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The Philokalia: A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality
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The Philokalia: A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality

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Oxford University Press 2012

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$29.99

Overview

This book is a collection of scholarly chapters that introduces the history, theology and spiritual practices of the Philokalia—a collection of monastic texts of the Eastern Orthodox Church written between the fourth and fifteenth centuries. Next to the Bible, the Philokalia is the most widely read book in the Orthodox world today by monks and laypeople alike. It is rapidly gaining popularity among Roman Catholics and Protestants. Bishop Kallistos Ware aptly summarizes its place in the modern world: “The work as a whole is to be seen as a spiritual ‘time bomb,’ whose chief influence has come, not at the moment of its first publication towards the end of the eighteenth century, but two hundred years later.”

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Key Features

  • Presents the first volume collecting scholarly essays on the Philokalia
  • Introduces the history, theology, and spiritual practices of the Philokalia
  • Enhances personal study of this popular work

Contents

  • History
    • “St. Nikodimos and the Philokalia,” by Kallistos Ware
    • “The Making of the Philokalia: A Tale of Monks and Manuscripts,” by John Anthony McGuckin
    • “The Influence of the Philokalia in the Orthodox World,” by Andrew Louth
    • “Conversing with the World by Commenting on the Fathers: Fr. Dumitru Staniloae and the Romanian Edition of the Philokalia,” by Mihail Neamtu
  • Theological Foundations
    • “The Luminous Word: Scripture in the Philokalia,” by Douglas Burton-Christie
    • “Concerning Those Who Imagine That They Are Justified by Works: The Gospel according to St. Mark,” by Bradley Nassif
    • “The Theological World of the Philokalia,” by Rowan Williams
    • “Tradition and Creativity in the Construction and Reading of the Philokalia,” by J.L. Zecher
    • “Becoming a Spiritual World of God: The Theological Anthropology of Maximus the Confessor,” by Brock Bingaman
    • “The Ecclesiology of the Philokalia,” by Krastu Banev
    • “Evagrius in the Philokalia of Sts. Macarius and Nicodemus,” by Julia Konstantinovsky
  • Spiritual Practices
    • “The Place of the Jesus Prayer in the Philokalia,” by Mary B. Cunningham
    • “Uses and Abuses of Spiritual Authority in the Writings of St. Symeon the New Theologian,” by Hannah Hunt
    • “Hope for the Passible Self: The Use and Transformation of the Human Passions in the Fathers of the Philokalia,” by Paul M. Blowers
    • “Healing, Psychotherapy, and the Philokalia,” by Christopher C.H. Cook
    • “The Philokalia and Regulative Virtue Epistemology: A Look at Maximus the Confessor,” by Frederick D. Aquino
    • “Women in the Philokalia?” by Verna E.F. Harrison
    • “Solitude, Silence, and Stillness: Light from the Palestinian Desert,” by John Chryssavgis

Praise for the Print Edition

This is a fascinating and illuminating volume which will be welcomed by scholars and general readers alike.

Journal of Theological Studies

It is not just that this volume on the history, sources, contents, and relevance of the Philokalia is much needed and long overdue, but that the range, breadth, and erudition of the contributions in it are breathtaking. At a time in which the term ‘spirituality’ has become a dodge from substantial religious conviction and serious religious practice, the Philokalia instructs in a way of prayer and spiritual discipline that has muscle and commands attention. This volume will stand for some time as the definitive introduction to the Philokalia and by way of this, also, to the Orthodox theological tradition.

Vigen Guroian, professor of religious studies, University of Virginia

Product Details

About the Editors

Brock Bingaman is assistant professor of religious studies and the director of the religious studies program at Wesleyan College.

Bradley Nassif is professor of biblical and theological studies at North Park University.