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John Climacus (CWS): The Ladder of Divine Ascent (Classics of Western Spirituality Series) Paperback – 1 Jan 1982

4.0 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Paulist Press; New edition edition (1 Jan. 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809123304
  • ISBN-13: 978-0809123308
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 246,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
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.
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By A Customer on 17 Oct. 1998
Format: Paperback
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.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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