Uses of the Term ‘The World’

Patrik Hagman

in The Asceticism of Isaac of Nineveh

Published in print October 2010 | ISBN: 9780199593194
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595677 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

Uses of the Term ‘The World’

Show Summary Details


This chapter explores Isaac's use of the term “the world”. From the ascetic's point of view, the world is (1) distracting the ascetic from the spiritual life, especially in the form of (2) human relationships. The world is a term that designates society in its negative influence over the human being, tempting her to act based on (3) political ambition, (4) taste for luxuries, and in general by arousing her (5) passions. The world is thus seen to be a term used to designate the malign influence of society on a person, an influence the ascetic is striving to reduce and do battle against. However, Isaac also talks of the world as (6) God's good creation. In Isaac's view, the world is meant to be a place of hardships, were humans learn to overcome temptations and trust God's providence.

Keywords: the world; society; politics; passions; creation

Chapter.  8566 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.