Faithlife Corporation

Business Hours

Monday – Saturday
6 AM – 6 PM PST
Local: 5:51 AM
Be Still and Know: God’s Presence in Silence
See inside
This image is for illustration only. The product is a download.

Be Still and Know: God’s Presence in Silence


Fortress Press 2014

Runs on Windows, Mac and mobile.


Early Christian spirituality is a topic of enduring fascination today among scholars and general readers alike. Stories of hermits living in the desert in their pursuit of God catch our fancy. What motivated them and drew them to silence on their path to God? In this gracious tour, Norris J. Chumley introduces us to Hesychasm, or the practice of silence and contemplative prayer, and to the lives of its early practitioners. The reader is introduced to St. Anthony, St. Pachomius, Evagrius, St. John Climacus, and many others. Then, as only a teacher and mentor can, he opens up the important possibilities the practice has for today.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Key Features

  • Provides an in-depth overview of Hesychasm
  • Analyzes Hesychia in historical and contemporary contexts
  • Illustrates the value of Hesychia


  • Introduction: Silence (Hesychia): A Method for Experiencing God
  • Part One: Development and Methodology of Hesychia through Stories of the Ancient Practitioners
    • The Great Hesychast Fathers and Mothers
    • An Analysis and Comparison of Ancient Practitioners and Methodology
    • Evolution of Monastic Life
    • Hesychia Provides Peace and Connection to God for Individuals
  • Part Two: Silence (Hesychia) in Contemporary Focus: Methodology and Importance of the Practices inside and outside Monasteries
    • On the Experience of Communication with God through Hesychia
    • Hesychia as a Model for Those Outside Monasteries
    • Peace and Compassion through Prayer: A Union of Mind and Body
    • Hesychia in Our Own Practice
  • Conclusion
  • Appendix 1: Glossary of Terms
  • Appendix 2: Chronology of Places Visited and Person Interviewed for This Book and Ethnographic Film

Praise for the Print Edition

The Jesus Prayer, a central discipline among the Hesychast monks of Byzantium, has come to be practised very widely throughout the West. Often there is little knowledge of the background and meaning of the prayer. Be Still and Know, drawing as much on modern spiritual elders, as on the saints of the past, fulfils a very urgent need.

Andrew Louth, emeritus professor of Patristic and Byzantine studies, Durham University

In Be Still and Know, Norris J. Chumley invites readers behind the curtain to experience ascetic practices and practitioners seldom seen. Focusing on the ancient practice of hesychia (silence)—as experienced in monasteries in Egypt, Greece, and Romania—Chumley skillfully examines the objective of this monastic practice identified as internal stillness as precursor to a direct spiritual experience and union with God. A timely read in a technological world afflicted by a perpetual state of internal static.

—David A. Sánchez, assistant professor of theological studies, Loyola Marymount University

Having followed the development of Be Still and Know from beginning to end, I can attest to its genuine and caring incentive. Having witnessed the increasing lack of silence and stillness in our world, I can also attest to the importance of Norris J. Chumley’s contribution.

—John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Throne, Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Norris J. Chumley’s book is timely—the academic study of spirituality is on the rise and silence is increasingly hard to come by in the developed world. Be Still and Know offers a survey of the theology behind the Hesychast tradition, provides a lens on how monastics practice Hesychasm today, and hints as to what this ancient practice might offer contemporary spirituality in the West.

—Eileen M. Daily, director, Doctor of Ministry in Transformational Leadership, Boston University School of Theology

Product Details

  • Title: Be Still and Know: God’s Presence in Silence
  • Author: Norris J. Chumley
  • Publisher: Fortress Press
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 176
  • Christian Group: Orthodox
  • Resource Type: Topical
  • Topic: Spirituality

About Norris J. Chumley

Norris J. Chumley earned his doctorate from Union Theological Seminary. He is an internationally recognized author and filmmaker, a Huffington Post contributing editor, an Emmy award winner, and the author of Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition

More details about this resource