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Price: $14.00


Publisher: Random House

Fr. John A. McGuckin


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The Book of Mystical Chapters: Meditations on the Soul's Ascent from the Desert Fathers and Other Early Christian Contemplatives

The early Christian monks of Egypt, Syria, and Palestine were the spiritual heroes of their age--fleeing the security of civilization for the desert, where they sought God in lives of prayer, contemplation, and radical simplicity. This book is a portable collection of their teachings, and those of their contemplative contemporaries, ranging from the fourth through the eleventh centuries. It is arranged to the traditional model of three ascending "books": Praktikos (practice), Theoretikos (theory), and Gnosis (knowledge). Each book consists of 100 "sentences"--aphorisms or thoughts. Each sentence is intended to be read and meditated upon for an entire day--just as the monks themselves might have done as they went about their work.

John Anthony McGuckin, PH.D., is an Orthodox priest and a professor of early Church history at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Born in Newcastle, England, he is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and the author of nine books, including Standing in God's Holy Fire: The Byzantine Tradition and At the Lightning of the Lamps: Hymns of the Ancient Church.

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