Ecstasy, Spiritual Knowledge, and Humility

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

Ecstasy, Spiritual Knowledge, and Humility

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The goals of the ascetic life can be described in various ways, and in this chapter three such symbols are studied. Ecstasy is described by Isaac variously as the experience of leaving both the body and the world behind, which based on chapters three and four adds important knowledge to the connection between asceticism and Isaac's criticism of society. Spiritual knowledge for Isaac is understood as a foretaste of life in the coming world, and thus have a strong character of mystical union. Humility is the most important goal of the transformation process asceticism involves, as is ultimately about becoming an icon of the triune God, whose humility is apparent in the Incarnation.

Keywords: ecstasy; spiritual knowledge; humility

Chapter.  10704 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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