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The Asceticism of Isaac of Nineveh$
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Patrik Hagman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199593194

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199593194.001.0001

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Uses of the Term ‘The World’

Uses of the Term ‘The World’

(p.94) 4 Uses of the Term ‘The World’
The Asceticism of Isaac of Nineveh

Patrik Hagman

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores Isaac's use of the term “the world”. From the ascetic's point of view, the world is (1) distracting the ascetic from the spiritual life, especially in the form of (2) human relationships. The world is a term that designates society in its negative influence over the human being, tempting her to act based on (3) political ambition, (4) taste for luxuries, and in general by arousing her (5) passions. The world is thus seen to be a term used to designate the malign influence of society on a person, an influence the ascetic is striving to reduce and do battle against. However, Isaac also talks of the world as (6) God's good creation. In Isaac's view, the world is meant to be a place of hardships, were humans learn to overcome temptations and trust God's providence.

Keywords:   the world, society, politics, passions, creation

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