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The Mystical Theology of the Eastern ChurchThe Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church
Vladimir Lossky
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A classic! One of the leading exponents of Orthodox thought to the West, Lossky seeks to reconcile personal experience, or mysticism, with the teachings of the ecumenical councils, arguing that doctrine shapes all human behavior and that God is more inscrutable than we would like to admit. 252 pages, softcover. SVS Press.
     

 
On the Mystical Life, Volume 1: The Church and the Last Things (Popular Patristics)On the Mystical Life, Volume 1: The Church and the Last Things (Popular Patristics)
St. Symeon the New Theologian; Alexander Golitzin, trans.
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St. Symeon the New Theologian was abbot of the monastery of St. Mamas in Constantinople at the turn of the eleventh century. He was also perhaps the most remarkable and certainly the most forceful advocate of the mystical experience of God in the history of the Byzantine Church. Though they were on occasion suppressed by ecclesiastical authorities wary of his fierce enthusiasm, as well as his claims to charismatic authority, St Symeon's writings survived in the Orthodox Church and continued to play a vital role in the several renewals of spiritual life and prayer which has sustained the Church in its often difficult history over the past millennium.

His treatises on the mystical life, usually rendered as The Ethical Discourses, comprise St. Symeon's most extensive treatment of the experience of God. They are also appearing in three volumes for the first time in English. This first volume selects those treatises devoted to the Church, the sacraments and the last things. Here Symeon discusses the history of salvation from the creation onward into the glory of the eschaton. He includes a special section on the cosmic dimension of salvation, the experience of the rapture in the "third heaven" by the apostle Paul, who saw, heard, tasted, smelled and felt the one Light which is God. Addressing such themes as predestination, the knowledge of the saints in the world to come, the day of judgment as the "day of the Lord," and the experience of the sacraments, St Symeon's theology is a summation of a lifelong study of the Scriptures and the Church Fathers.


     

 
On the Mystical Life, Volume 2: On Virtue and the Christian Life (Popular Patristics)On the Mystical Life, Volume 2: On Virtue and the Christian Life (Popular Patristics)
St. Symeon the New Theologian; Alexander Golitzin, trans.
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This is the second of a three-volume series translating The Ethical Discourses into English for the first time. Where Volume I presented St Symeon's treatments of the Church, the sacraments, and the "Day of the Lord," this collection addresses the traditional language of Eastern Christian asceticism in light of Symeon's overall message. Apatheia, or "dispassion," the ancient term for freedom from sinful passion, is insisted on by Symeon as denoting the real possibility of a transfigured life. Elsewhere, he takes up the tools of asceticism, i.e., fasting, vigils, poverty, etc., and defines their purpose by denoting their function as basic elements for conforming one to the Cross of Christ. Symeon's other discourses dwell on the character and signs of the saint, such as faith and love, and also on the purpose of ascetic retreat. Throughout, Symeon anticipates the great fourteenth-century movement of Byzantine hesychasm, as well as the monastic renaissance of eighteenth-century Athos and nineteenth-century Russia.
     

 
On the Mystical Life, Volume 3: Life, Times, and Theology (Popular Patristics)On the Mystical Life, Volume 3: Life, Times, and Theology (Popular Patristics)
St. Symeon the New Theologian; Alexander Golitzin, trans.
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This third volume of St. Symeon's Ethical Discourses places the teaching of the discourses in their proper context, both among Symeon's other writings and with respect to his sources in the mystical tradition. Included thus is a sketch of Symeon's life and times, together with an extensive discussion of his thought, particularly against the background in the ascetical, mystical, and theological literature of the Christian East prior to the tenth century. Just as he always insisted he was, the New Theologian emerges as a thoroughly traditional representative of central themes in Greek patristic thought, in particular of the doctrine of deification (theosis) as summing up the Christian hope. Even his claims to charismatic authority emerge as fully within monastic tradition dating back at least to the fourth century. These claims appear most clearly in his "Letter on Confession" which is appended to the present work.
     

 
Maximum the Confessor: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality)Maximum the Confessor: Selected Writings (Classics of Western Spirituality)
Maximus the Confessor
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Maximus Confessor: Selected Writings contains critically selected writings from Maximus the Confessor on love, The Lord's Prayer in addition to his theological and philosophical reflections that would prove critical to the triumph of Orthodoxy during the Monothelite controversy at the Sixth Ecumenical Council. Maximus is called the Confessor because of his sufferings and labors for the true Christian faith. During the seventh century when the monothelite heresy (belief that Christ had only one will--a divine one) plagued the Church, Maximus eloquently demonstrated that Christ had both human and divine natures, as well as both a human and divine will. From the introduction to this volume, Jaroslav Pelikan highlights the relevance of Maximus' writings for today. "It was the genius of Maximus the Confessor that, in a measure that has been granted only to a few, he was fully bilingual, affirming by means of negation and speaking both the language of spirituality and the language of theology with equal fluency."
     

 
From Glory to Glory: Mystical TextsFrom Glory to Glory: Mystical Texts
Gregory Of Nyssa
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The life of Gregory of Nyssa was one of successive, sharply marked stages. He was born in Cappadocia, around the year 330, into a family that was exceptionally Christian. This collection of the spirtual writings of St Gregory of Nyssa, selected and introduced by Jean Danielou, has long been recognized as an authoritative introduction to the "father of mysticism", who exploded classical antiquity's static understanding of perfection by showing the Christian life as one of never-ending growth, a true dynamic movement "from glory to glory".
     

 
On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ: (Popular Patristics)On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ: (Popular Patristics)
Maximus the Confessor
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The last half of the twentieth century saw the establishment of the reputation of St. Maximus the Confessor as the greatest of all Byzantine theologians, with a wholeness of vision that speaks directly to many of our concerns today. Until very recently, however, little of his work has been available in English translation, save for some collections of brief reflections arranged in centuries and a few brief treatises, too easily classified as "spirituality." On the Cosmic Mystery of Jesus Christ provides translations from St. Maximus, two main collections of theological reflections, his Ambigua (or Difficulties) and his Questions to Thalassius, plus one of his Christological Opuscula, hitherto unavailable in English.

About the Popular Patristics Series
The Popular Patristics series published by St. Vladimir's Seminary Press provides readable and accurate translations of a broad range of early Christian literature to a wide audience--from students of Christian history to lay Christians reading for spiritual benefit.

Recognized Patristic scholars provide short but comprehensive and clear introductory essays according to their specializations for each volume.

Texts include classics of Christian literature, thematic volumes, homily collections, letters, spiritual guidance, and poetical works from a wide variety geographical contexts and historical backgrounds. The purpose of the series is to mine the riches of the early church and to make these invaluable writings available to all.
     

 
Cosmic Liturgy: The Universe According to Maximus the ConfessorCosmic Liturgy: The Universe According to Maximus the Confessor
Hans Urs von Balthasar
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The spirituality of this Eastern Orthodox giant has never been better handled than in this legendary monograph by von Balthasar, who reveals how Maximus cannot speak of the salvation of the human race apart from the created cosmos, nor ever separate nature from grace. 420 pages, softcover. Ignatius.
     

 
Mystical Theology: The Integrity of Spirituality and TheologyMystical Theology: The Integrity of Spirituality and Theology
Mark A. McIntosh

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Mystical Theology reveals that the growing popularity of spirituality in all its forms is largely separated from theology. Through a study of exemplary writers such as Gregory of Nyssa, Mystical Theology uncovers an understanding of the inner integrity of mystical consciousness and the difference between knowledge through direct experience and theological expression.
     

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