The Heart of Salvation: The Life and Teachings of Saint Theophan the Recluse (Paperback)

The Heart of Salvation: The Life and Teachings of Saint Theophan the Recluse By Robin Amis, Esther Williams (Translator), George A. Maloney (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Robin Amis, Esther Williams (Translator), George A. Maloney (Introduction by)
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From the back cover: First a schoolteacher, then a bishop, then a hermit, Theophan the Recluse was one of the Russian holy men canonized in 1988 and one of the greatest of the "startzi" - teachers of spirituality and of Prayer of the Heart - who have played such an important role in keeping the spiritual doctrines of the early Fathers alive in the Russian Orthodox Church. From his hermit's cell, Theophan aided thousands in their spiritual quest. When he died, the great Russian monastery of Saint Panteleimon on Mount Athos published his voluminous works and a book about his life. This book is based on that writing with additional commentary relating his ideas to the contemporary religious situation, as his work was of great importance in place, in time, and in its cogency to the whole question of the relation of early Christian thought to the modern situation. In addition to the contemporary relevance of his spiritual teachings, Theophan's protest against Russia's departure from the old Christian worldview for one based on the physical sciences... is all the more meaningful now that this process is beginning to reverse.

From the editor's introduction: So that the reader can readily see for himself the great value of Theophan's writings, we have chosen a collection of Theophan's texts which have been arranged, with his life story, as follows:

Part 1 - the background that makes sense of the later parts - describes Theophan's life in a way that illustrates how his ideas before he entered seclusion led naturally to his life as a recluse, revealing the intellectual clarity and moral and emotional simplicity of his character even in early life. We will support this with extracts from letters to his beloved nephew, and others describing his point of view on life in the world, marriage, education and the sciences. We will learn from these passages his keen sense of objectivity, and see that he possessed a deep interest both in history and in modern thought. We may also glimpse the man behind the ideas through many cheerful pages about his meticulous corrections of the proofs of his books, or about the way he remained smiling and fearless while suffering from a developing cataract of the left eye.

Part 2 - the core of this collection - is formed by Theophan's detailed studies of the triple structure of the human being: body, soul and Spirit. To Theophan, human life has only one real goal beside which all other goals pale and appear as mere illusions. The goal is that man should follow the way to salvation, a term to which he assigns a very precise meaning, far from all ordinary moral exhortations or from catechismal definitions petrified with time.

Part 3 - the denouement - concerns Theophan's teachings about prayer and repentance, teachings that lead us from the first signs of sanctity with the Fear of God to the highest pitch of ceaseless prayer and the depths of contemplation that he names Walking with God'.

Product Details
ISBN: 9781872292021
ISBN-10: 187229202X
Publisher: Praxis Research Institute
Publication Date: May 9th, 1992
Pages: 208
Language: English