How to Be a Sinner

Peter Bouteneff
( 5 reviews ) Write a Review

We call ourselves “sinners” in much of our church life. Yet the sinner identity—when done right—brings peace of mind, a clear conscience, and love for others. Addressing topics like guilt, shame, and self-care, this compassionate guide will help you reflect on your life in surrender to God’s mercy. Written by an internationally recognized professor of Orthodox theology, this book will speak to you wherever you find yourself.


About the Author: Peter C. Bouteneff (DPhil, University of Oxford) is associate professor of theology at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary in Yonkers, New York.


How to Be a Sinner: A Conversation with Author Dr Peter Bouteneff from St Vladimir's Seminary on Vimeo.




5 Reviews

  • 5
    Breath of fresh air

    Posted by Lila J. Kalinich, MD, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University on 20th May 2020

    Psychopathology and sinfulness have much in common. Bouteneff brings fresh air to the exploration of the ways of being embodied in both, finding a healthy place for the imperfect human within Church Tradition. A welcome, clear, beautifully written and timely work.

  • 5
    Straightforward and extremely helpful

    Posted by FR STEPHEN FREEMAN, author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe on 20th May 2020

    Sin is not guilt nor a mental condition. It is a deep wound in our very being. Peter Bouteneff offers some very straightforward and extremely helpful explanations that will take the reader into a place of self-awareness and honesty—making possible the beginning of repentance.

  • 5
    Accessible and Sincere

    Posted by SR VASSA LARIN, host of “Coffee with Sister Vassa” on 20th May 2020

    Written accessibly and sincerely, Peter Bouteneff’s little book offers the (post-) modern-day reader many helpful insights on—and practical nudges towards—embracing the Church’s oft-misunderstood language of “sin” and “repentance.”

  • 5
    Excellent Book

    Posted by ROWAN WILLIAMS, former Archbishop of Canterbury on 20th May 2020

    Crisp, practical, and searching, this excellent book combines a solid theological perspective fully informed by the depths of the Christian spiritual tradition with a vigorous and contemporary insight into a culture that has largely forgotten what sin means. Treading the right line between guilt-inducing rhetoric and bland modern self-absolution, it offers an understanding of human sinfulness that is both demanding and hopeful, and helps us rediscover the tools of proper self-knowledge before God.

  • 5
    Must read

    Posted by Treva Whichard on 24th Apr 2020

    This is an invaluable book. Beuteneff writes in understandable prose, but always thought-provoking. This is a book I have recommended to many people. It is very encouraging and I use the prayers at the end I find helpful.