The angelic life in desert and ladder: John Climacus's re-formulation of Ascetic Spirituality

Journal article


Zecher, Jonathan. (2013). The angelic life in desert and ladder: John Climacus's re-formulation of Ascetic Spirituality. Journal of Early Christian Studies. 21(1), pp. 111 - 136. https://doi.org/10.1353/earl.2013.0006
AuthorsZecher, Jonathan
Abstract

John Climacus's seventh-century ascetical and spiritual masterwork, the Ladder of Divine Ascent, drew on and reformulated the themes and trajectories of Chalcedonian ascetic spirituality in ways that would prove decisive for later Byzantine theologians. This paper seeks to elaborate the conceptualization of Climacus's spirituality through a sustained exploration of his treatment of angels and his understanding of the ascetic life as 'angelic.' In the monastic literature that Climacus inherited and that formed him, three tensions emerge with respect to the predication of "angelic" to ascetics: optimism and doubt about the possibility of a 'care-free' state, alternative conceptions of "liminal" progress, and opposition of individualism and community. Climacus not only holds together these tensions, but by coupling them with his own original ideas carefully develops the possibility of ascetic imitation of angels.

Year2013
JournalJournal of Early Christian Studies
Journal citation21 (1), pp. 111 - 136
PublisherJohns Hopkins University Press
ISSN1067-6341
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1353/earl.2013.0006
Scopus EID2-s2.0-84875521091
Page range111 - 136
Research GroupInstitute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
Publisher's version
File Access Level
Controlled
Place of publicationUnited States
Permalink -

https://acuresearchbank.acu.edu.au/item/8q020/the-angelic-life-in-desert-and-ladder-john-climacus-s-re-formulation-of-ascetic-spirituality

Restricted files

Publisher's version

  • 101
    total views
  • 0
    total downloads
  • 3
    views this month
  • 0
    downloads this month
These values are for the period from 19th October 2020, when this repository was created.

Export as

Related outputs

Evagrius of Pontus on Λύπη : Distress and cognition between philosophy, medicine, and monasticism
Zecher, Jonathan. (2023). Evagrius of Pontus on Λύπη : Distress and cognition between philosophy, medicine, and monasticism. In In Ayres, Lewis, Champion, Michael W. and Crawford, Matthew R. (Ed.). The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity : Reshaping Classical Traditions pp. 530 - 547 Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108883559.030
The Negotiation of Meaning in Late Antique Clinical Practice: Alexander of Tralles and “Natural Remedies”
Zecher, Jonathan. (2023). The Negotiation of Meaning in Late Antique Clinical Practice: Alexander of Tralles and “Natural Remedies”. In Disability, Medicine, and Healing Discourse in Early Christianity: New Conversations for Health Humanities pp. 84-101 Routledge.
Spiritual direction as a medical art in early Christian monasticism
Zecher, Jonathan L.. (2022). Spiritual direction as a medical art in early Christian monasticism Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198854135.001.0001
Doctrine's Role in the Ascent to God according to John Climacus
Zecher, Jonathan. (2022). Doctrine's Role in the Ascent to God according to John Climacus. In Patristic Spirituality: Classical Perspectives on Ascent in the Journey to God pp. 355-375 Brill. https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004526983_021
Medical metaphors in byzantine spiritual direction
Zecher, Jonathan. (2022). Medical metaphors in byzantine spiritual direction. The Journal of Religion. 102(4), pp. 529-554. https://doi.org/10.1086/721356
Myths of aerial tollhouses and their tradition from George the Monk to the Life of Basil the Younger
Zecher, Jonathan. (2021). Myths of aerial tollhouses and their tradition from George the Monk to the Life of Basil the Younger. Dumbarton Oaks Papers. 75, pp. 297-318.
Medical art in spiritual direction : Basil, Barsanuphios, and John on diagnosis and meaning in illness
Zecher, Jonathan. (2020). Medical art in spiritual direction : Basil, Barsanuphios, and John on diagnosis and meaning in illness. Journal of Early Christian Studies. 28(4), pp. 591-623. https://doi.org/10.1353/earl.2020.0044
The reception of evagrian psychology in the Ladder of Divine Ascent: John Cassian and Gregory Nazianzen as sources and conversation partners
Zecher, Jonathan. (2018). The reception of evagrian psychology in the Ladder of Divine Ascent: John Cassian and Gregory Nazianzen as sources and conversation partners. Journal of Theological Studies. 69(2), pp. 674 - 713. https://doi.org/10.1093/jts/fly125
The role of death in the ladder of divine ascent and the Greek Ascetic tradition
Zecher, Jonathan. In A. Louth and G. Clark (Ed.). (2015). The role of death in the ladder of divine ascent and the Greek Ascetic tradition Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198724940.001.0001
Antony's vision of death? Athanasius of Alexandria, Palladius of Heenopolis, and Egyptian Mortuary Religion
Zecher, Jonathan. (2014). Antony's vision of death? Athanasius of Alexandria, Palladius of Heenopolis, and Egyptian Mortuary Religion. Journal of Late Antiquity. 7(1), pp. 159 - 176. https://doi.org/10.1353/jla.2014.0016
Death among the desert fathers: Evagrius and theophilus in the sayings tradition
Zecher, Jonathan. (2013). Death among the desert fathers: Evagrius and theophilus in the sayings tradition. Sobornost Incorporating Eastern Churches Review. 35(2017-02-01), pp. 148 - 169.
Death's spiralling narrative: On 'reading' the Orthodox funeral
Zecher, Jonathan. (2011). Death's spiralling narrative: On 'reading' the Orthodox funeral. Studia Liturgica. 41(2), pp. 274 - 292.