PLACIDE DESEILLE, ANTHONY GYTHIEL, TRANS.
Title: Orthodox Spirituality and the Philokalia
Binding: Paper Back
Book Condition: New
Publisher: Eighth Day Press 2008
0971748373 / 9780971748378
Seller ID: 20090322153451
The Philokalia is unrivaled in importance among Orthodox ascetical writings. Yet like the Scriptures themselves, it is a collection of texts complex in origin and transmission, written over a period of a thousand years and assuming of its readers an intimate familiarity with its vocabulary and presuppositions. Orthodox Spirituality and the Philokalia is perhaps the only book entirely devoted to describing the essential elements of the tradition that gave birth to the Philokalia and then nourished its teaching generation after generation. It is a work -- the first to appear in English by Placide Deseille -- of profound scholarship and devotion, historical narrative and topical anthology. The historical sections begin and end the book, offering a succinct outline of Orthodox spirituality as it relates to what Deseille calls 'the philocalic tradition,' from St. Anthony the Great up to the present day. The concluding discussion highlights the fragmented but fascinating presence of that tradition in the Christian West. The centerpiece of Deseille's work is the anthology with commentary, arranged according to themes such as deification (related to both Christology and anthropology), the sacraments, hesychastic prayer, mercy and charity, spiritual warfare, purity of heart and contemplation. Deseille, a Cistercian priest become Orthodox monk, offers here the fruit of a lifetime's scholarship and existential pursuit of what it means to live as a contemporary of the Fathers, a fellow pilgrim with them in the journey 'toward the goal of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.'