Psalmody and Prayer in the Writings of Evagrius Ponticus

Psalmody and Prayer in the Writings of Evagrius Ponticus

Psalmody and Prayer in the Writings of Evagrius Ponticus

Psalmody and Prayer in the Writings of Evagrius Ponticus

Synopsis

Evagrius Ponticus was the most prolific writer of the Christian Desert Fathers. This book is a study of his life, works, and theology. It gives particular attention to his little-studied exegetical treatises, especially the Scholia on Psalms, as well as his better-known works, in order topresent a more balanced picture of Evagrius the monk. The practice of psalmody in Northern Egyptian monastic communities of the late fourth century is explored, as is Evagrius' understanding of psalmody's healing properties, and his recommendation of memorized scripture as a spiritual weapon againsttemptation. Further chapters discuss Evagrius' model of spiritual progress and his use of medical terminology and theory; the logoi of providence and judgement and their use in Christian contemplation; and Evagrius' controversial Christology and his work, the Kephalaia Gnostica.

Excerpt

This monograph arose out of an interest in the exegetical writings of Evagrius Ponticus and a conviction that the significance of these texts for the overall understanding of Evagrius' spiritual doctrine has yet to be determined. Gabriel Bunge has suggested that the recent recovery of Evagrian texts necessitates a re-examination of widely held assumptions concerning Evagrius' orthodoxy. It has now become possible, thanks to the ongoing editorial work of A. and C. Guillaumont and of Paul Géhin, to read Evagrius' gnomic texts not only in the spirit of the anathemas of 543 and 553, but also in the light of Evagrius' extensive exegetical scholia, which often served as the basis for his more obscure kephalaia. Clearer insight into Evagrius' esteem for the Book of Psalms has been made possible by M.J. Rondeau, who has edited a collation of Evagrius' Scholia on Psalms based on MS Vaticanus Graecus 754. Her generosity in providing her collation for use in this volume is deeply appreciated.

The following individuals also provided valuable assistance in the preparation of this volume: Revd Edward Yarnold, SJ; Dr Alison Salvesen; Sr Benedicta Ward, SLG; Dr Sebastian Brock; Revd Jeremy Driscoll, OSB; Revd Columba Stewart, OSB; Revd Simon O'Donnell, OSB; Bro. Thomas Babusis, OSB; Revd Mark Sheridan, OSB; Revd Charles McCloskey; Revd Nicholas Heap; Revd David Forrester; Dr Douglas Burton-Christie; Dr Paul Ford; Dr Janice Ford-Daurio; Glen Dysinger; Christine Dysinger; Mary Heap; Ronald Berges; Jody Berges; Brent Lamb. To all of these and especially to Abbot Francis Benedict, OSB, who gave permission for the research which led to this book, the author wishes to express his gratitude.

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