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Philokalia: The Eastern Christian Spiritual Texts: Selections Annotated & Explained

Philokalia: The Eastern Christian Spiritual Texts: Selections Annotated & Explained

Allyne Smith

| SkyLight Paths | 2012

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Philokalia, or “the love of the beautiful,” is a collection of writings by monks from the fourth to fifteenth centuries—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.

Author Bio

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.