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Isaac of Nineveh's Ascetical Eschatology$
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Jason Scully

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198803584

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198803584.001.0001

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Wonder as the Culmination of Isaac of Nineveh’s Eschatology

Wonder as the Culmination of Isaac of Nineveh’s Eschatology

Chapter:
(p.135) 7 Wonder as the Culmination of Isaac of Nineveh’s Eschatology
Source:
Isaac of Nineveh's Ascetical Eschatology
Author(s):

Jason Scully

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198803584.003.0007

This chapter examines Isaac’s synthetic account of wonder and astonishment, which makes use of all the source material discussed in the previous three chapters. According to Isaac, the human soul is capable of processing material sensations with temporal reasoning, but it cannot process spiritual forms of knowledge. Since spiritual insights are immaterial and cannot be understood through temporal reasoning, the soul enters into a state of uncomprehending astonishment when it receives spiritual insights from divine revelation. The mind, by contrast, is capable of comprehending spiritual insights through wonder. The transition from astonishment to wonder represents the moment when a person moves from soul to mind and begins to comprehend the mysteries of the future world through ecstasy. Once people understand the mysteries of the future world, they begin to live the heavenly way of life while remaining in the material world.

Keywords:   Isaac of Nineveh, John the Solitary, Pseudo-Macarius, three degrees, ecstasy, wonder, astonishment, stillness, soul, eschatology

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