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The Mystical Tradition of the Eastern Church


Studies in Patristics, Liturgy, and Practice


This volume presents the work of contemporary Orthodox thinkers who attempt to integrate the theological and the mystical. Exciting and provocative chapters treat a wide variety of mysticism, including early Church accounts, patristics (including the seemingly ever-popular subject of deification), liturgy, iconography, spiritual practice, and contemporary efforts to find mystical sense in cyber-technologies and post-humanism.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4060-8
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Aug 13,2019
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 276
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4060-8
$95.00
$57.00

The Eastern Christian mystical tradition has captured the imagination of academics and the general public for generations because of its quest for a direct experience of and the union with God. This quest is actualized in a fascinating theology that, at times, transgresses the limits of knowledge endeavoring to apprehend that which is ineffable. This volume presents the work of contemporary Orthodox thinkers who attempt to integrate the theological and the mystical. Exciting and provocative chapters treat a wide variety of mysticism, including early Church accounts, patristics (including the seemingly ever-popular subject of deification), liturgy, iconography, spiritual practice, and contemporary efforts to find mystical sense in cyber-technologies and post-humanism. Whether focused on the first century or the twenty-first, Eastern Orthodox connections between the mystical and the theological continue to instruct and inspire. This volume should find sympathetic readers willing—indeed, eager—to explore the deep and profound perspectives of Eastern Christian spirituality.

The Eastern Christian mystical tradition has captured the imagination of academics and the general public for generations because of its quest for a direct experience of and the union with God. This quest is actualized in a fascinating theology that, at times, transgresses the limits of knowledge endeavoring to apprehend that which is ineffable. This volume presents the work of contemporary Orthodox thinkers who attempt to integrate the theological and the mystical. Exciting and provocative chapters treat a wide variety of mysticism, including early Church accounts, patristics (including the seemingly ever-popular subject of deification), liturgy, iconography, spiritual practice, and contemporary efforts to find mystical sense in cyber-technologies and post-humanism. Whether focused on the first century or the twenty-first, Eastern Orthodox connections between the mystical and the theological continue to instruct and inspire. This volume should find sympathetic readers willing—indeed, eager—to explore the deep and profound perspectives of Eastern Christian spirituality.

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Contributor Biography

Sergey Trostyanskiy

Sergey Trostyanskiy is currently a Research Fellow of the Sophia Institute of Byzantine and Eastern Orthodox studies, New York and Union Theological Seminary, New York. He holds a PhD from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. His research interests include Byzantine history and philosophy. His monograph on St. Cyril of Alexandria is appearing in the Studies in Church History Series of Peter Lang Press.

Jess Gilbert

Jess Gilbert, Ph.D., is Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught for thirty years in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology. His award-winning book,  Planning Democracy: Agrarian Intellectuals and the Intended New Deal was published by Yale University Press (2015). He now lives in New York City and studies Eastern patristics. 

Table of Contents (v)
Preface and Acknowledgements (vii)
Abbreviations (ix)
Introduction: Mysticism and its Historical Manifestations (1)
   Sergey Trostyanskiy and Jess Gilbert

I. MYSTICAL THEOLOGY AND CHURCH MOTHERS AND FATHERS (9)

I.1. The Relation Between the Incomprehensibility of God and the Naming of God in the Theology of Pseudo-Dionysius (11)
   Theodore Damian

I.2. Toward an Understanding of Maximus the Confessor’s Mystical Theology of Deification: The Spiritual Sabbath / Eighth Day Sequence in Two Hundred Chapters on Theology (27)
   Jess Gilbert

I.3. Mystical Theology in the Writings of Gregory of
Nyssa and Dionysius Areopagite (51)
   Eirini Artemi and Christos Terezis

I.4. Analogy in the Mystical Theology of Gregory of Nyssa: Transcending Negation and Affirmation (69)
   Robert F. Fortuin

I.5. Recapitulative Reversal and the Restoration of Humanity in St. Irenaeus (85)
   Don Springer

I.6. Kindling Divine Fire: The Mystical Sayings of St. Syncletica (99)
   V.K. McCarty

II. LITURGY, SACRAMENTS, AND ICONS (115)

II.1. The Kingdom of the Holy Trinity and the Movement of a Community in the Sacrificial Spirit of Christ: The importance of Father Dumitru Stăniloae’s Mystical and Ascetic Vision of the Holy Liturgy (117)
   Ciprian Streza

II.2. The Sacraments of the Church: Basis of Spirituality, Building Blocks of the Kingdom (145)
   Philip Zymaris

II.3. The Mystery of Representation: Theodore the Studite on Seeing the Invisible (169)
   Sergey Trostyanskiy

III. CONTEMPORARY PRACTICE AND APPLICATIONS (191)

III.1 Understanding My Avatar: Cyberbeing, Bio-Digital Personhood, and Fictional Transcendences from an Orthodox Perspective (193)
   Inti Yanes-Fernandez

III.2. A Theory of Practice: A Meditation on Practice Itself (217)
   Mark W. Flory

III.3. The Prayer of the Heart as Method of Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapy (237)
   Cameron McCabe

III.4. Orthopraxis and Theosis: The Role of Ritual in the Training of the Mind (249)
   Anthony Perkins

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