The Invocation of Christ in Eastern Monastic Psalmody c. 350-450
Chapter Three: The Relationship between Psalmody and Prayer
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The Relationship between Psalmody and Prayer
The purpose of this chapter is to explore the relationship between psalmody and prayer in the writings of Evagrius of Pontus. The three most relevant works under review here will be the Scholia ad psalmos, the De oratione and the Antirrhētikos, though some consideration will be given to Ad monachos, Ad virginem, Kephalaia Gnostika, Peri Logismōn, Praktikos and Skemmata (Capita Cogniscitiva).
Evagrius was born around 346, probably in Ibora in Pontus, in Asia Minor. A disciple of the Cappadocian Fathers, he was ordained deacon by Gregory of Nazianzus, whom he accompanied to the Second Ecumenical Council in 381. Following a brief stay in Jerusalem, he went to Egypt in 383 where he lived till his death in 399. Speculative teachings attributed to him led to his condemnation in 553, but his teaching on prayer and the practice of the monastic life ensured his continuing influence in monastic circles.
As has already been noted, the effective condemnation of Evagrius at the Fifth Ecumenical Council resulted in the secretion of some of his works within the offerings accredited to other authors, and often in different translations. Thus, his Scholia ad psalmos was successfully concealed within the psalm commentary attributed to Origen until the disclosures made by von Balthasar and Rondeau. Similarly, the De oratione, in the Greek Philokalia, is ascribed to Nilus, but, since the scrutiny of Hausherr,1 its authorship has...
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