"Let books be your dining table, / And you shall be full of delights. / Let them be your
And you shall sleep restful nights" (St. Ephraim the Syrian).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Political Hesychasm

Hesychasm is coming in for renewed scholarly attention, as I have noted previously. A new book from Lexington Books (an imprint of Rowman and Littlefield) continues the exploration: Daniel Payne, The Revival of Political Hesychasm in Contemporary Orthodox Thought: The Political Hesychasm of John Romanides and Christos Yannaras (Lexington Books, 2011), 336pp.

About this book the publisher tells us:

The Revival of Political Hesychasm in Contemporary Orthodox Thought focuses on the retrieval of the spiritual theology of the Orthodox Church and how it is being used in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries to develop a political ideology that allows for the creation of a unique Eastern Orthodox identity, which is against western globalization. Paramount in the creation of this identity is the thought of John S. Romanides and Christos Yannaras.

This sounds like a very interesting, almost paradoxical combination: hesychasm, on the one hand, usually associated with the quiet contemplative in a monastery, and the bustle of politics-in-the-world on the other; and a second paradox: Christos Yannaras, a serious thinker, paired with John Romanides, whom some Orthodox (inter alia) regard as a crank.

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