Download Despondency: The Spiritual Teaching of Evagrius Ponticus on by Gabriel Bunge, Anthony P. Gythiel PDF

By Gabriel Bunge, Anthony P. Gythiel

This finally cheerful paintings is likely one of the few books to be had in English to deal solely with the matter of despondency-acedia- and the way it may be conquer. Bunge analyzes the perspectives of Evagrius Ponticus, the recognized "philosopher of the desert," at the hazards of acedia. Evagrius develops a worldly psychology which continues to be worthwhile to us this present day. certainly, this 4th-century wilderness Father writes for Christians far and wide: for these in glossy deserts -the urban- and for these topic to silent melancholy. this can be a better half e-book to Dragon's Wine and Angel's Bread (SVS Press, 2009).

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But let us leave the poet of the Flowers of Evil, and let us return to the desert fathers, who have not lost any of their relevance. * In the texts here quoted, the discourse deals mostly indiscriminately with passions, thoughts, and demons. The thoughts are the carriers of the passions, and the demons are the authors of both. Without wishing to develop completely here the “demonology” of the desert fathers, or that of Evagrius in particular, the following observations are presented for consideration.

21 Evagrius draws the same distinction for sinful human beings. 23 Evil itself exists only as a parasite, in that it attaches itself as an alien entity to what was created good. 25 But how does man experience evil (in the non-personal sense) and then the evil one as a personal power? As Evagrius’ constant alternation between a “thought” (as a vehicle of the passions), a “passion,” and a “demon” teaches, evil in the human domain can behave only as a parasite. So evil distorts the personhood of the man who perceives evil as personal in the “demon,” insofar as he experiences himself as person.

Creation is good13 and an expression of God’s goodness14 in its entirety and in all its parts. 17 As a pseudo-existence, evil has no continuous existence in itself, nor has the evil one. ”18 Even “the devil is not evil by nature,”19 but only on account of his misuse of freedom. 21 Evagrius draws the same distinction for sinful human beings. 23 Evil itself exists only as a parasite, in that it attaches itself as an alien entity to what was created good. 25 But how does man experience evil (in the non-personal sense) and then the evil one as a personal power?

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