This critical exposition of the theology of Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov (1896-1993)--an outstanding Christian ascetic, monk, and mystic of the twentieth century--conveys the message that Christianity is not just an academic discipline but very reality, life itself. This reality imprints a mark of indisputable authenticity upon each of Fr Sophrony's writings. Strange to abstract scholasticism, his words breathe the inspiration of the living tradition, where Christ is the Divine Absolute, "the same yesterday, today and forever" (Heb 13:8).
Because Fr Sophrony traversed the major religious and intellectual movements of our time, his spiritual make-up is enriched by various currents of thought. Notwithstanding this diversity, never does his theology transcend the boundaries set out by the Orthodox tradition. The patristic heritage has for him indubitable authority. He absorbed the legacy of the Fathers in its living depth. This came not by way of an academic research, but through his ascetic strivings on Mount Athos. His wide spiritual and intellectual background elevates the Orthodox tradition to an authentic level where it opens up to universal dimensions.
Hieromonk Nikolai Sakharov holds a Ph.D. in theology from Oxford University and is the grand nephew of Archimandrite Sophrony. He is a member of the Monastery of St John the Baptist, Essex, United Kingdom.