The Philokalia (
Gk.φιλοκαλείν "Love of the Beautiful") is a collection of texts by masters of the Eastern Orthodox, hesychast tradition, writing from the fourth to the fifteenth centuries on the disciplines of Christian prayerand a life dedicated to God. The work was compiled by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth.
In the introduction of Palmer, Sherrard, and Ware's translation of the collection into English, Philokalia is defined as, "love of the beautiful, the exalted, the excellent, understood as the transcendent source of life and the revelation of Truth." The original authors were mostly monks, whose striving for purification of the heart and spiritual perfection are recurring themes in the Philokalia.
Although these works were widely known before their initial publication in the
Greek languagein 1782, they have since been published in this collection in many languages, including a seven-volume translation into Russian ("Dobrotolyubie") by St. Theophan the Reclusein the nineteenth century. Other than the Bible, and a handful of writings by early Christian Fathers, the Philokalia is by far the most influential and widely admired example of Eastern Orthodox piety in print today. It is featured prominently in another much shorter well-known book called " The Way of a Pilgrim", in which a Russian traveler learns to pray from various people he meets on his travels and by reading the Philokalia.
Texts of the Philokalia
*Saint Isaiah the Solitary
**"On Guarding the Intellect: Twenty-Seven Texts"
*Evagrios the Solitary
**"Outline Teaching on Asceticism and Stillness in the Solitary Life"
**"Texts on Discrimination in respect of Passions and Thoughts"
**"Extracts from the Texts on Watchfulness"
**"On Prayer": 153 Texts
**"On the Eight Vices"
**"On the Holy Fathers of Sketis and on Discrimination"
Mark the Ascetic
**"On the Spiritual Law": 200 Texts
**"On Those who Think that They are Made Righteous by Works": 226 Texts
**"Letter to Nicolas the Solitary"
Hesychios the Priest
**"On Watchfulness and Holiness"
Neilos the Ascetic
Diadochos of Photiki
**"On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination": 100 Texts
John of Karpathos
**"For the Encouragement of the Monks in India who had Written to Him": 100 Texts
**"Ascetic Discourse Sent at the Request of the Same Monks in India"
*Saint Theodoros the Great Ascetic
**"A Century of Spiritual Texts"
Saint Maximus the Confessor
**"Four Hundred Texts on Love" (Foreword to Elpidios the Presbyter)
**"Two Hundred Texts on Theology and the Incarnate Dispensation of the Son of God", Written for Thalassios
**"Various Texts on Theology, the Divine Economy, and Virtue and Vice"
*Thalassios the Libyan
**"On Love, Self Control, and Life in accordance with the Intellect" (written for Paul the Presbyter)
Saint John of Damascus
**"On the Virtues and the Vices"
* A Discourse on Abba Philemon
**"On the Practice of the Virtues, Contemplation and the Priesthood"
Philotheos of Sinai
** "Forty Texts on Watchfulness"
Ilias the Presbyter
**"A Gnomic Anthology"
Theophanis the Monk(Theophan the Monk)
**"The Ladder of Divine Graces"
Peter of Damascus(Peter Damascene)
**"Book I: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge"
**"Book II: Twenty-Four Discourses"
Symeon Metaphrastes: Paraphrases of the Homilies of Saint Macarius of Egypt
**I. "Spiritual Perfection"
**III. "Patient Endurance and Discrimination"
**IV. "The Raising of the Intellect"
**VI. "The Freedom of the Intellect"
*Saint Symeon the New Theologian
**"153 Practical and Theological Texts"
**"The Three Methods of Prayer" (Attributed to Saint Symeon)
Nikitas Stithatos( Nikitas Stethatos)
**"On the Practice of the Virtues": One Hundred Texts
**"On the Inner Nature of Things and on the Purification of the Intellect": One Hundred Texts
**"On Spiritual Knowledge, Love and the Perfection of Living": One Hundred Texts
Theoliptos, Metropolitan of Philadelphia
**"On Inner Work in Christ and the Monastic Profession"
* Nikiphoros the Monk
**"On Watchfulness and the Guarding of the Heart"
Saint Gregory of Sinai
**"On Commandments and Doctrines, Warnings and Promises; on Thoughts, Passions and Virtues, and also on Stillness and Prayer": 137 Texts
**"On the Signs of Grace and Delusion, Written for the Confessor Longinos": Ten Texts
**"On Stillness": Fifteen Texts
**"On Prayer": Seven Texts
Saint Gregory Palamas
**"To the Most Reverend Nun Xenia"
**"A New Testament Decalogue"
**"In Defence of Those who Devoutly Practise a Life of Stillness"
**"Three Texts on Prayer and Purity of Heart"
**"Topics of Natural and Theological Science and on the Moral and Ascetic Life": 150 Texts
**"The Declaration of the Holy Mountain in Defence of Those who Devoutly Practice a Life of Stillness"
*St Paisius Velichovsky
*Palmer, G.E.H; Sherrard, Philip; Ware, Kallistos (Timothy). "The Philokalia, Vol. 1" ISBN 0-571-11377-X , ISBN 0-571-13013-5
*Palmer, G.E.H; Sherrard, Philip; Ware, Kallistos (Timothy). "The Philokalia, Vol. 2" ISBN 0-571-15466-2
*Palmer, G.E.H; Sherrard, Philip; Ware, Kallistos (Timothy). "The Philokalia, Vol. 3" ISBN 0-571-17525-2
*Palmer, G.E.H; Sherrard, Philip; Ware, Kallistos (Timothy). "The Philokalia, Vol. 4" ISBN 0-571-19382-X
*Smith, Allyne. "The Philokalia: The Eastern Christian Spiritual Texts -- Selections Annotated and Explained" (SkyLight Paths, 2006) ISBN 1594731039. This contains slections from the Palmer/Sherrard/Ware translation, with facing comentary.
Popular culture references
It is featured prominently in another much shorter well-known book called "
The Way of a Pilgrim", in which a Russian traveler learns to pray from various people he meets on his travels and by reading the Philokalia.
* [http://www.religiousbook.net/Books/Online_books/Hs/Ideas_from%20_Philokalia.html Some Main Ideas from “Philokalia”]
* [http://orthodoxwiki.org/Philokalia Orthodoxwiki Article]
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