Some Aspects of Symeon’s Asceticism and Mysticism with Patristic Parallels

Hilarion Alfeyev

in St. Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition

Published in print June 2000 | ISBN: 9780198270096
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683893 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Some Aspects of Symeon’s Asceticism and Mysticism with Patristic Parallels

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It would be difficult to draw a boundary line between Symeon the New Theologian's asceticism and his mysticism, since he constantly develops ascetical themes in their mystical aspect, as well as mystical ones with reference to ascetical practice. Symeon's ascetical approach is purely monastic and as such is very much indebted to the preceding tradition of Eastern monasticism. This chapter examines some of the most characteristic features of Symeon's asceticism and mysticism with respect to their interrelation and connection with patristic tradition. It discusses tears and repentance as well as the features that represent the most characteristic constituents of Symeon's doctrine and spirituality. The discussion of the theme of tears in Symeon brings up one of the most important features of his mysticism and theology: his teaching on the vision of God. Symeon's views on divine light, ecstasy, dispassion, and deification are also considered.

Keywords: Symeon the New Theologian; asceticism; mysticism; tears; repentance; God; divine light; ecstasy; dispassion; deification

Chapter.  28289 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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