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 prayer and 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 language in 1782, they have since been published in this collection in many languages, including a seven-volume translation into Russian ("Dobrotolyubie") by St. Theophan the Recluse in 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
*Saint John Cassian
**"On the Eight Vices"
**"On the Holy Fathers of Sketis and on Discrimination"
*Saint 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"
*Saint Hesychios the Priest
**"On Watchfulness and Holiness"
*Saint Neilos the Ascetic
**"Ascetic Discourse"
*Saint Diadochos of Photiki
**"On Spiritual Knowledge and Discrimination": 100 Texts
*Saint 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"
**"On the Lord's Prayer"

*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
** Discourse

*Saint Theognostos
**"On the Practice of the Virtues, Contemplation and the Priesthood"

*Saint Philotheos of Sinai
** "Forty Texts on Watchfulness"

*Ilias the Presbyter
**"A Gnomic Anthology"


*Theophanis the Monk (Theophan the Monk)
**"The Ladder of Divine Graces"

*Saint Peter of Damascus (Peter Damascene)
**"Book I: A Treasury of Divine Knowledge"
**"Book II: Twenty-Four Discourses"

*Saint Symeon Metaphrastes: Paraphrases of the Homilies of Saint Macarius of Egypt
**I. "Spiritual Perfection"
**II. "Prayer"
**III. "Patient Endurance and Discrimination"
**IV. "The Raising of the Intellect"
**V. "Love"
**VI. "The Freedom of the Intellect"

*Saint Symeon the New Theologian
**"On Faith"
**"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
**"Further 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"

ee also

*Jesus Prayer
*St Paisius Velichovsky
*The World


*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.

External links

* [ Some Main Ideas from “Philokalia”]
* [ Orthodoxwiki Article]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Philokalia —   [griechisch »Liebe zum Schönen«], erstmals 1782 von dem Athosmönch Nikodemos vom Heiligen Berg (* 1749, ✝ 1809) und Bischof Makarios von Korinth (* 1731, ✝ 1805) in Venedig in griechischer Sprache edierte umfangreiche Sammlung mystisch… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Philokalia — ▪ Eastern Orthodox texts       (Greek: “Love of the Good, the Beautiful”), prose anthology of Greek Christian monastic texts that was part of a movement for spiritual renewal in Eastern (Eastern Orthodoxy) monasticism and Orthodox devotional life …   Universalium

  • Philokalia — Phi|lo|ka|lia . Phi|lo|ka|lie die; <aus gr. philokalía »Liebe zum Schönen«> viel gelesenes Erbauungsbuch der orthodoxen Kirche mit Auszügen aus dem mittelalterlichen mystischen Schrifttum …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

  • Philokalia —    An 18th century collection of Byzantine texts written by the great mystics and ascetics of Byzantium (qq.v.). The collection includes Antony the Great, Gregory Palamas, John of Damascus, Symeon the New Theologian (qq.v.) and many others. It… …   Historical dictionary of Byzantium

  • PHILOKALIA —    a classic of EASTERN ORTHODOXY, the title of which means the love of the beautiful. It consists of a collection of MYSTICAL writings from the fourth to the fifteenth century and was first published in 1782 …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • ДОБРОТОЛЮБИЕ — Господь Вседержитель с предстоящими свт. Макарием Нотарой и прп. Никодимом Святогорцем. Гравюра. 50 е гг. ХХ в. Господь Вседержитель с предстоящими свт. Макарием Нотарой и прп. Никодимом Святогорцем. Гравюра. 50 е гг. ХХ в. [греч. Θιλοκαλία],… …   Православная энциклопедия

  • Hesychasm — (Greek Polytonic|ἡσυχασμός hesychasmos , from Polytonic|ἡσυχία hesychia , stillness, rest, quiet, silence ) [Parry (1999), p. 230] is an eremitic tradition of prayer in the Eastern Orthodox Church, and some other Eastern Churches of the Byzantine …   Wikipedia

  • Symeon the New Theologian — Saint Symeon the New Theologian Born 949 Galatia Died March 12, 1022 Paloukiton …   Wikipedia

  • Nicodemus the Hagiorite — Part of a series on Eastern Christianity …   Wikipedia

  • Herzensgebet — An einer solchen Gebetsschnur, Komboskini genannt, wird das Jesusgebet verrichtet. Das Jesusgebet, auch Herzensgebet genannt, ist ein besonders in der Orthodoxen Kirche weit verbreitetes Gebet, bei dem ununterbrochen der Name Jesu Christi… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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