Raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Frederica Mathewes-Green received her B.A. in English from the University of South Carolina and her M.A. in Theological Studies from Virginia Episcopal Theological Seminary.
Considering herself a Hindu, in 1974 Frederica married Gary Mathewes-Green and set off for a back-packing honeymoon in Europe. There she experienced a "totally undeserved miraculous conversion" that changed the course of her life. Returning to the U.S., she and Gary both attended seminary, and Gary became an Episcopal priest. After spending fifteen years in the Episcopal Church, Gary fell in love with Orthodoxy and became a priest of the Eastern Orthodox Church. In 1993 the couple founded the Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Baltimore, Maryland. Frederica's initial struggle with and eventual reception into the Orthodox Church became the catalyst for her widely acclaimed book, Facing East: A Pilgrim's Journey into the Mystery of Orthodoxy. Two years later, she published At the Corner of East and Now: A Modern Life in Ancient Christian Orthodoxy.
Frederica is a regular columnist for Beliefnet.com and a book reviewer for the Los Angeles Times. She has written hundreds of articles in secular and religious periodicals and has been interviewed extensively in national newspapers, magazines, and television programs, including the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, Time magazine, CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN.
A sought-after speaker, editor, and commentator, Frederica has worked with The Odyssey Television Network, National Public Radio's "All Things Considered," World magazine, Religion News Service, and Christianity Today, among others.
In The Illumined Heart, Frederica draws readers to solidly ground contemporary Christianity, which "has come untethered from its historic roots and just bobs along in the culture," by becoming rooted in the ancient, transcultural wisdom of the faith.
Her newest book, The Open Door explores the intense and mysterious realm of icons. Frederica invites readers to worship alongside those for whom icons are a regular facet of worship and to discover the many insights these pieces of sacred art can give us.