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Evagrius Ponticus: The Praktikos. Chapters on Prayer (Cistercian Studies) Paperback – November 1, 1972
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Original Language: Greek --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
Evagrius, a living link
Evagrius was an able disciple of Alexandrine theological school, as practiced by the Desert Fathers, as Coenobitic monastic tradition. He creatively transmitted the essence of Coptic spirituality that deeply influenced Oriental and Western Christian thinkers from John Cassian to Simeon the new theologian, and his influence is still felt today between R. Catholics, through Jerome and Rufinus, but above all within the Benedictines and Cisterians. Thus spake Fr. Leclercq in his preface.
Evagrius, and Prayer
Evagrius' training, life, and related spiritual writings, in the context of the 'discipline of psalmody' as practiced by his contemporary monastic, and his underlining of the use of contemplation in the healing of passions, are typical Sketes ascetical traditions. Biblical scholia when closely studied, may facilitate what Evagrius has called 'undistracted psalmody', that is, contemplation by means of the words used in psalms of the person of Christ and of Christ's salvific work within his acts in creation, and redemption, a pioneering tradition, first taught by his grand master Origen.
153 chapters on Prayer
Following master Origen, Evagrius identifies contemplation with monastic life, prayer and spirituality, to martyrdom being a sign of perfection. Written, possibly to Rufinus, the 153 here correspond to the large fish in John 21:11. His expressions are typically of the desert: the gift of tears, striving for a deaf mind,and flower of meekness, and fruit of joy and thanksgiving.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a Spiritual Classic. Evagrius was emulated by the Desert Elders that proceeded him and he was revered by Christian Mystical and Contemplative tradition. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Amos Smith
This is a very readable and understandable presentation of Evagrius' greatest works. The introduction alone is worth the price of the book.Published 17 months ago by Dallas Michael Wolf
This book was used in a retreat by a monk It really spoke to aspects of prayer. I recommend it to anyone working on their prayer life to give some background. Great BookPublished on October 20, 2013 by William T. Hughes
I though much of it was great, and a lot of it was not great. In my opinion there is too much platonic influence in the guy's writings. Read morePublished on April 28, 2013 by Don
This book was extremely interesting and it gave an adequate guide to older monastic thought and practices! I would recommend this to anyone studying monastic theology!Published on March 12, 2013 by Katie Madaris
Evagrius Ponticus was among the most insightful observers and commentators on human psychology. As a clinical psychologist and amateur student of patristic literature, I found the... Read morePublished on October 13, 2012 by Evagrius
It is a great discourse on prayer. I suggest that anyone seeking into this matter should read this book in a state of prayer and recollection before God. Read morePublished on September 17, 2010 by michael a. hernandez
Useful and well discussed book about two of the more interesting and well-known works by Evagrius Ponticus. Read morePublished on October 14, 2009 by Alberto
While this book is not the easiest read....written in what I call a very scholarly manner (which is a good thing).... Read morePublished on September 11, 2009 by Pat O