Introspection and Religious Ideas In Theophanis’s “Ladder of Divine Graces”
Open to public
On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 7:30 pm, I will lecture in the Board Room of Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute, on 2311 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709.
What is the relationship between introspection, prayer and religious thought? We will discuss the living modes of introspection in the Hesychastic Prayer of the Heart and their connection with the ancient metaphor of the Ladder (or in some cases, staircase) associated with the spiritual progression of the soul. From the example of the poem in the Philokalia by the 7th century Theophanis the Monk, I will demonstrate how ideas from Gnostic sects, the neo-Pythagorean legacy and possibly Mithraic influences are interlaced with exclusively Christian introspective prayer, and how historical-textual analysis combined with phenomenological analytic methods further the hermeneutic retrieval of strata of idea-formation in religious history.