The transfigured cosmos; four essays in Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which is the spiritual tradition of nearly 200 million people, including many millions in the former Soviet Union, ... Show synopsis Eastern Orthodox Christianity, which is the spiritual tradition of nearly 200 million people, including many millions in the former Soviet Union, differs widely from that of the West both in form and spirit. These four essays, readable and clearly developed, introduce the reader to the mystical world experienced by the Orthodox Church. The first sections highlight among other subjects the spirit of Orthodoxy, the richness of Orthodox worship and the significance of icons, together with the place of holy fools, pilgrimage, holy men, and asceticism in Russian religious life. In the last sections, the reader will find a concise presentation of hesychasm, the mystical tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy which involves awakening to the Uncreated Light - the Presence of God which 'overshadows' and envelops the entire cosmos within Itself. For the Orthodox mystic, the way of liberation and deification in God lies in contemplation, in quieting the constant stream of thoughts, phantasies, and passions which make man blind to the splendor and mystery of the Divine Presence. The vehicle of liberation is the Sacred Name of Jesus, invoked constantly by the devotee, the significance of which is dealt with in the last essay. Author Jon Gregerson has written and lectured in the field of religion. A graduate of the University of California, he has done research in Russian culture at the University of Chicago. His own spiritual quest has led him from the Christianity of the West to Russian Orthodoxy.