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Cassian the Monk (Columba Stewart) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 1998) 9780195113662
Cassian the Monk (Columba Stewart) Hardcover Book, (Oxford University Press, 1998) 9780195113662
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Title: Cassian the Monk

Author: Stewart, Columba

Publisher: Oxford University Press; Publication Date: 1998

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780195113662

Volumes: 1; Pages: 304

List Price in Hardcover: $190.00 Our price: $168.99

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Sometimes portrayed as simply an advocate of the sophisticated spiritual theology of Evagrius of Ponticus, John Cassian (c. 360-435) was actually a theologian of keen insight, realism, and creativity. His teaching on sexuality is unique in early monastic literature in both its breadth and its depth, and his integration of biblical interpretation with the ways of prayer and teaching on ecstatic prayer are of fundamental importance for the western monastic tradition. Columba Stewart's book is the first major study of Cassian to be published in twenty years. It begins by establishing Cassian's credibility as a teacher on the basis of his own experience as a monk and his familiarity with the fundamental literary sources. Stewart then turns to Cassian's spiritual theology, with particular attention to Cassian's view of the monastic journey in eschatological perspective, his teaching on continence and chastity, the Christological basis of biblical interpretation and prayer, his method of unceasing prayer, and his integration of ecstatic experience with an Evagrian theology of prayer.

Table of Contents

Note on Citations xv

Chapter 1 Cassian the Monk


Birthplace and Childhood

Monastic Beginnings in Bethlehem


Constantinople and Rome



A Monk for Others

Chapter 2 Cassian the Writer

Ways of Reading

Cassian's Monastic Writings

Language and Style

Cassian's Sources

Cassian's Pedagogy

Cassian the Teacher

Chapter 3 Cassian the Theologian

Journeying toward Goal and End: Mapping the Monastic Life

The Quest for Purity of Heart


Heavenly Beatitude and the Vision of God

Monks for the World

Chapter 4 Flesh and Spirit, Continence and Chastity

Chastity and Asceticism in Cassian's Works


The Body

Continence and Chastity

Divine Grace and Human Will

Nocturnal Emissions

Frankness and Freedom

Chapter 5 The Bible and Prayer

Exemplars of Prayer and Biblical Interpretation

Spiritual Knowledge

Seeing and Knowing Christ

Chapter 6 Unceasing Prayer

The Interplay of Bible and Prayer

Bible and Prayer in Egypt

Cassian's Appropriation of the Tradition

Ways of Unceasing Prayer

Chapter 7 Experience of Prayer



Teacher of Prayer


Appendix Cassian on Monastic Egypt



Biblical Citations

Cassian's Writings

Latin and Greek Words

General Index

"In addition to chastity, Stewart has good chapters on prayer and the use of the bible in Cassian. Although he cannot cover every aspect of Cassian's massive teaching, these three topics are probably the key ones. And Stewart has mastered them as completely as anyone I have read. This is a tour de force."--Terrence G. Kardong, O. S. B., THe Catholic Historical Review
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