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The Origins of the Christian Mystical TraditionFrom Plato to Denys$

Andrew Louth

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199291403

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199291403.001.0001

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(p.215) Bibliography

(p.215) Bibliography

The Origins of the Christian Mystical Tradition
Oxford University Press

(p.215) Bibliography

Bibliography references:

THIS is not in any way intended as an exhaustive bibliography; attention is drawn in what follows to those books which themselves have good bibliographies. It is intended as an indication of the literary sources of my own thought, and a guide to further reading.

General. The general literature on mysticism and mystical theology is vast, and much of it only tangentially relevant to this work. The older books by F. Heiler, R. Otto, Baron F. von Hügel, and Evelyn Underhill still retain their importance. Of these the following have been most useful:

F. Heiler, Prayer (E. T. London, 1932).

R. Otto, The Idea of the Holy (E. T. London, 1923).

F. von Hügel, The Mystical Element of Religion, 2 vols. (2nd edn. London, 1923).

E. Underhill, Mysticism (London, 1911); Worship (London, 1936).

One of the most important books of recent years on mysticism has been: R. C. Zaehner, MysticismSacred and Profane (Oxford, 1957). For a good bibliography of more recent literature see P. G. Moore's article, ‘Recent Studies of Mysticism: a critical survey’ in Religion, III/2 (Autumn 1973), 146–56.

General studies of Patristic mystical theology. While there is nothing precisely on the subject, relevant material is found in three types of work: (a) general studies of the history of Christian mysticism or spirituality, (b) studies of the influence of philosophy (especially Platonism) on the Christian tradition, and (c) studies of Orthodox, or Byzantine, theology and spirituality. Particularly important in these categories are:

(a) Hilda C. Graef, The Light and the Rainbow (London, 1959).

Rowan Williams, The Wound of Knowledge (London, 1979).

(b) A. H. Armstrong (ed.), Cambridge History of Later Greek and Early Medieval Philosophy (Cambridge, 1970), which has a good bibliography.

Endre von Ivánka, Plato Christianus (Einsiedeln, 1964).

(c) Vladimir Lossky, The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church (E. T. London, 1957).

The Vision of God (E. T. London, 1963).

M. Lot‐Borodine, La Déification de l'homme (Paris, 1970).

Paul Evdokimov, La Connaissance de Dieu (Lyons, 1967).

(p.216) Also important for Patristic mystical theology in general:

G. B. Ladner, The Idea of Reform: its Impact on Christian Thought and Action in the Age of the Fathers (Cambridge, Mass., 1959).

Chapter I Plato. There are many translations of Plato. I have used the following:

F. M. Cornford, The Republic of Plato (Oxford, 1941).

R. Hackforth, Plato's Phaedrus (Cambridge, 1952).

Timaeus, translated by H. D. P. Lee (Harmondsworth, 1965).

For the Phaedo I have used H. N. Fowler's translation in the Loeb Classical Library (1914), and for the Symposium (or the Banquet) that by the poet, Shelley. The following books I have found particularly useful:

W. Jaeger, Paideia: the Ideals of Greek Culture, vol. II (In Search of the Divine Centre) and parts of vol. III (Oxford, 1944).

A.‐J. Festugière, Contemplation et vie contemplative selon Platon (Paris, 1967).

Chapter II Philo. Philo's works are available in the Loeb Classical Library, edited and translated by F. H. Colson and G. H. Whitaker, with indices by J. W. Earp (10 vols., London, 1929–71). There are two supplementary volumes with a translation (only, from the Armenian, by Ralph Marcus) of the Questions and Answers on Genesis and Exodus (London, 1961). The best thing on Philo's mysticism is Marguerite Harl's introduction to her edition of Quis rerum divinarum heres sit (Paris, 1966). See also:

E. Bréhier, Les Idées philosophiques et religieuses de Philon d'Alexandrie (Paris, 1925).

J. Daniélou, Philon d'Alexandrie (Paris, 1958).

And more generally on Hellenistic philosophy and religion:

A.‐J. Festugière, La Révélation d'Hermès Trismégiste (4 vols., Paris, 1944–54).

Chapter III Plotinus. The standard edition of the text of Plotinus is P. Henry and H.‐R. Schwyzer, Plotini Opera, 3 vols. (Paris and Brussels, 1951–73).


Plotinus: The Enneads, tr. by Stephen MacKenna, rev. by B. S. Page (London, 1969).

A. H. Armstrong's translation in the Loeb Classical Library is as yet incomplete.

(p.217) See also:

R. Arnou, Le Désir de Dieu dans la philosophie de Plotin (2nd edn. Rome, 1967).

E. R. Dodds, ‘Tradition and Personal Achievement in the Philosophy of Plotinus’, in The Ancient Concept of Progress (Oxford, 1973), 126–39.

P. Hadot, Plotin, ou la simplicité du regard (Paris, 1963).

J. M. Rist, Plotinus: the Road to Reality (Cambridge, 1967).

J. Trouillard, La Purification plotinienne (Paris, 1955).

Chapter IV Origen. Most of Origen's works are edited in Die Griechischen Christlichen Schriftsteller, various editors, Leipzig and (later) Berlin, 1899 ff. The following translations have been used:

R. P. Lawson, Origen: The Song of Songs — Commentary and Homilies (London, 1957).

G. W. Butterworth, Origen: On First Principles (London, 1936).

See also:

H. U. von Balthasar, Parole et mystère chez Origène (Paris, 1957).

H. Crouzel, Origène et la ‘connaissance mystique’ (Paris, 1961), with an almost exhaustive bibliography of works on Origen.

J. Daniélou, Origène (Paris, 1948; E. T. London, 1955).

M. Harl, Origène et la fonction révélatrice du Verbe incarné (Paris, 1958).

Hal Koch, Pronoia und Paideusis: Studien über Origenes und sein Verhältnis zum Platonismus (Leipzig, 1932).

H. de Lubac, Histoire et esprit (Paris, 1950).

C. Macleod, ‘Allegory and Mysticism in Origen and Gregory of Nyssa’, Journal of Theological Studies XXII (1971), 362–79.

Chapter V Nicene Orthodoxy. There is little on Athanasius. The edition used for the text of Contra Gentes and De Incarnatione is that by R. W. Thomson in the series, Oxford Early Christian Texts (Oxford, 1971).

There is a new edition of the Greek Text of Gregory of Nyssa, edited under the supervision of W. Jaeger: Gregorii Nysseni Opera (Leiden, 1960 ff.). In addition an edition of the Life of Moses with translation and introduction by Jean Daniélou (in Sources Chrétiennes ( = SC), no. I, 3rd edn., Paris, 1968). Translations used:

J. Daniélou, From Glory to Glory, tr. by H. Musurillo with Introduction by Daniélou (London, 1962) — translation of extracts mainly from the Life of Moses and the Commentary on the Song of Songs.

Hilda C. Graef, St Gregory of Nyssa: The Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes (London, 1954).

(p.218) Now available in the series, Classics of Western Spirituality, but too late for my use:

The Life of Moses, tr. by E. Ferguson and A. J. Malherbe (London, 1979).

See also:

H. U. von Balthasar, Présence et penséee: Essai sur la philosophie de Grégoire de Nysse (Paris, 1942).

J. Daniélou, Platonisme et théologie mystique (2nd edn., Paris, 1953).

J. Gaïth, La Conception de la liberté chez Grégoire de Nysse (Paris, 1953).

R. Leys, L'Image de Dieu chez Saint Grégoire de Nysse (Paris, 1951).

W. Völker, Gregor von Nyssa als Mystiker (Wiesbaden, 1955).

Chapter VI The Monastic Contribution:

Évagre le Pontique, Traité Pratique ou Le Moine (SC 170 f., Paris, 1971): Text and translation of the Praktikos, with an important introduction, by A. and C. Guillaumont.

Text of On Prayer in Philocalia (Venice, 1782), 155–65 (ascribed to Nilus). ( = PG 79, 1165–1200, though there the enumeration is somewhat different.)

Text of Kephalaia Gnostica in Patrologia Orientalis XXVIII, 1 (Paris, 1958) ed. with translation by A. Guillaumont.

H. Dörries, E. Klostermann and M. Kroeger, Die 50 Geistlichen Homilien des Makarios (Berlin, 1964). A critical edition of the text produced in Migne of which there is a translation:

Macarius, Fifty Spiritual Homilies, tr. by A. J. Mason (London, 1921).

Makarios/Symeon, Reden und Briefe: Die Sammlung I des Vaticanus Graecus 694 (B), by Heinz Berthold (2 vols., Berlin, 1973).

Diadoque de Photicé, Œuvres Spirituelles, edited by E. des Places (SC 5, 3rd edn., Paris, 1966).

There are translations of On Prayer and of Diadochus's Gnostic Chapters (the first into English from the Greek of the latter) in:

G. E. H. Palmer, Philip Sherrard, and Kallistos Ware, The Philokalia: the  Complete Text, vol. I (London, 1979), which has good introductions and notes.

J. E. Bamberger, Evagrios: The Praktikos and 153 Chapters on Prayer (Spencer, Mass., 1970), another translation of the important works by Evagrius preserved in Greek.

See also:

H. Chadwick, ‘Messalianerne — en evangelisk bevegelse i det 4. århundre’, Tidsskrift for Teologi og Kirke 3/1979, 161–72.

(p.219) E. A. David, Das Bild vom neuen Menschen (Salzburg and Munich, 1968).

F. Dörr, Diadochus von Photike und die Messalianer (Freiburg im Breisgau, 1937).

H. Dörries, Symeon von Mesopotamien (Leipzig, 1941).

—— Die Theologie des Makarios/Symeon (Göttingen, 1978).

A. Guillaumont, Les ‘Kephalaia Gnostica’ d'Évagre le Pontique et l'histoire de l'origénisme chez les Grecs et chez les Syriens (Paris, 1962).

I. Hausherr, ‘L'erreur fondamentale et la logique de la Messalianisme’, Orientalis Christiana Periodica I (1935), 328–60.

I. Hausherr, Hesychasme et prière (Rome, 1966).

Introduction to his edition of the Liber Graduum in Patrologia Syriaca III (Paris, 1926) by M. Kmosko.

W. Jaeger, Two Rediscovered Works of Ancient Christian Literature: Gregory of Nyssa and Macarius (Leiden, 1954).

R. Staats, Gregor von Nyssa und die Messalianer (Berlin, 1968).

Chapter VII Augustine:

Confessiones, ed. by M. Skutella, rev. by H. Juergens and W. Schaub (Stuttgart, 1969).

La Trinité, vol. 1: intr. by E. Hendrikx, tr. and notes by M. Mellet and Th. Camelot; vol. 2: tr. by P. Agaësse, and notes with J. Moingt (Paris, 1955).

Confessions, tr. by F. J. Sheed (London, 1944).

Books VIII‐X, XIV and XV of De Trinitate translated in: Augustine: Later Writings, tr. with intro. and notes by John Burnaby  (London, 1955).

See also:

P. Brown, Augustine of Hippo (London, 1967).

J. Burnaby, Amor Dei (London, 1938).

C. Butler, Western Mysticism (London, 1922).

F. Cayré, La Contemplation augustinienne (Paris, 1954).

P. Henry, La Vision d'Ostie (Paris, 1938).

R. Holte, Béatitude et sagesse (Paris, 1962).

Chapter VIII Denys the Areopagite. The Greek text in Migne PG 3 is all there is, apart from:

La Hiérarchie céleste, intr. by R. Roques, text by G. Heil, tr. and notes by M. de Gandillac (SC 58, 2nd edn., Paris, 1970).

The only complete translation into English (which I have not used) is:

The Works of Dionysius the Areopagite, by J. Parker (London and Oxford, 1897, 1899).

(p.220) Divine Names and Mystical Theology, by C. E. Rolt (London, 1920 and often reprinted) is unreliable.

There is a useful French translation:

Œuvres complètes du pseudo‐Denys l'Aréopagite, by M. de Gandillac (Paris, 1943).

See also:

H. U. von Balthasar, Herrlichkeit: eine theologische Ästhetik, chapter on Dionysius, vol. II/1, 147–214 (Einsiedeln, 1962).

V. Lossky, ‘La notion des “analogies” chez le ps. Denys l'Aréopagite’, Archives d'histoire doctrinale et littéraire du Moyen Âge, 5 (1930), 279–309.

R. Roques, L'Univers dionysien (Paris, 1954), and his articles on ‘contemplation’ and ‘Denys’ in Dictionnaire de Spiritualité, vol. 2, col. 1777–87, 1885–1911; vol. 3, col. 244–86.

‘La théologie négative dans la doctrine de Denys l'Aréopagite’, Revue des sciences philosophiques et théologiqueRevue des sciences philosophiques et théologiquess, 28 (1939), 204–21.

W. Völker, Kontemplation und Ekstase bei ps.‐Dionysius Areopagita (Wiesbaden, 1958).

Chapter IX Patristic Mysticism and St. John of the Cross:

H.‐C. Puech, ‘La ténèbre mystique chez le pseudo‐Denys’, in Études Carmélitaines, 23, II (1938), 33–53.

Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, tr. by Kieran Kavanaugh and Otilio Rodriguez (London, 1966).

A Benedictine of Stanbrook, Medieval Mystical Tradition and St. John of the Cross (London, 1954).

E. W. Trueman Dicken, The Crucible of Love (London, 1963).

Ruth Burrows, Guidelines for Mystical Prayer (London, 1976).

Chapter X The Mystical Life and the Mystical Body:

A.‐J. Festugière, L'Enfant d'Agrigente (Paris, 1950).

Anders Nygren, Agape and Eros, tr. by P. S. Watson (London, 1957).

M. C. D'Arcy, The Mind and Heart of Love (London, 1945).

H. U. von Balthasar, Herrlichkeit III/2, part 2 (Einsiedeln, 1969).