The Philokalia (literally "love of the beautiful or good") is, after the Bible, the most influential source of spiritual tradition within the Orthodox Church. First published in Greek in 1782 by St. Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Macarios of Corinth, thePhilokalia includes works by thirty-six influential Orthodox authors from the fourth to fifteenth-centuries such as Maximus the Confessor, Peter of Damascus, Symeon the New Theologian, and Gregory Palamas.
Surprisingly, this important collection of theological and spiritual writings has received little scholarly attention. With the growing interest in Orthodox theology, the need for a substantive resource for philokalic studies has become increasingly evident. The purpose of the present volume is to remedy that lack by providing an ecumenical collection of scholarly essays on the Philokalia that will introduce readers to its background, motifs, authors, and relevance for contemporary life and thought.
Table of Contents:
Foreword: Kallistos Ware
Introduction: Brock Bingaman and Brad Nassif
Chapter One: St. Nikodimos and the Philokalia by Kallistos Ware
Chapter Two: The Making of the Philokalia: A Tale of Monks and Manuscripts by John Anthony McGuckin
Chapter Three: The Influence of the Philokalia in the Orthodox World by Andrew Louth
Chapter Four: Conversing with the World by Commenting on the Fathers: Fr Dumitru Staniloae and the Romanian Edition of The Philokalia by Mihail Neamtu
Chapter Five: The Luminous Word: Scripture in the Philokalia by Douglas-Burton Christie
Chapter Six: Concerning Those Who Imagine That They Are Justified by Works: The Gospel According to St. Mark - the Monk by Bradley Nassif
Chapter Seven: The Theological World of the Philokalia by Rowan Williams
Chapter Eight: Tradition and Creativity in the Construction and Reading of the Philokalia by J.L. Zecher
Chapter Nine: Becoming a Spiritual World of God:
The Theological Anthropology of Maximus the Confessor by Brock Bingaman
Chapter Ten: The Ecclesiology of the Philokalia by Krastu Banev
Chapter Eleven: Evagrius in the Philocalia of Sts Macarius and Nicodemus by Julia Konstantinovsky
Chapter Twelve: The Place of the Jesus Prayer in the Philokalia by Mary B. Cunningham
Chapter Thirteen: Uses and Abuses of Spiritual Authority in the Writings of St. Symeon the New Theologian by Hannah Hunt
Chapter Fourteen: Hope for the Passible Self: The Use and Transformation of the Human Passions in the Fathers of the Philokalia by Paul M. Blowers
Chapter Fifteen: Healing, Psychotherapy, and the Philokalia by Andrew Louth and Chris Cook
Chapter Sixteen: The Philokalia and Regulative Virtue Epistemology: A Look at Maximus the Confessor by Frederick D. Aquino
Chapter Seventeen: Women in the Philokalia? by Sr. Nonna Verna Harrison
Chapter Eighteen: Solitude, Silence, and Stillness: Light from the Palestinian Desert by John Chryssavgis
Brock Bingaman is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies and Religious Studies Program Director at Wesleyan College.
Bradley Nassif is Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at North Park University
It is not just that this volume on the history, sources, contents, and relevance of thePhilokalia is much needed and long overdue, but that the range, breadth, and erudition of the contributions in it are breathtaking. At a time in which the term 'spirituality' has become a dodge from substantial religious conviction and serious religious practice, the Philokalia instructs in a way of prayer and spiritual discipline that has muscle and commands attention. This volume will stand for some time as the definitive introduction to the Philokalia and by way of this, also, to the Orthodox theological tradition.
- Vigen Guroian, Professor of Religious Studies (Eastern Christianity), University of Virginia