Christopher Cook’s The Philokalia and the Inner Life On Passions and Prayer

This recent book (2011) examines the teachings of the Philokalia, a collection of texts on Orthodoxspiritual life written between the fourth and fifteenth centuries, from the perspective of a psychiatrist with a particular interest in addictive behaviour who is also an Anglican priest. Starting with an arresting notion of Evagrios that humans are shepherds whose thoughts are to be cared for […]

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Walking the streets of Rome

Arriving in the eternal city on the train from the airport I check into a small hotel in Via Filippo Turati and begin walking. As with most historic cities,  the neighbourhood around the main railway station is on the fringe, but nevertheless there’s a lot to see. Close by is Sta Maria Maggiore, one of the the four great basilicas of Rome that was founded […]

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Walking the streets of Liverpool

Lime St Station seems smaller than it did when I arrived in Liverpool as a student so many years ago, and the garish advertising across the street is certainly new, but walking away from the station towards the left you pass the same sad block in which many of the buildings are derelict and boarded up. The Adelphi Hotel also seems to have […]

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Arriving in London

The train that takes you along the Piccadilly line from Heathrow Airport to central London passes through places with such evocative names: there are Osterley, North Fields, Acton Town, Turnham Green, Stamford Brook…all of them Germanic, expressed in the language that has predominated here since about the fifth century, and suggesting a relationship between humans and the environment that, in both its closeness and […]

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Notes on Genesis (xx)

‘Then Joseph said to his brethren, “I am about to die; but God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land to the land God swore to our fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”’ (Gen 50:24) The promise of a land has been a theme for most of Genesis. An initial promise that Abraham would be given the land of Canaan (12:7, […]

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