Chapter

The ascent to God in prayer

Demetrios S. Katos

in Palladius of Helenopolis

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199696963
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731969 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199696963.003.0006

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

The ascent to God in prayer

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This chapter explores the dynamics of Palladius’ model asceticism and its indebtedness to Origen and especially Evagrius of Pontus. It demonstrates that Palladius adapted an Evagrian understanding of spiritual progress, one that began with physical asceticism, progressed to the training of the mind in knowledge (gnosis) by the reading of scripture, and terminated at the contemplation of God in prayer. Palladius adapted many Evagrian concepts such as the passions, the eight thoughts (logismoi), apatheia, and he possessed a detailed knowledge of Origen’s biblical commentaries and interpretation. This chapter concludes by examining Palladius’ attention to contemplation and ecstatic prayer, and suggests that the practice of imageless prayer was an expression of complete human receptivity to divine life.

Keywords: asceticism; Origen; Evagrius of Pontus; spiritual progress; knowledge (gnosis); scripture; contemplation; passions; the eight thoughts (logismoi); apatheia; imageless prayer

Chapter.  16004 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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