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Christe Eleison!

The Invocation of Christ in Eastern Monastic Psalmody c. 350-450


James Frederick Wellington

For centuries the Jesus Prayer has been leading Orthodox Christians beyond the language of liturgy and the representations of iconography into the wordless, imageless stillness of the mystery of God. In more recent years it has been helping a growing number of Western Christians to find a deeper relationship with God through the continual rhythmic repetition of a short prayer which, by general agreement, first emerged from the desert spirituality of early monasticism. In this study James Wellington explores the understanding and practice of the psalmody which underpinned this spirituality. By means of an investigation of the importance of psalmody in desert monasticism, an exploration of the influence of Evagrius of Pontus and a thorough examination of selected psalm-commentaries in circulation in the East at this time, he reveals a monastic culture which was particularly conducive to the emergence of a Christ-centred invocatory prayer.
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Studies in Eastern Orthodoxy


This series is concerned with Eastern Orthodox Christianity in its various manifestations. Originating as the church of the East Roman or Byzantine empire, Eastern Orthodoxy comprises the group of churches that owe allegiance to the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople. The Orthodox Church has exercised unparalleled influence over the history, thought, and culture of the region and remains one of the most dynamic and creative forces in Christendom today. The series will publish studies in English, both monographs and edited collections, in all areas of social, cultural, and political activity in which the Orthodox Church can be seen to have played a major role.

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