I am presently working on fundraising to go on pilgrimage to pursue monasticism at Mount Athos in Greece. If anything is left over, pass over the excess profits to any monastery I belong to.
But I also have something to share.
I decided to offer some treasures, treasures from slightly off the beaten path that I have encountered (or written).
(By passing on treasures and finds that I think are worth knowing about!)
A land of wild adventure
Some of them relate to adventure, because even if it would be an unworthy motive to approach the Holy Mountain as a way to find adventure, the Holy Mountain is mostly a mountain wilderness covered by forest at most lower elevations, is dangerous to be outside of a monastery at night, has wild boars and lizards and snakes, and so on and so forth.
I invite you to explore these finds.
(Please note that the prices, which are listed in US dollars, are provided to give a approximate idea of what you’ll be paying. They were current as of when this webpage was created. They may have changed, or specific items may no longer be available.)
I remember some bit of adult conversation recently where someone talked about how the next generation is creating an artificial world.
I would temper that remark: the vanguard may be pushing things like augmented reality forward, but the Renaissance man had all of the spiritual and practical human problems even with no electronic technology. Or to come close to home, most of us are not living in natural surroundings; we live in man-made homes of wood, glass, and plaster. In the ancient world, the higher-up you were socially, the less exercise you did; in our world, you can be a fitness nut and spend less time exercising than a king in ancient times.
Economics is in origin a moral discipline, and it is refreshing to see an author newer than Adam Smith treat it as such.
If I were to summarize this brief pamphlet of a book in a sentence, it would be a question that is still relevant amidst present serious crises: “Was economic wealth made for man, or was man made from economic wealth?”
You are invited to buy Aid for the Overdeveloped West.
Some of my most popular works are fiction.
This collection spans across more than a decade. If you were to pick
three, I would suggest “Within the Steel Orb,” a science fiction dialogue and story
set in a teacher’s wondrous realm, and “Unashamed,” a story about innocence
lost and even more about innocence regained.
You are invited to buy The Spectacles: A Collection of Short Stories ($3).
Some people may be intimidated by a book that’s an inch-and-a-half thick, especially if they are not familiar with the author. For interested parties, the slender volume of A Small Taste of Jonathan’s Corner was made to provide a very gentle introduction before buying anything big.
But at least one reviewer found the collection to stand on its own, and seemed to be grateful for it.
Several years ago, my brother asked me what I would like for Christmas;
I asked for a brown leather trenchcoat. More recently, my Aunt gave me a
black leather trenchcoat along the same lines. These coats are built to
last, and for that matter are biker coats intended as a sort of armor to
provide partial protection to bikers in an accident.
My Mom told me about how my Dad read The Chronicles of Narnia to my brother
and me when we were little, and she would sometimes peek into the room and
see one nodding-off father holding two very alert little boys. I have read
The Chronicles of Narnia too many
times, and while I have since received some formation from Orthodox
classics, it was reading C.S. Lewis more than anything else that taught me
how to write.
C.S. Lewis in the preface to The Great Divorce mentions a common belief that things that are not good can be adjusted or refined or improved to be good enough, and we don’t ever have to reject anything whole cloth as evil. He answers, “This belief I take to be a disastrous error. You cannot take all luggage with you on all journeys; on one journey even your right hand and your right eye may be among the things you have to leave behind… If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.” And that goes even to letting go of the cords that bind me to a cardinally formative author.
This book is intended to convey at least a little of what I’ve seen in
Orthodoxy after I have begun to take a pilgrimage from Narnia.
For English speakers interested in Russian and Slavonic, this is a
fairly complete prayer book that shows the Slavonic on the right and
English on the left. They don’t always line up right, but usually they
If you are an English speaker learning Russian or Slavonic, I invite you
to read Learning a
Language Like Russian. I would advise deferring study of the Slavonic Bible as there is a very helpful
parallel translation with modern Russian in a RUSV (“Synodal Version”) – KJV Bible.
You are invited to buy the Slavonic-English “SVIT” Prayer Book ($24.50).
St. Seraphim is not one saint among others. The Theotokos, with St.
John the Theologian, said, “He is one of us.” And this may be a phenomenon
local to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, but well
over half of the archimandrites I’ve run into have chosen the name of
Fr. Archimandrite Seraphim.
In addition, this is not one saint’s life among others. It’s different
from other saints’ lives, and not just because of the saint whose story it
tells. It represents a first attempt to capture in writing the living
form of an oral tradition.
The result is breathtaking.
You are invited to buy Flame in the Snow: A Life of St. Seraphim of Sarov ($9.52).
This leaflet is written by a former president of the Jung institute in
It helps explain why “trying to have an identity” in today’s sense is
simply not helpful.
Numerous treatments could be written along other lines. A lot of what we
ingest spiritually is spiritual junk food.
You are invited to buy The Empty Self ($16.88).
Father Arseny: 1893-1973: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father: Being the Narratives Compiled by the Servant of God Alexander Concerning His Spiritual Father
Some people have said that Paradise is where the saints are. Father
Arseny was a priest in a concentration camp, and amidst a Hellish
situation brought the Light of Heaven.
(One reader told me that Father Arseny was like a character that would
be found in one of my stories.)
You are invited to buy Father Arseny ($17.27).
You might (or might not) have run across a T-shirt, proudly sported by
Eastern Rite Catholics and some others, saying, “Orthodox Communion in
Communion with Rome.”
This shirt offers an answer: Orthodox Christian in Communion with
(This response is, perhaps, better and more politicthan an earlier
T-shirt saying, Roman
Catholic in Communion with the Archdruid of Canterbury.)
You are invited to buy a T-shirt saying, “Orthodox Christian in Communion with CHRIST“ ($20.10).
The Best of Jonathan’s Corner is the flagship not only of this site’s works of theology, but all of its works.
The Luddite’s Guide to Technology is one of the author’s three major critiques (the other two are The Seraphinians: “Blessed Seraphim Rose” and His Axe-Wielding Western Converts and Orthodoxy and Contraception).
I’m not sure when exactly this book was in my heart; I started writing a
“Luddite’s Guide to Technology” years before I became Orthodox, and dropped
it then because I was just writing junk. But as a rule, technology can be
useful and can also have a nasty backswing. And not just with the elephant
in the room of a socially mandated utility including a sewer’s worth of
This book is intended to put people in a better place to use technology
The English Standard Version may represent a surprising choice, both
because it is not “off the beaten path” like I suggested, and it is not the
obvious Orthodox choice compared to the Orthodox Study Bible,
which I also endorse.
There are too many major Bible translations competing for attention; most people need a shortlist. The English Standard Version as a well-written rendering that captures some of the beauty the King James Version also captured, and I would suggest that it belongs on a shortlist, or belongs as one of two or more complementary translations that you read.
You are invited to buy the English Standard Version with Apocrypha ($11.51).
An adventurer’s (“rugged”) computer.
I first learned about rugger computers by searching for a computer
that would work well in the sun. But I found a lot more about what would b
practical at the winding mountain paths and steep ravines on Mount
Athos. No computer is indestructible, but this one might have a fighting
chance of escaping completely unharmed if I slid down a ravine while
These things are built to be an investment, and built to outlast most
purchasers, which is a desirable thing at a monastery. Please note that it costs a whole lot more to make a computer that will stand up to rough blows and last for decades than to make a basic Dell.
Book Darts are the sort of thing that you use once and then do not
want to ever stop using again.
A Book Dart is a bookmark, but better and more precise. It doesn’t just
mark which two pages you might have stopped reading it. Instead, you slide
it onto the side of the page at the exact line you stopped
reading. When you next open them up, the dart is pointed to the exact
spot on the page that you saved.
You are invited to buy Book Darts ($12.23).
This picture, of Christ crying out from the cross on that momentous Day, was from 1993 and is far and away the most powerful piece of religious artwork I have made.
I’m still looking for a good place for the original; if you want it, contact me.
I remember being fascinated with Swiss Army Knives even before I watched MacGyver. It was the first Christmas gift I specifically remember asking for, and I was fascinated to no end by blades or tools that all folded like clockwork into a single handle.
The models I have carried have been a Huntsman, chosen in particular because it
included a pair of scissors, a Champion, SwissChamp, and finally a SwissChamp XLT, which was at the time the
thinnest model that included both Cybertool functions and a magnifying
glass. (N.B. Now you can buy the streamlined CyberTool Lite, which contains all the
most essential features for indoor use.)
You are invited to buy a simple, small, understated and
non-threatening Classic SD ($14.16), or the streamlined essential powers of a
Cybertool Lite ($125.37).
This was the first book I read about Orthodoxy, and I prefer it to another title by His Eminence KALLISTOS, The Orthodox Church, which has become the standard English-language introduction to the Orthodox Church.
The Orthodox Way captures something of the mystical pulse that is slightly buried in the other, more comprehensive and systematic treatment.
You are invited to buy The Orthodox Way ($15.78).
This watch is a Swiss Army Knife worn on the
I have purchased an Apple Watch, but after seeing its limits gave it
away and returned to using my sturdy, adventure-ready Pathfinder watch.
The watch that self-charges in sunlight with 20bar (~200m) water
resistance, compass, alarm, barometer, stopwatch, altimeter, very flaky
thermometer, very nice timer that warns you ahead of time when the
timer is close to reaching zero, moon phase, second world time zone,
and tide information all wrapped up in one sensible package.
You are invited to buy the Casio Men’s Pro Trek Tough Solar Digital Sport Watch ($247.99).
I’m quite fond of messenger bags. They’re a lot easier to take on or
off than a backpack, and you can put things in or take them out without
taking the messenger bag off.
One alternative messenger bag that will hold a 17″ Mac laptop and looks
classy is the Wowbox messenger bag.
It appears solidly built and sports a classy, vintage appearannce.
You are invited to buy a Wowbox messenger bag ($45.99).
At a time where it is not just far away that people
actively seek out warrior classics like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War and Miyamoto
Musashi’s The Book of Five Rings
to give them some kind of secret insider edge or even a full blueprint
for business plans, Leadership Is
an Art stands out sharply. Its unstated thesis is that the Sermon on the Mount,
which is deeper than the works of Sun Tzu, Miyamoto Musashi, Niccolo
Machiavelli etc., also offers a solid foundation for running a
The book is soothing and peaceful to read, and there is nothing else
like it that I have read in a business setting.
You are invited to buy Leadership Is an Art ($10.70).
This book was loaned to me when I was a freshman in college, and I didn’t at the outset understand the recommendation. But it introduced me to something I had never seen before, and was perhaps something of an early step just a little bit closer to Orthodoxy.
It’s a collection of stories roughly half a page to a page in length. When I used “The Crystal Globe” to open a basic Competent Communicator-series speech at Toastmasters, I was advised to enter that speech in the next International Toastmasters Competition.
You are invited to buy Tales of a Magic Monastery ($12.07).
I’m sorry if this entry is banal, but one key to
dental health is not just to rub a tooth once with floss, but keep on
scraping until you hear a squeaky sound from a literally squeaky-clean
I’ve found it easy to find different kinds of plastic ribbons etc. that
effectively eliminate the squeaking signal that tells you that you can move
on. Squeaky floss is good but remarkably rare. It’s on Amazon, but I’ve had
trouble finding it in drugstores.
I consider Listerine woven floss, formerly Reach woven floss, to be the
best floss I’ve found yet.
You are invited to buy Listerine woven floss (13.97 for pack of six).
This book was introduced to me by my best friend some years back; it is
a collection of short stories, and the title story is a captivating and
inspiring view of life in the Spirit and how Christian education all too
often settles for less.
You are invited to buy I Saw Gooley Fly ($4.56).
St. Philaret the Merciful was a saint whose generosity to the poor was chiseled in letters ten feet high. Rich or poor, he had an open hand and trusted God’s providence regardless of what earthly goods he did, or did not, have. The nastier of an economic situation we are in, the more St. Philaret has to tell us.
You are invited to buy Icon of St. Philaret the Merciful ($11).
This work represents my fourth and most popular novella, although
strictly speaking it is not a novel or novella but a romance patterned
after the style and technique of storytelling in earlier medieval versions of Arthurian legends. Readers have told me they’ve been riveted.
John Burroughs in the Midwest Book Review wrote,
the centuries, the Legend of King Arthur has been used as an icon
for so many literary works in the western world. The Sign of the
Grail is a
collection of memorable literary works by CJS Hayward centering around the
Grail and what it means to orthodox religion, as well as those who follow
teachings. Tackling diverse subjects such as iconography and an earthly
paradise, he pulls no punches when dealing with many of the topics laid out
through the legends. The Sign of the
Grail is a unique, scholarly, and
thorough examination of the Grail mythos, granting it a top recommendation
academia and the non-specialist general reader with an interest in these
subjects. Also very highly recommended for personal, academic, and
library collections are CJS Hayward’s other deftly written and original
literary works, essays, and commentaries compilations and anthologies:
[he lists all of the other half dozen books I had in print].