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The Eastern Christian Love of the Beautiful can be a companion on your own spiritual journey

A collection of writings by monks from the fourth to fifteenth centuries, the Philokalia more than any other text reflects the Eastern Churchs interpretation of the Bibles meaning. Simply translated, the title means love of the beautiful, which reflects the texts emphasis on mystical and contemplative practices to engage all of our senses in the acts of worship and prayer.

This introduction to the wisdom of the Philokalia illuminates a text that until now has intimidated the general reader in its scholarly translations from Greek and Russian. Allyne Smith focuses his thoughtful selection on seven themes that recur throughout the five-volume workrepentance, the heart, prayer, the Jesus Prayer, the passions, stillness, and theosis. Smiths enlightening, accessible facing-page commentary fills in the historical and spiritual context, clarifies core teachings, including the Eastern understanding of salvation, and draws connections to modern-day practices, such as contemplative prayer.

Now you can experience the spiritual wisdom of the Philokalia even if you have no previous knowledge of Eastern Christianity. This SkyLight Illuminations edition takes you on a journey through this beloved text, showing you how the teachings of Eastern monks can help you become by grace what God is by nature.

Allyne Smith is an Orthodox priest who writes and lectures on Orthodox theology, ethics, liturgy and spirituality, both in the U.S. and abroad. He teaches theology at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.

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