Philokalia, or “the love of the beautiful,” is a collection of writings by monks from the fourth century to the fifteenth century—emphasizing mystical and contemplative practices that engage all of our senses in the acts of worship and prayer.
This introduction to the wisdom of the Philokalia illuminates a text that until now has intimidated the general reader in its scholarly translations from Greek and Russian. Allyne Smith focuses his thoughtful selection on seven themes that recur throughout the five-volume work: repentance, the heart, prayer, the Jesus Prayer, the passions, stillness, and theosis. Smith’s enlightening, accessible facing-page commentary fills in the historical and spiritual context, clarifies core teachings (including the Eastern Orthodox understanding of salvation) and draws connections to modern-day practices such as contemplative prayer.
Filled with centuries of wisdom. . . . Wonderfully explains and simplifies this difficult [text].
—Religious Book Club
An invaluable treasury of wisdom. . . . Offers a simple guide to the way (through one’s heart) and means (through prayer) of arriving from the spiritual starting-point (of repentance in the heart) to the wonderful destination (of stillness and salvation) found in the love of divine beauty.
—John Chryssavgis, author, Light through Darkness: The Orthodox Tradition
[An] authoritative resource . . . . Will go far toward making one of the great treasures of Eastern Christian spirituality accessible to followers of Christ in the West.
—Frederica Mathewes-Green, author, Facing East
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and 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.
Allyne Smith is an Orthodox priest who writes and lectures on Orthodox theology, ethics, liturgy, and spirituality, both in the US and abroad. He teaches theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
G.E.H. Palmer also translated writings from the Philokalia: On Prayer of the Heart.
Philip Sherrard was a poet, translator, literary scholar, theologian, and interpreter of the Orthodox tradition.
Kallistos Ware is a renowned Orthodox theologian, author and translator of the Philokalia.