Doctrine's Role in the Ascent to God according to John Climacus

Book chapter


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
AuthorsZecher, Jonathan
Abstract

Ascend! Ascend, my brethren who have so eagerly set ascents in your heart (Ps 83:6 LXX), as you hear him say, ‘Come, let us ascend to the mountain of the Lord and to the house of our God (Isa 2:3, Mic 4:2 LXX) who has made our feet like hart’s, and set us on the high places (Ps 17:34 LXX), that we may conquer in his way!’
So wrote pious devotees of the Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus, sometime abbot of St. Catherine’s Monastery in the Sinai (c.579–649 CE). This compendious work of spiritual direction is particularly suited to the interests of the present volume—conceptions of Christian life and practice in terms of ascent. The Ladder is fraught with images of maturation, education, and improvement. Its manuscripts are illustrated with depictions of ladders and climbing,3 and its own figuration in the famous twelfth-century icon from St. Catherine’s is perhaps the central image of spiritual ascent and its dangers—in Eastern Orthodox spirituality. If progress and maturation are spatially conceived as the movement from an earthly to a heavenly life, John blazes an upward path to God, marked out in its stages as a ladder.

KeywordsBiblical Studies Early Church & Patristics Classical Studies Religion History Church History Religious Studies General Theology and World Christianity Biblical Theology
Page range355-375
Year01 Jan 2022
Book titlePatristic Spirituality: Classical Perspectives on Ascent in the Journey to God
PublisherBrill
Place of publicationNetherlands
Edition30
ISBN978-90-04-52697-6
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004526983_021
Web address (URL)https://brill.com/display/book/9789004526983/BP000028.xml
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Research or scholarlyResearch
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
PrintSep 2022
Publication process dates
AcceptedJan 2022
Deposited11 Mar 2024
Additional information

Copyright 2022 by Don W. Springer and Kevin M. Clarke. Published by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

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