death Selected Bibliography

Selected bibliography for Part 1:

Of Water and the Spirit, A Liturgical Study of Baptism, Alexander Schmemann. Originally published in 1976. Paperback— 170 pages (31 December, 1989) St Vladimir's Seminary Press; - (probably the best and most accessible commentary on the current Orthodox rite, written from Fr Alexander’s distinctive theological standpoint. It contains a very useful bibliography.)

Documents of the Baptismal Liturgy, E. C. Whitaker, SPCK (1970). Out of print, but can be found second hand, both hardback and paperback.- (an extremely useful collection of translations of many of the principal texts on Baptism from the first millennium from both east and west.)

The Awe-Inspiring Rites of Initiation, Edward Yarnold, St Paul Publications (1971). This has now been reissued by The Liturgical Press: Paperback (1994) The Liturgical Press; - (Sub-titled “Baptismal Homilies of the Fourth Century”, this contains translations of some the baptismal homilies of four of the Fathers of the late fourth century, Cyril of Jerusalem (for these see also the version from SVSP below), Ambrose of Milan, John Chrysostom and Theodore of Mopsuestia, together with the parts of the Apostolic Tradition of Hippolytus concerning Baptism. It includes an excellent introduction of some sixty pages and a good bibliography.)

The Church at Prayer. Volume 3: The Sacraments, ed A.G.Martimort, The Liturgical Press, Collegeville. Paperback — 331 pages (January 1988) - (this translation of the latest edition of the French Roman Catholic L’Eglise en Prière contains a good up to date summary of the evidence from the first six centuries with good bibliographies - mainly of French material - and notes.)

On the Christian Sacraments, St Cyril of Jerusalem. A translation of his five Mystagogical Instructions to the newly baptized (see above Fr Yarnold’s book). St Vladimir’s Seminary Press.

The Life in Christ, St Nikolas Cabasilas, (translated by Carmino J. Decatanzaro). Paperback — 229 pages (1 March, 1997) St Vladimir’s Seminary Press.

Selected bibliography for Part 2:

(1) The most extensive collection of services (according to Russian usage) is given in the "Great Book of Needs" (4 volumes) published by St Tikhon's Seminary Press. The translation is often less than satisfactory, and the usefulness is diminished by the inclusion of numerous explanations of the rubrics.

(2) A limited selection of services (again following Russian usage) is found in the Hapgood "Service Book". Again the translation often leaves something to be desired.

(3) A different selection can be found at These excellent translations are made from the Greek and are beautifully accurate, if sometimes rather literal.

Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World (various editions)

Philip Sherrard, Christianity: The Lineaments of the Sacred Tradition (esp. Chapter Eight)

Jospeh Allen, The Ministry of the Church (SVS)

Fr Alexander Elchaninov, Diary of a Russian Priest

C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (various editions)

Jessica Rose, Sharing Spaces (DLT 2002)

David Melling, ‘Suffering and Sanctification in Christianity’ in P. Kegan, Religion, Health and Suffering (London 1999)

A Calivas, ‘The Eucholigion: A Brief History’ in Agape and Diakonia (Holy Cross 1998)

Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos, Life after Death (Levadi, Greece, 1996)

Sergei Hackel, Pearl Of Great Price (SVS)

Constance Babington-Smith, Iulia de Beausobre (DLT 1983)

Iulia de Beausobre, Creative Suffering


Other contemporary general studies (not specifically Orthodox)

Harold Baumann, Living through Grief, 1999

Paul Binski, Medieval Death, 1996

John Bowker, The Meanings of Death (esp. Part I), CUP 1991

Martha Whitmore Hickman, Healing After Loss: Daily Meditations for Working Through Grief, 1994

Henri J. M. Nouwen, Beyond the Mirror: Reflections on Death and Life, 2001

Henri J. M. Nouwen, Here and Now: Living in the Spirit, 2002

Colin Murray Parkes, Bereavement: Studies of Grief in Adult Life, 1998

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, On Death and Dying, 1973

William Worden, Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy, 1991


Further reading on ‘issues of life and death’

John Breck, The sacred gift of life : Orthodox Christianity and Bioethics (SVS)

God with us: Critical Issues in Christian Life and Faith (SVS)

Tristam Engelhardt, The Foundations of Christian Bioethics. (Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger, 2000

On abortion, the debate is usefully summarized in: Paul Watson and David Attwood, Researching Embryonic Values - A Debate, E83 (Grove Books: Cambridge, 1991), 25pp. Michael Banner, who is Professor of Moral and Social Theology at King’s College, London, has a chapter inclining to the ‘hardline’ view which offers serious criticism of ‘gradualist’ positions: it is entitled ‘The practice of abortion: a critique’ in Michael Banner, Christian Ethics and Contemporary Moral Problems (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1999), pp. 86 - 135. 

Rick Simpson, Abortion: Choosing Who Lives, E126 (Grove Books: Cambridge, 2002), is particularly good on describing how the availability of abortion on demand in Britain has corrupted public attitudes.

Though it is a pro-abortion tract, the booklet Abortion in Law, History & Religion (Childbirth by Choice Trust: Toronto, Canada, revised 1995), 62 pp. is a useful and reasonably accurate guide to the history, law, and practice of abortion around the world.

On euthanasia, an outstandingly helpful booklet is: Margaret Whipp, Euthanasia - a Good Death? E117 (Grove Books: Cambridge, 2000), 24pp. See also its bibliography.

My Revised Bibliography for the Parables Essay

Have included journal articles into this original bibliography of books on the parables. Will continue to tweak the list of citations as I come across new source material. But for now, this is it, and my background reading on these sources begins in earnest.

(1993) The Orthodox Study Bible: New Testament and Psalms (New King James Version), Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Allen HJB. (2012) The Parables of Christ are Timeless: An example of Roland Allen’s originality introduced by his grandson. Transformation 29: 186-188.

Altizer TJ. (1980) Total Presence : The Language Of Jesus And The Language Of Today, New York: The Davies Group.

Ball M. (2002) The Foolish Risks of God, London.

Barbu L. (2009) The ‘poor in spirit’ and our life in Christ: an Eastern Orthodox perspective on Christian discipleship. Studies in Christian Ethics 22: 261-274.

Barclay W. (1999) The Parables of Jesus, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press.

Beavis MA. (2001) The Power of Jesus' Parables: Were they polemical or irenic? Journal for the Study of the New Testament 82: 3-30.

Bergstrom C. (1996) Parables: The obvious and the obscure. Calliope 6: 9.

Berryman JW. (1979) Being in Parables with Children. Religious Education 74: 271-285.

Black CC. (2000) Four Stations en route to a Parabolic Homiletic. Interpretation 54: 386-397.

Blomberg CL. (1990) Interpreting The Parables, Leicester.

Blomberg CL. (1991) Interpreting the parables of Jesus: Where are we and where do we go from here? . Catholic Biblical Quarterly 53.

Boobyer GH. (1951) The Interpretation of the Parables of Jesus. Expositor Times: 131-134.

Boucher MI. (1977) The Mysterious Parable: A Literary Study, Washington.

Breech J. (1983) The Silence Of Jesus. The Authentic Voice of the Historical Man, Philadelphia.

Bridges LM. (2007) Preaching the Parables of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel in Ordinary Time: The Extraordinary Tales of God’s World. Review and Expositor 104: 325-362.

Brooks A. (1921) The Teaching in Parables. Expositor Times: 170-172.

Caird GB. (1980) The Language and Imagery of the Bible, London: Duckworth.

Cole A. (1961) Mark: An Introduction and Commentary, Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press.

Cousins P. (1960) The parables of the kingdom and the first-century messianic hope. Religion in Education 27: 107-109.

Craig BM. (2016) Reflections on the Readings of Sundays and Feasts. The Australasian Catholic Record March-May: 97-117.

Crossan JD. (2002) Interpretation: A Journal of Bible & Theology. 56 3.

Culbertson PL. (1995) A Word Fitly Spoken: Context, Transmission, and Adoption of the Parables of Jesus, New York.

Dahl NA. (1951) The parables of growth. Studia Theologica - Nordic Journal of Theology 5: 132-166.

Dodd CH. (1978) The Parables Of The Kingdom, Glasgow.

Douglas JD. (1962) Parable. The New Bible Dictionary. Inter-Varsity Press.

Drury J. (1985) The Parables In The Gospels: History And Allegory, London.

Dunnett WM. (1984) The Interpretation of Holy Scripture: Issues, Principles, Models (An Introduction to Hermeneutics), Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Dykes DO. (2011) Jesus Storyteller: Timeless Truths from His Parables, Texas: Fluency Organisation.

Florovsky FG. (1987) Reflections on the Critique of the Theology of the Reformation.

Goldingay J. (1995) Models for Interpretation of Scripture, Michigan: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.

Green EH. (2009) Speaking in parables: the responses of students to a Bible‐based ethos in a Christian City Technology College. Cambridge Journal of Education\ 39: 443-456.

Harnisch W. (1992) Language of the possible: The parables of Jesus in the conflict between rhetoric and poetry. Studia Theologica - Nordic Journal of Theology 46: 41-54.

Hedrick CW. (2004) Many Things in Parables: Jesus and His Modern Critics, London: Westminster John Knox Press.

Hendrickx H. (1986) The Parables of Jesus, London.

Hendriksen W. (1979) New Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Luke, Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust.

Hogan PC. (2016) Jesus’s Parables: Simulation, Stories, and Narrative Idiolect. Narrative 24: 113-133.

Hunter AM. (1958) The Interpretation of the Parables. Expositor Times: 100-104.

Hunter AM. (1960) Interpreting The Parables, London.

Jeremias J. (2002) The Parables of Jesus, London.

Jones GV. (1964) The Art and Truth of the Parables: A Study in their Literary Form and Modern Interpretation, London.

Jordan GJ. (1934) The Classification of the Parable. The Expository Times: 246-251.

Keddie GJ. (1994) He Spoke in Parables, Oregon: Wipf & Stock.

Kendall RT. (2006) The Parables of Jesus, Grand Rapids: Chosen Books.

Kirkwood WG. (1983) Storytelling and self‐confrontation: Parables as communication strategies. Quarterly Journal of Speech 69: 58-74.

Kirkwood WG. (1985) Parables as metaphors and examples. Quarterly Journal of Speech 71: 422-440.

Leary C. (1986) Parables and Fairy Tales. Religious Education 81: 485-499.

Lithgow RM. (1905) A Simple Scheme of the Parables. Expositor Times: 470-472.

Lithgow RM. (1907) The Theology of the Parables. Expositor Times: 538-542.

Lithgow RM. (1908a) The Development of Christ's Doctrine During His Earthly Ministry. Expositor Times: 126-131.

Lithgow RM. (1908b) Man's Spiritual Development as Depicted in Christ's Parables. Expositor Times: 543-547.

Lithgow RM. (1909) The Symbolism of the Parables. Expositor Times: 217-220.

Lithgow RM. (1911) The Eschatology of the Parables. Expositor Times: 469-474.

Lithgow RM. (1912) The Minor Parables, the Metaphors and Similes of the Synoptic Gospels. Expositor Times: 537-540.

Marshall IH. (1978) The Gospel of Luke: A Commentary on the Greek Text, Exeter: The Paternoster Press.

McLaughlin EW. (2009) Engendering the Imago Dei: How Christ Grounds Our Lives as Parables of the Divine Image. Priscilla Papers 23: 16-20.

Ministry CCAR. (2003) What are the parables that Jesus taught? Available at:

Morris L. (1974) Luke: An Introduction and Commentary, Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press.

Moule CFD. (1961) The Parables of the Jesus of history and the Lord of faith. Religion in Education 28: 60-64.

Orr J. (1939) Parable. The International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia. Michigan: WM. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Parris DP. (2002) Imitating the Parables: Allegory, Narrative and the Role of Mimesis. Journal for the Study of the New Testament 25: 33-53.

Pianzin TM. (2007) Parables of Jesus: In the Light of Its Historical, Geographical and Socio-Cultural Setting, Oklahoma: Tate Publishing.

Plummer A. (1981) The Gospel According to S. Luke, Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark.

Potapov V. (2000) Gospel parables, an Orthodox commentary. Available at:

Reardon P. (2003) The Parables and the Structure of the World, New Jersey.

Rindge MS. (2014) Luke’s Artistic Parables: Narratives of Subversion, Imagination, and Transformation. Interpretation: Journal of Bible and Theology 68: 403-415.

Schwager D. (2015) The Parables of Jesus. Available at:

Sider JW. (1983) Rediscovering the Parables: the Logic of the Jeremias Tradition. Journal of Biblical Literature 102: 61-83.

Slee N. (1983) Parable teaching: Exploring new worlds. British Journal of Religious Education 5: 134-146.

Slee N. (1985) Parables and Women's Experiences. Religious Education 80: 232-245.

Stavrianos K. (2012) The Parable of the Good Samaritan in Patristic Thought. Greek Orthodox Theological Review 57: 1-4.

Stein RH. (1981) An Introduction to the Parables of Jesus, Philadelphia.

Tasker RVG. (1961) Matthew: An Introduction and Commentary, Leicester: Inter-Varsity Press.

Unger MF. (1957) Parable. Unger's Bible Dictionary. Chicago: Moody Press.

Via O. (1974) The Parables: Their Literary and Existential Dimension, Philadelphia.

White EGH. (2000) Christ's Object Lessons, USA: Review and Herald Publishing Association.

Woodhull K. (2013) The Art of Parabling: Leveraging the Narrative Parables of Jesus as Models of Missional Engagement. Missiology: An International Review 41: 74-86.

Young CE. (1950) Christ the Teacher. Religion in Education 17: 46-49.