"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).

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Philokalia

Released just a few weeks ago, a new collection treats one of the oldest and most important texts in Orthodox spirituality: Brock Bingaman and Bradley Nassif, eds., The Philokalia: A Classic Text of Orthodox Spirituality (Oxford UP, 2012), 384pp.

About this book the publisher tells us that it is the first volume of scholarly essays to treat the Philokalia. Further:
The Philokalia (literally "love of the beautiful") is, after the Bible, the most influential source of spiritual tradition within the Orthodox Church. First published in Greek in 1782 by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Macarios of Corinth, the Philokalia includes works by thirty-six influential Orthodox authors such as Maximus the Confessor, Peter of Madascus, Symeon the New Theologian, and Gregory Palamas. Surprisingly, this important collection of theological and spiritual writings has received little scholarly attention. With the growing interest in Orthodox theology, the need for a substantive resource for Philokalic studies has become increasingly evident. The purpose of the present volume is to remedy that lack by providing an ecumenical collection of scholarly essays on the Philokalia that will introduce readers to its background, motifs, authors, and relevance for contemporary life and thought.

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