Thursday Evenings, Non-Credit Course, Spring Quarter 2012
“The Church Fathers”
1220 East 58th Street
Informal Dinner, 6:30pm
Intended for University students, faculty, and recent graduates. Others interested in attending, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
“John Climacus: Cleansing, Death, and Resurrection in his The Ladder of Divine Ascent”
Perry Hamalis (North Central College)
Co-sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Fellowship
John Climacus (ca. 579-ca. 659) uses a number of analogies to describe the dynamics of spiritual development in his famous ascetical work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. In addition to the image of a “ladder,” embedded in the work’s title, St. John uses a range of medical imagery, appeals to figures and events from the Hebrew Bible, and even compares a monastery to a “laundry” where the dirt, grossness, and deformity of the soul are scrubbed away. Through reflection on several passages from this classic work in Christian ascetical theology, this lecture contends that St. John’s images reveal a deeper, existential focus within his ethical vision–one that links cleansing and the acquisition of the virtues with a passing over from death to a resurrected way of living.