Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer: Experiencing the Presence of God and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of an Ancient Spirituality
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Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer: Experiencing the Presence of God and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of an Ancient Spirituality

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by Norris Chumley
     
 

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For nearly two millennia, the holy menand women of Eastern Christianity havebuilt lives of reflection, humility, andconstant connection to God around asimple sentence, the Jesus Prayer. Now,Norris J. Chumley—a documentarian andprofessor—reveals the history, practices,and abiding wisdom of this mysticaltradition to the rest of the world.

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Overview

For nearly two millennia, the holy menand women of Eastern Christianity havebuilt lives of reflection, humility, andconstant connection to God around asimple sentence, the Jesus Prayer. Now,Norris J. Chumley—a documentarian andprofessor—reveals the history, practices,and abiding wisdom of this mysticaltradition to the rest of the world.

Chumley traveled to some of the earlyChurch’s holiest sites with the VeryReverend Dr. John A. McGuckin, a priestand professor—to St. Anthony’s Monasteryin the Egyptian desert and St. Catherine’sMonastery on Mount Sinai, to convents inTransylvania and to monasteries in Russia,the Ukraine, and Greece—in search ofChristianity’s first mystical tradition andits modern-day practitioners. The monksand nuns he met taught him how to movethrough the stages of the Jesus Prayer, andhow it can foster an unceasing, and everdeepening,conversation with God.

Enriched with stunning color photographsof these holy sites, where photography israrely allowed, Mysteries of the Jesus Prayerreveals the powerful theology packed intothis prayer’s few words.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews

A rare investigation into the spiritual life of Eastern Orthodox Mystics.

Through the repetition of one prayer—"Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner"—monks, nuns and hermits have found inner silence and union with God for nearly 2,000 years. With the intention of bringing this prayer to the masses, Chumley (Columbia University Institute for Religion, Culture and Public Life) and his friend Father John secured permission to visit and document the devotional way of life preserved in ancient monasteries. As they toured the Holy places as privileged guests, they crossed the Egyptian desert in an air-conditioned van to the oldest Christian monastery on Earth, viewed Moses' still flourishing burning bush at St. Catherine's on Mt. Sinai and experienced the powerful ringing of the world's largest bell at close range in Kiev. "Without prayer, a monk is just a man in a black dress," says Father Jonas in Kiev.The book includes full-color photographs and wonderful insights into a legendary world that still exists. In particularly evocative prose, Chumley recalls the myrrh-scented remains of saints as he views stacks of bones in the monks' cells, tells heroic but often gory tales of famous saints' demise and shares the peaceful wisdom of the monks. Although impressed by the warmth and love exhibited by the Holy people he encountered, Chumley remains an outsider and writes for the intellectual, rather than devotional, reader.

A blend of anthropological study, spiritual quest and travelogue that sheds light on the search for inner peace.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061874178
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/05/2011
Pages:
208
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)

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Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer: Experiencing the Presence of God and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of an Ancient Spirituality 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
KantaBosniak More than 1 year ago
I both believe and observe that our culture yearns for direct experience, a feeling of connection with the Divine. As a (New Thought) Christian mystic and lifelong meditator, I won't settle for anything less myself. I see, feel and hear that same insistence becoming the norm. The old paradigm has become less satisfying as we are increasing aware of our thirst for real spiritual bliss. Perhaps we can discover hidden gifts as we explore really, really old time religion. "Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer" really touched my core. After years of meditation and practices in several traditions, this book links the wisdom of mysticism with authentic Christianity; it's at the same time ancient yet in this moment and very useful. For those who feel disconnected, alienated or even angry with religion in general, and specifically with Christian churches, Dr. Norris Chumley brings us the direct and beautiful teachings of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in the words and actions of sages, saints and ascetics. Simple, yet deep; entertaining yet academic; historic but never boring -- I think you'll love this book and refer to it again and again.
zeke59 More than 1 year ago
Beautifully put together. A long time coming to show the world what the Christian East has known for two millenium.
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