`Olivier Clement sets out to uncover the deeply mystical spirituality that he suggests is neglected by many Christians today. Clement is an Orthodox theologian teaching at the Institute of St. Sergius in Paris and a member of the Ecumenical Institute founded by L'Institute Catholique. The author laments Christians sentimental fascination with anything Eastern, specifically Tao or Zen. He wants to demonstrate that what they are looking for in the spiritual practices of the religions of East Asia can be found in the Christian heritage.
`In his effort to recover the mystical sources of Christianity, Clement provides an anthology of the first Christian mystics. His selections are not arranged chronologically or alphabetically; the end result is not so much an anthology as a selection of passages with extended and lively commentaries. The pieces are arranged according to Clements theological vision, in which spiritual combat occupies a central role. The most instructive part of the work is Clements extensive treatment of different approaches to prayer and contemplation. By linking a series of texts from early Christian centuries together with his own commentaries, albeit in a sometimes disjointed way, Clement has provided a helpful contribution to all who are interested in the study of spirituality.'