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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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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