Metropolitan Kallistos addresses the question of whether there are parallels between the hesychastic method of prayer and other apparently similar techniques of prayer in Hinduism and Islam. Looking at the origins of hesychasm and the teachings of figures such as St Gregory Palamas, St Gregory of Sinai and Nikiphoros the Hesychast, Metropolitan Kallistos addresses the question: is the Jesus Prayer an essential and authentically Christian practice, or is it unnecessary and perhaps even harmful?
The reign of Constantine (306-37), the starting point for the series in which this volume appears, saw Christianity begin its journey from being just one of a number of competing cults to being the official religion of the Roman/Byzantine Empire. The involvement of emperors had the, perhaps inevitable, result of a preoccupation with producing, promoting and enforcing a single agreed version of the Christian creed. Under this pressure Christianity in the East fragmented into different sects, disagreeing over the nature of Christ, but also, in some measure, seeking to resist imperial interference and to elaborate Christianities more reflective of and sensitive to local concerns and cultures.
What does it take to be Anti-Jewish? A deconstruction of statements held to be Anti-Jewish in Early Christian writers
In this presentation, originally given at the Cambridge University Faculty of Divinity, Dr Elena Narinskaya discusses the tendency to describe early Christian writers as being anti-Semitic and anti-Jewish. Looking in particular at examples from the writings of St Ephrem the Syrian, Dr Narinskaya examines and questions the process by which these terms come to be attached to patristic authors.