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Evagrius Ponticus: The Praktikos. Chapters on Prayer (Cistercian Studies) Paperback – November 1, 1972


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Evagrius Ponticus: The Praktikos. Chapters on Prayer (Cistercian Studies) + Athanasius : The Life of Antony and the Letter To Marcellinus + The Sayings of the Desert Fathers: The Alphabetical Collection
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Cistercian Publications, 4; 2nd edition (November 1, 1972)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0879079045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0879079048
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 7.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,743 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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Customer Reviews

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This really needs to be taken into account by the reader.
Jeff Borden
This book includes Evagrius Ponticus' "The Praktikos" and "Chapters On Prayer", as well as a comprehensive treatise by John Eudes Bamberger ocso.
F. J. P. Rault
I recommend it to anyone working on their prayer life to give some background.
William T. Hughes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 45 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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20 of 23 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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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on February 17, 2003
Format: Paperback
"In fourth century Egypt, in Sketes, Abba Macarius short 'arrow' prayers were read by Coptic monks, recorded by Evagrius Ponticus, "at the time of temptations make use of short and intense prayer." --Chapt. 98, on Prayer.

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.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeff 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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