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Evagrius Ponticus: The Praktikos. Chapters on Prayer (Cistercian Studies) Paperback


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Evagrius Ponticus: The Praktikos. Chapters on Prayer (Cistercian Studies) + The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Cistercian Publications, 4 (November 1, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879079045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879079048
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #427,078 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Evagrius received the desert traditionabout prayer that had been developed over several generations before him. But he was the first to organize it into a coherent system.
Coptic Church Review

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Greek --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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The Praktikos is Evagrius' best known work on the ascetic life.
Jeffrey Borden
It is important to read a must the introduction and the footnotes that it contains. it is very informative and long.
michael a. hernandez
I recommend it to anyone working on their prayer life to give some background.
William T. Hughes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2000
Format: Paperback
John Bamberger's translation of the Praktikos and Chapters on Prayer by Evagrius Ponticus should be required reading for anyone interested in the ascetic theology of ancient Christianity. Not only does he render the challenging, often elliptical, Greek of Evagrius into approachable English, but he prefaces the two works with an invaluable introduction. This century has been one of enormous progress in the study of Evagrius, and any reader of the Chapters on Prayer and the Praktikos will appreciate why such effort has been expended. Evagrius still has much to teach us.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By F. J. P. Rault on January 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
This book includes Evagrius Ponticus' "The Praktikos" and "Chapters On Prayer", as well as a comprehensive treatise by John Eudes Bamberger ocso.

Bamberger (background as a psychiatrist, as a a monk, and as a erudite historian) gives us a clear view on the work of Evagrius (345-399). Evagrius, an important theologian in the 4th and 5th century, left the upper circles of Byzantine Constantinople, to live a humble and ascetic life as a monk in North African desert. In this period Evagrius wrote a system of guide-lines and psycho-religious support to help monks resisting mental temptations. Bamberger shows us in a clear and understandable way the surprising similarities between Evagrius' system and modern descriptive psychology. This book offers a fascinating focus on an important early period of European development of spiritual thinking and mental life, and provides help for people that want to take the matter up of serious prayer and contemplation.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on February 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
"Evagrius Ponticus is the living link through whom the ascetic principles of Clement and Origen's Alexandrine mystical theology passed into the mainstream of Christian monasticism."

Intense Prayer:
Abba Macarius of Egypt said there is no need to waste time with words. It is enough to hold out your hands and say, "Lord, according to your desire and your wisdom, have mercy." If pressed in the struggle, say, "Lord, save me!" or say, "Lord." He knows what is best for us, and will have mercy upon us.Monastics of old, in Sketes, Nitria, and Kellia uttered, "Lord, make haste to help me. Lord, make speed to save me," all day long. We may join them to pray; "Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me." Or, we might memorize a Psalter, or quote a Bible verse , or a sentense from the Lord'd prayer. In fourth century Egypt, in Sketes, Abba Macarius short "arrow" prayers were practiced by the Coptic monks, as recorded by Evagrius Ponticus, "at the time of these temptations make use of short and intense prayer." Chapter 98, on Prayer.

Evagrius on Psalmody and Prayer:
A connection between the seemingly disparate aspects of Evagrius' mystical theology and his writings on psalmody and prayer has been sought from three perspectives. Evagrius' training, life, and related spiritual writings, in the context of the 'discipline of psalmody' as practised by his contemporary monastics; Evagrius texts on the interrelationship between psalmody and prayer, and his underlining of the usefulness of psalmic contemplation in the healing of passions, are typical Sketes ascetical traditions.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Adams on September 3, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was used as a supplemental resource in the development of lectures for a college level course on The Desert Fathers. The Introduction was helpful. This book is a good overall presentation of Desert Spirituality. Evagrius Ponticus is an important read for those who wish to understand the foundations of religious life.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Borden VINE VOICE on April 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Why Evagrius Ponticus? Who is Evagrius? And what is the Praktikos?

All good questions... that for me, started when I began my exploration into Benedictine spirituality. Several years ago now, I was introduced to the Rule of St. Benedict. As I have adopted the Rule of Benedict as a model for my personal rule of life, I have continued to study, read, and explore the foundations of Benedictine spirituality with the hope of understanding this sacred pathway and model of spiritual formation and development. What I have found is that Benedict of Nursia was deeply influenced by the writings of John Cassian and Cassian was a translator and interpreter of the writings of Evagrius Ponticus, and subsequently, influenced by them. To this degree, Evagrius becomes part of the history and underpinnings of the Benedictine tradition. This explains the "why" Evagrius question.

Evagrius also called Evagrius the Solitary (345-399 AD) was a Christian monk and ascetic. One of the rising stars in the late fourth century church, he was well-known as a keen thinker, a polished speaker, and a gifted writer. He left a promising ecclesiastical career in Constantinople, traveled to Jerusalem, and there in 383 became a monk at the monastery of Rufinus and Melania the Elder. He then went to Egypt and spent the remaining years of his life in Nitria and Kellia, marked by years of asceticism and writing. He was a disciple of several influential contemporary church leaders, including Basil of Caesarea, Gregory of Nazianzus, and Macarius of Egypt. He was teacher of others, including John Cassian and Palladius.

The Praktikos & Chapters on Prayer is a wonderful translation for two of Evagrius' most important writings. The Praktikos is Evagrius' best known work on the ascetic life.
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