Historically, the term "Greek Orthodox" has been used to describe all Eastern Orthodox churches, since the term "Greek" can refer to the heritage of the
Byzantine Empire. During the first eight centuries of Christian history, most major intellectual, cultural, and social developments in the
Christian Church took place in the Byzantine Empire or its
sphere of influence, where the Greek language was widely spoken and used for most theological writings. The empire's capital,
Constantinople, was an early important center of Christianity, and its liturgical practices, traditions, and doctrines were gradually adopted throughout
Eastern Orthodoxy, still providing the basic patterns of contemporary Orthodoxy. Thus, Eastern Orthodox came to be called "Greek" Orthodox in the same way that Western Christians came to be called
"Roman" Catholic. However, the appellation "Greek" was abandoned by the
Slavic and other Eastern Orthodox churches as part of their peoples'
national awakenings, beginning as early as the 10th century A.D. Thus, by the early 21st century, generally only those churches most closely tied to
Greek or Byzantine culture and ethnicity were called "Greek Orthodox" in common parlance.
Greek Orthodoxy has also been defined as a religious tradition rooted in preserving the Greek identity.
^Sally Bruyneel; Alan G. Padgett (2003).
Introducing Christianity. Orbis Books. p. 7.
ISBN978-1-60833-134-5. Retrieved 2 September 2013. The Eastern Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Churches are the oldest with roots going back to the earliest Christian groups.
^Robert L. Plummer (6 March 2012).
Journeys of Faith: Evangelicalism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Catholicism and Anglicanism. Zondervan. p. 128.
ISBN978-0-310-41671-5. Retrieved 2 September 2013. Catholicism holds that if a Church claims to be Christian, then it must be able to show that its leaders-its bishops and its presbyters (or priests)- are successors of the apostles. That is why the Catholic Church accepts Eastern Orthodox ordinations and sacraments as valid, even though Eastern Orthodoxy is not in full communion with Rome.
^William A. Dyrness; Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen (25 September 2009).
Global Dictionary of Theology: A Resource for the Worldwide Church. InterVarsity Press. p. 244.
ISBN978-0-8308-7811-6. Retrieved 2 September 2013. This connection is apparent through the historical succession of bishops of churches in a particular geographic locale and by fidelity to the teachings of the apostles (cf. Acts 2:42) and life as it developed in the patristic tradition and was articulated by the seven ecumenical councils.
^Heidi Campbell (22 March 2010).
When Religion Meets New Media. Routledge. p. 13.
ISBN978-0-203-69537-1. Retrieved 2 September 2013. There are three branches within Christianity: Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant. ... The Christian church draws its lineage and roots from the time of Jesus Christ and the apostles in CE 25–30 and the birth of the Church at Pentecost in ...
^Roudometof, Victor (2002).
Collective memory, national identity, and ethnic conflict. Greenwood Press. p. 179.
ISBN9780275976484. the only remaining issues between the two sides concern the extent to which minority members should have equal rights with the rest of the Albanian citizens as well as issues of property and ecclesiastical autonomy for the Greek Orthodox Church of Albania.
Aderny, Walter F. The Greek and Eastern Churches (1908)
Constantelos, Demetrios J. Understanding the Greek Orthodox church: its faith, history, and practice (Seabury Press, 1982)
Fortesque, Adrian. The Orthodox Eastern Church (1929)
Hussey, Joan Mervyn. The orthodox church in the Byzantine empire (Oxford University Press, 2010)
Kephala, Euphrosyne. The Church of the Greek People Past and Present (1930)
Latourette, Kenneth Scott. Christianity in a Revolutionary Age, II: The Nineteenth Century in Europe: The Protestant and Eastern Churches. (1959) 2: 479–484; Christianity in a Revolutionary Age, IV: The Twentieth Century in Europe: The Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Eastern Churches (1958)
McGuckin, John Anthony (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity. Vol. 2 vols. (Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).