This is the second book in the series “Theoria and Praxis” published by the Apostolic Ministry of the Church of Greece. It acquaints us with basic themes connected with Orthodox faith and Christian life. The key elements of Orthodox spirituality are defined, and we are introduced to the realm of Orthodox Tradition.
At the beginning of this slim volume we are given a definition of the terms “Orthodox” and “Spirituality”. It is pointed out that Orthodox spirituality is Christ-centered, Holy Trinity-centered and ecclesiastical. In addition, it is both sacramental and ascetic, because throughout the entire tradition of the Church there is an inseparable link between the sacraments and asceticism.
We are shown the “Differences between Orthodox Spirituality and other Traditions”. The basic difference is primarily in doctrinal teaching, but also in the approach and method used for curing people.
The terms ‘nous’ and ‘heart’ are analysed, and “The Core of Orthodox Spirituality” is defined as being the heart, within which the nous should function naturally.
Reference is made to “Degrees of Spiritual Perfection”, which are: purification of the soul, illumination of the nous, and deification. There is an explanation of the terms ‘Praxis’, which is purification of the heart, and ‘Theoria’, which means illumination of the nous and the vision of uncreated Light.
It is noted that there is no division in Orthodox spirituality between “Neptic and Social Theology”, just as there is no clear distinction between monks and married people.
As the reader studies this small volume he will realize that issues relating to spiritual life are examined in a brief and general way, without the author embarking on a full and detailed analysis. Nevertheless it clearly makes the point that the Orthodox Church is a spiritual hospital which cures people and guides them into communion and union with God.
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