Join us for our Fall Adult Class - Six Monday Evenings beginning Oct 30
Join Us for our
Fall Adult Education Class 2017
• Six Mondays Evenings at 7:30pm
• Beginning October 30
• In our Education Center
Looking ahead, our Fall Adult Education Class will begin on Monday, October 30. We will be reading The Roots of Christian Mysticism by Olivier Clement. This book is an inexhaustible treasury of excerpts from most of the great Church Fathers together with a brilliant running commentary by Clement. The book is basically a wonderful in-depth exploration of the greatest theological and spiritual riches found in the Church. You will be reading and discussing an endless stream of the great "classics" of the Church's living Tradition.
The very prominent Orthodox scholar Fr. Andrew Louth said of this book: "There are some books so good that all one wants to say is: go out, buy it and read it - it is marvelous!" This book - and the ensuing discussion - will immerse you into Orthodox spirituality like few books possibly could. There is nothing quite like it!
Our six-session class will begin on Monday, October 30 and continue until Monday, December 11. (We will postpone the session for 11/20 as we will have a Vesperal Liturgy that evening for the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple).
Here are two links for purchasing the book. The first link is to St. Vladimir's Seminary Press. Just not sure how many copies they currently have, so I have also included the usual amazon.com link. You definitely want to make sure that you purchase the 2nd edition.
~ Fr. Steven
About Olivier Clement and The Roots of Christian Mysticism
MORE ABOUT THE BOOK: (From Amazon.com)
By linking together a series of brilliantly chosen texts from the early centuries of the Church, the author lays bare the roots of the deeply mystical spirituality that has flourished among Christians throughout the ages. This book will appeal to anyone who is interested in the field of spirituality. It is a masterly contribution to Christian scholarship, and this second edition includes an extraordinarily useful Index.
There are some books so good that all one wants to say is: go out, buy it and read it - it is marvelous! And so it is with this fine translation. --Andrew Louth, Fairacres Chronicle
Olivier Clement is a French Eastern Orthodox Christian theologian. He has gathered selections from the Church Fathers (and some Mothers too) by topics. Some selections are just a sentence or two, others are several paragraphs. His commentary is brief and usually helpful, but the book's real greatness is that the spirit of the Fathers is so accessible. In this book, everyone can have easy access to the spirituality of ancient Christians. There is deep theology, but also extensive practical sections on prayer and virtues. The English title is inappropriate; the French title is simply "Christian Sources." Clement does not present Christian esotericism but mainstream ancient Christian thought. --Wayne Mcdaniel
"Olivier Clement sets out to uncover the deeply mystical spirituality that he suggests is neglected by many Christians today. Clement is an Orthodox theologian teaching at the Institute of St. Sergius in Paris and a member of the Ecumenical Institute founded by L'Institute Catholique. The author laments Christians sentimental fascination with anything Eastern, specifically Tao or Zen. He wants to demonstrate that what they are looking for in the spiritual practices of the religions of East Asia can be found in the Christian heritage.
"In his effort to recover the mystical sources of Christianity, Clement provides an anthology of the first Christian mystics. His selections are not arranged chronologically or alphabetically; the end result is not so much an anthology as a selection of passages with extended and lively commentaries. The pieces are arranged according to Clements theological vision, in which spiritual combat occupies a central role. The most instructive part of the work is Clements extensive treatment of different approaches to prayer and contemplation. By linking a series of texts from early Christian centuries together with his own commentaries, albeit in a sometimes disjointed way, Clement has provided a helpful contribution to all who are interested in the study of spirituality." --Michael Downey, America
Olivier-Maurice Clement was born on 17 November 1921, into an agnostic family from the Cevennes.
He became a follower of Jesus Christ at the age of thirty, after a long search in atheism and in Asian spiritualities. He had discovered, through reading the Christian philosophers Nicholas Berdyaev and Vladimir Lossky (of whom he would become a student and a friend), the thinking of the Fathers of the ancient, undivided Church, and he received baptism in the Orthodox Church, within the French-speaking diocese of the Moscow Patriarchate in Paris. He described his childhood, spiritual wanderings and conversion in his autobiography, L'Autre Soleil (The Other Sun) (ed. Stock 1986).
As a history professor, he taught at the Louis-le-Grand lyceum in Paris for a long time. As a professor of the St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute (Institut Saint-Serge) he became one of the most highly regarded witnesses to Orthodox Christianity, as well as one of the most prolific. He was a founder of the Orthodox Fellowship in Western Europe, and was the author of thirty books on the life, thought and history of the Orthodox Church, and their meeting with other Christians, the non-Christian religions and modernity. He was responsible for the theological journal, Contacts, and became a Doctor honoris causa at the Institute for theology in Bucharest and at the Catholic University in Louvain.
Within the scope of his teaching activities, Olivier Clement was particularly engaged in the life and testimony of the Orthodox Church in France. He also inspired the work of the Orthodox Fellowship in Western Europe from its founding in the early 1960s and participated in Orthodox Christian conferences in western Europe from 1971, when every third year Orthodox Christians from the four corners the continent would meet to pray and reflect together.
Among contemporary Orthodox theologians he was one who gave most attention to questions of modernity; which he sought to answer through a powerful and poetic reflection, rooted in the tradition of the Church as well as creative and renewing. He was an interlocutor with several great spiritual leaders of his time - Saint Sophrony of Maldon monastery in Britain, Patriarch Athenagoras, Pope John Paul II, theologian Dumitru Staniloae, Brother Roger of Taizé, Andrea Riccardi, founder of the Sant'Egidio community - with all of whom he formed a relationship of trust and friendship.
He died on 15 January 2009.
"The kenosis of the Son reveals the mystery of God who is Love. This gift of life is an extension of a mysterious exchange at the heart of the Deity. In God himself the One does not exclude the Other, it includes it. The Unity of God is so complete, so rich, that it is not solitude enclosed in itself, but rather the fullness of communion. And thereby, the source of all communion."