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Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer
HarperOne / 2011 / Hardcover
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For almost 2,000 years men and women in the Christian East have devoted themselves to the practice of Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 5:17--pray without ceasing. Their continual supplication has taken the form of the Jesus Prayer--twelve simple words offered in humility and reverence: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. In Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer Norris Chumley travels to and documents some of the early Church's holiest sites, including St. Anthony's Monastery in the Egyptian desert, St. Catherine's Monastery on Mount Sinai, and certain monasteries in Transylvania, Russia and the Ukraine. With his traveling companion the Very Reverend Dr. John A. McGuckin, Chumley uncovers the history, practice, and abiding wisdom of the monks and nuns in the mystical tradition of the Jesus Prayer, where he is taught how it can foster an unceasing, and everdeepening, conversation with God.
For nearly two millennia, the holy menand women of Eastern Christianity havebuilt lives of reflection, humility, andconstant connection to God around asimple sentence, the Jesus Prayer. Now,Norris J. Chumley—a documentarian andprofessor—reveals the history, practices,and abiding wisdom of this mysticaltradition to the rest of the world.
Chumley traveled to some of the earlyChurch’s holiest sites with the VeryReverend Dr. John A. McGuckin, a priestand professor—to St. Anthony’s Monasteryin the Egyptian desert and St. Catherine’sMonastery on Mount Sinai, to convents inTransylvania and to monasteries in Russia,the Ukraine, and Greece—in search ofChristianity’s first mystical tradition andits modern-day practitioners. The monksand nuns he met taught him how to movethrough the stages of the Jesus Prayer, andhow it can foster an unceasing, and everdeepening,conversation with God.
Enriched with stunning color photographsof these holy sites, where photography israrely allowed, Mysteries of the Jesus Prayerreveals the powerful theology packed intothis prayer’s few words.
Norris J. Chumley, PhD, is an Emmy Award-winning executive producer, director, and author whose work has been featured on PBS, NBC, ABC, A & E, USA, Showtime, The Movie Channel, HBO/Cinemax, and WNET/13. Chumley holds a PhD in Theology and the Arts from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He is a featured daily columnist for Beliefnet.com and the Executive Producer and Director of Media for the Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life.
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