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Treasures of Romanian Christianity: Hesychast Tradition and Culture Paperback – 18 Nov 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 338 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (18 Nov. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1481909916
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481909914
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,125,891 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

Metropolitan Serafim Joanta, Ph.D, studied Theology at Sibiu and at St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris. After the fall of communism, he became a monk and was later ordained a bishop. He actively participated in the rejuvenation of Orthodoxy in his homeland and represented the Romanian Orthodox Church at different international conventions. Since 1994, he has been serving as Metropolitan for Romanian Orthodox faithful living in Germany, Central Europe, and Northern Europe. He published numerous research studies and articles about Orthodox Christianity.

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By Ian on 23 Mar. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As described, great product!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Spiritual History of Romania 4 Sept. 2014
By Scott Kenworthy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is an excellent history of Romanian spirituality; though the original French edition was published in 1987, it is the best (only?) history of Romanian monasticism available in English. Metropolitan Serafim's book is engaging and accessible to the general reader but at the same time offers a lot to a more specialist audience. There are some lengthy discussions of the spiritual teachings of key figures, which are also well grounded in their historical and biographical contexts. This new edition is very welcome, including in the Kindle version (which is how I read it).

Metropolitan Serafim understands "Hesychast tradition" in a very broad way, so that the first half of the book reads like a survey of medieval Romanian Orthodoxy with a focus on monasticism (which is helpful since there's so little else available on the subject). The author makes the argument that Romanian spirituality is, at its core, "hesychastic", that is, focused on ascetic endeavor, prayer, and contemplative communion with God. In its history, there were two formative moments: the 14th and the 18th centuries, which are the foci of the book. In the 14th century, after the Byzantine Hesychast controversies and the victory of the theology of St Gregory Palamas, Hesychasm spread to the rest of the Orthodox world. This coincided with the establishment of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, whose princes were great supporters and promoters of monasticism, so that the expansion of monasticism in Romania took a hesychast form. Then, after the Ottoman conquest of the Byzantine Empire and the kingdoms of Serbia and Bulgaria, Orthodox spiritual life flourished in the Romanian lands more freely than elsewhere in subsequent centuries. Indeed, one of the fascinating features of this book is realizing how interconnected the Orthodox world was at least until modern times. In the 18th century, the "Philokalic" revival was inspired by Paisy Velichkovsky, a Ukrainian who settled in Moldavia (after a stint on Athos), where he translated the Philokalia into Slavonic. Although Paisy's influence on the revival of monasticism in 19th century Russia is better known (the connections with Optina etc.), his impact on Romanian monasticism was equally profound, a story that's hardly known at all. The book ends with a look at the 20th century with figures such as elder Cleopa.
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