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St. Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition$
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Hilarion Alfeyev

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780198270096

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198270096.001.0001

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Some Aspects of Symeon’s Asceticism and Mysticism with Patristic Parallels

Some Aspects of Symeon’s Asceticism and Mysticism with Patristic Parallels

(p.208) 10 Some Aspects of Symeon’s Asceticism and Mysticism with Patristic Parallels
St. Symeon the New Theologian and Orthodox Tradition

Hilarion Alfeyev

Oxford University Press

It would be difficult to draw a boundary line between Symeon the New Theologian's asceticism and his mysticism, since he constantly develops ascetical themes in their mystical aspect, as well as mystical ones with reference to ascetical practice. Symeon's ascetical approach is purely monastic and as such is very much indebted to the preceding tradition of Eastern monasticism. This chapter examines some of the most characteristic features of Symeon's asceticism and mysticism with respect to their interrelation and connection with patristic tradition. It discusses tears and repentance as well as the features that represent the most characteristic constituents of Symeon's doctrine and spirituality. The discussion of the theme of tears in Symeon brings up one of the most important features of his mysticism and theology: his teaching on the vision of God. Symeon's views on divine light, ecstasy, dispassion, and deification are also considered.

Keywords:   Symeon the New Theologian, asceticism, mysticism, tears, repentance, God, divine light, ecstasy, dispassion, deification

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