11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 18 June 1999
While I must, alas, concur in the sentiments expressed by the reader from Georgia, this book remains worthy of the serious reader's time. In the Orthodox Church, one traditionally reads this book through during each Great Lent; since I began to follow this practice four years ago, I have noted a great effect on my general outlook. I recommend this practice. One cannot read the book too often.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 17 December 2011
Overall, I am enjoying this book. Though I say the word enjoying with some apprehension. This is not a book you necessarily enjoy. It is a book you sweat over, pray over, repent over. A book which shows you how far yet you have to climb in your spiritual walk toward God.
I have mixed feelings concerning it. In some passages Climacus gives the impression that he feels it is very unlikely a "worldy" person (meaning a person who is not a monk) can ever be saved. I remember how he relates one story (he tells lots of stories which I enjoy reading, some are quite funny) and a worldly man asks him how he might be saved. He gives some general guidelines, but seems to offer him little real hope. Climacus seems to think that unless one forsakes all in the sense in which he did, then there is not much else you can do. I have to disagree with this, and it is my understanding that the Orthodox Church also do.
This particular translation does seem to be more of a dynamic equivalent than a literal one, which is fine by me really. It means less struggling with the English and more struggling with the principles that Climacus taught, if you know what I mean.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 1998
Albeit, any translation of this book from the Greek will find itself lacking, this particular edition is found wanting in comparison with Orthodox translations. Paulist Press, being a Roman Catholic publishing institution, tends to put a more western translation to a, very, Eastern Orthodox writing. In comparison to the edition published by Holy Transfiguration Monastery, this book, published by Paulist Press, is an inferior rendering of the original document, and very slanted towards western spirituality.
For western readers, this would be, somewhat, an "easy read", but this translation will not provide the full impact of the meanings from the original.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2013
May I just make a comment on the cover art for this book, and in general for the "Classics of Western Spirituality" series?
This is a holy book, it should be possible to treasure it and look at it as something special. Its appearance should in some measure give a foretaste of what lies within.
From that point of view, this book has a grave deficiency. The cover art not only fails to give any sense of the contents - it actually detracts from them. I would have to say that this book outdoes the rest of the series in terms of having a really uninspired, secularised-looking cover - almost more like something a computer would generate than a human soul, let alone a devout one.
I realize that the series actually makes a deliberate effort to generate new art, as opposed to reproducing classic images, but unfortunately the result is disastrous - entirely vindicating the strictest critics of the post-Vatican II catholic church.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 8 March 2015
In my opinion this a very good English translation of the original Greek text. However it would be good to also have it as a kindle read, this would make it more accessible for those with a Kindle or app and also aid cross referencing. I hope someone from Amazon will answer this request.