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The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 19. November 2002

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The spiritual traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Church are all but unknown to most Christians in the West, who often think of Christianity as split into two camps: Bible-based Protestantism and sacramental Catholicism. Yet in The Mountain of Silence, sociologist Kyriacos Markides suggests that Orthodox spirituality offers rich resources for Western Christians to integrate the head and the heart, and to regain a more expansive view of Christian life. The book combines elements of memoir, travelogue, and history in a single story. Markides journeys to a cluster of monasteries on Mount Athos, an isolated peninsula in northern Greece and one of the holiest sites in the Orthodox tradition. He also visits the troubled island of Cyprus, largely occupied by Turkey since 1974, and makes the acquaintance of a monk named Father Maximos, who has established churches, convents, and monasteries. Markides, a native Cypriot, tells the tale of this journey in a tone that's loose and light, with many excursions on Church history and Greek and Turkish politics. But despite the easygoing tone, the importance of this book is potentially immense. The Mountain of Silence introduces a world that is entirely new to many Western readers, and unveils a Christian tradition that reveres the mystical approach to God as much as the rational, a tradition that Markides says "may have the potential to inject Christianity with the new vitality that it so desperately needs." --Michael Joseph Gross -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.


An acclaimed expert in Christian mysticism travels to a monastery high in the Trodos Mountains of Cyprus and offers a fascinating look at the Greek Orthodox approach to spirituality that will appeal to readers of Carlos Castaneda.
In an engaging combination of dialogues, reflections, conversations, history, and travel information, Kyriacos C. Markides continues the exploration of a spiritual tradition and practice little known in the West he began in "Riding with the Lion. His earlier book took readers to the isolated peninsula of Mount Athos in northern Greece and into the group of ancient monasteries. There, in what might be called a "Christian Tibet," two thousand monks and hermits practice the spiritual arts to attain a oneness with God. In his new book, Markides follows Father Maximos, one of Mount Athos's monks, to the troubled island of Cyprus. As Father Maximos establishes churches, convents, and monasteries in this deeply divided land, Markides is awakened anew to the magnificent spirituality of the Greek Orthodox Church.
Images of the land and the people of Cyprus and details of its tragic history enrich the Mountain of Silence. Like the writings of Castaneda, the book brilliantly evokes the confluence of an inner and outer journey. The depth and richness of its spiritual message echo the thoughts and writings of Saint Francis of Assisi and other great saints of the Church as well. The result is a remarkable work-a moving, profoundly human examination of the role and the power of spirituality in a complex and confusing world.

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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9b6086f0) von 5 Sternen 105 Rezensionen
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HASH(0x9b7a1594) von 5 Sternen Authentic Wisdom 6. August 2003
Von matt - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Having read Markides' account of his contact with the monks of Mount Athos, and being quite familiar with the literature on the subject of Eastern Christian mysticism/theology, I have to say that this book was a real means of grace for me. To further make my point, one needs only to read who recommends the book on the back cover- Bishop Kallistos Ware, the preeminent spokesman for Eastern Orthodoxy in the West and the retired professor of Eastern Orthodox studies at Oxford University!
I can positively remark that this book accurately depicts the practical outcome of anyone who follows the guidance of the Christian East. Holiness and wisdom are not reserved only for the monks, but for all those who seek Christ with a pure heart. The wisdom of Father Maximos, a main figure in the book, is simply a distillation of the wisdom of 2000 years of prayer and worship as found in the East. If it happens to reflect in some ways current New Age mentalities, it is not, believe me, a sign that the Eastern Church has somehow taken their advice! I have the suspicion that those who understand Christianity through Western Protestant eyes would find this work a bit odd to say the least. Monks who are clairvoyant, can change someone else's perception of time, etc are not common in Protestant Christianity. But then again, they have not had the benefit of a 2000-year-old tradition of spirituality and prayer. This is not to put the Protestants down, it is only the observation that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when the East already has a very succinct and proven method of spiritual development that goes much beyond the non-accountable, individualistic spirit of much of the Christian West.
IF you have an interest in the underpinnings of the Eastern approach to Jesus Christ and the Trinity and the Church etc, then you would do well to read "The Orthodox Way" by Kallistos Ware, or, if you want to dig into some deeper theology, "The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church" by Vladimir Lossky is a classic, as is the difficult but rewarding masterpiece "Being As Communion" by Zizioulas. ENJOY!
104 von 110 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9b7a61d4) von 5 Sternen Read this book with your HIGHLIGHTER!!! 15. August 2003
Von X. Libris - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
Rarely have I underlined the text of a book as much as I recently did with "The Mountain of Silence," by Kyriacos C. Markides.
Markides, a sociology professor at the University of Maine, was born on Cyprus into an Eastern Orthodox family, but became secularized while coming of age during the Sixties in the United States. The sociological research for his earliest books brought him into contact with the mystical traditions, shamanism and Occultism of the Orient. A serendipitous experience in 1991 caused him to begin investigating the mystical traditions of the Orthodox Christian faith of his youth, which is covered in his previous book, "Riding with the Lion."
For this book, Markides had intended to spend a sabbatical on Mount Athos, the "Holy Mountain" on a remote peninsula in Greece set aside for over a thousand years as the home to a number of Eastern Orthodox monasteries. Upon learning that his main contact had returned to Cyprus to become the abbot of Panagia Monastery, he changed his plans to spend several months there with Father Maximos and the other monastics under his supervision.
While this book is an amazing travelogue, which also contains some engrossing history lessons about Cyprus, monasticism and the Christian faith, it is primarily a series of personal conversations between Professor Markides and Father Maximos. It was the many enlightening comments by the abbot that I found myself voraciously underlining in my copy of the book.
While "The Mountain of Silence" has appendices for chapter endnotes and a helpful glossary of Greek terms used throughout the book, it unfortunately does not contain an index.
Among the many topics covered in these insightful conversations are: asceticism, addictions, animals, angels, apathia [liberation from egotistical passions], Athonite tradition, the Beatitudes, the Bible, Byzantium, ceaseless prayer, Christ, the Cross, demons, Divine Liturgy, the Ecclesia, equality, faith, fasting, fear of God, freedom, God, grace, the heart, heaven, the Holy Spirit, Hesychast tradition (silence), humility, icons, idolatry, illness (of the soul), illusion, the Jesus Prayer, justice, komboschini (prayer ropes), love, magicians, miracles, monasteries, monks, nationalism, the nous, obedience, passions, Pentecost, perfection, prayer, Providence, radio and television, repentance, repression, saints (living and dead), salvation, sanctification, Satan, sin, spiritual guides/confessors, spiritual struggle, temptations, thoughts (positive and negative), the Threefold way (catharsis or purification of the soul, fotisis or enlightenment of the soul, and theosis or union with God), the Theotokos (Mother of God/Virgin Mary), transfiguration, trials, Turks, Uncreated Light, Western philosophy and theology, and worship.
While some readers may be disturbed by some of Professor Markides' sociological and secular questions and comments, it made me feel like I was right there, observing genuine conversations with a modern holy man. Most readers will never have the opportunity to spend hours, much less months, with the renowned abbot of an Orthodox monastery. And many of the questions and comments would be those of anyone raised in the secular (and skeptical) West.
This book is highly recommended to anyone desiring to learn more about Orthodox spirituality, monasticism, or even about life on Cyprus and on Mount Athos. Although it's written by a professor, it's not too technical and should be accessible to anyone with a high school education or above.
31 von 32 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9b7a6114) von 5 Sternen God became man and Markides became Orthodox 9. Dezember 2005
Von P. M Simon - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
THE MOUNTAIN OF SILENCE is a rare treat, an insight into Orthodox spirituality and theology that also delights as a narrative and travelogue!

The author is an ethnic Greek professor of socilology in Maine. He had lost his faith until he started investigating spirituality and healing, including a long visit to Mount Athos, the legendary Orthodox monastery. There he met Father Maximos, a devout, eloquent, and intellectual monk.

The Mountain of Silence picks up this story as Father Maximos is called to Cyprus to help revive monasticism on the divided island. Markides gets to spend a summer with the holy man, serving as his driver and foil for theological discourse. It's a fabulous story full of insights into topics as diverse as Theosis (the Orthodox idea that God became man that man might become God), uncreated light (think St. Gregory Palomas), drug treatment, magicians, and iconography.

The book is fascinating and intriguing. It becomes obvious that the author has had his faith renewed and reinforced, although he does not make a major issue of this; instead, he concentrates on the importance of a Christian life in the modern world.

The volume is not a fast read but it is accessible and clear. The author's follow-on book, Gifts of the Desert, will satisfy those who want to know more.

By all means, Orthodox or not, if you are looking for spirituality or plumbing its nature, this book is a key to the portals of the All-Holy Trinity!
100 von 116 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
HASH(0x9b7a43a8) von 5 Sternen Okay, but where is Jesus? 31. Juli 2007
Von A. S. Damick - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Taschenbuch
I regard this book as very good... as far as it goes. Its main problem is that, overall, it offers an examination of spirituality without Christ. Mind you, I don't know whether the author (and certainly not the main subject of the book, "Fr. Maximos"!) had this intention, but it came across to me as a serious blindspot in the book's presentation of Orthodox spirituality.

Much is made of the Threefold Way and the mystical-ascetical tradition of the Orthodox Church, and that is good. Generally, this is the stuff that many Christians are missing and need. But there is a decided lack of integration of this presentation of Orthodox tradition with the central reality of the Christian life, namely, Jesus Christ the God-man. Certainly, the reader can come away with some mind-blowing revelations regarding the supra-rationality of Orthodox mystical tradition and the application of that tradition to the life of every Christian, but I think the author rather assumes that the reader already knows Jesus in some sense and doesn't bother to bring Him into the picture. Or perhaps he doesn't see Christ's centrality to the Church.

I very much doubt that the relative absence of Christ is something that "Fr. Maximos" (a pseudonym for Fr. Athanasius, now Metropolitan of Limassol in Cyprus) communicated to Markides. Anyone who has had any contact with authentic Athonite monasticism knows that such monks are "all about Jesus," to put it colloquially. There certainly is much discussion of God, the Holy Spirit and grace in the book, but Christ, Who is the Door to Paradise, is hardly mentioned. One would have a hard time getting the impression from The Mountain of Silence that the very object and purpose of all this spirituality is Christ.

I did like the book, but in thinking about the manner in which it was recommended to me, i.e., as a sort of catechism, I would have to disagree with such a recommendation. As a priest, I would not present this book to any catechumen, because I would be concerned that he would become enamored of discussing the Ecclesia, plani, and logismoi, without any sense of where these realities fit into the life in Christ.

A lesser criticism I have of the book is focused on chapter 11, Escape From Hell. In it, Markides all but endorses the apokatastasis theories of certain writers in Church history. That is, he seems to put forward a belief that eventually everyone will be saved, basing it on what is a decidedly minority stream of theological opinion of some Orthodox Christians. I much more prefer Metr. Kallistos Ware's "Dare we hope for the salvation of all?" approach, such as is found in the last chapter of The Inner Kingdom. Markides doesn't quite claim that apokatastasis is Orthodox doctrine, but he also doesn't make it clear enough that this is simply his opinion.

All in all, the book is useful in that it presents a fairly easily digestible picture of some of the more difficult concepts in Orthodox Christian spirituality, but because of its defects as noted above, I would only recommend it to someone already catechized, while giving them the caveats I've elucidated here.

I have a friend who says that she came to Orthodoxy by falling in love with the Church, but now she finds that she hadn't yet fallen in love with Christ. This book could easily enable just that sort of phenomenon. But for someone who is in love with Christ and keeps that in mind, this book might help bring them closer to Him. The first step, the path, and the destination are all Christ.

After writing this, I find through some Googling that Kh. Frederica Mathewes-Green feels similarly: "By the way, a good book that gives an 'inside view' of what this spirituality is like in practice, with all its 'spirit-filled' elements, is 'Mountain of Silence' by Kyriacos Markides. I should warn that the author is coming from a very idiosyncratic place; he is a sociology professor who has come to fervent belief in miracles, evil spirits, theosis, and he is profoundly in awe of the wisdom of the Orthodox Church. What he doesn't get so much is Jesus. In his subsequent book he makes it even more clear that he thinks we need a version of Orthodox spirituality that acknowledges that it is divisive to insist on the necessity of Jesus Christ, and recognizes the universality of the path to enlightenment. Strange, isn't it? Lots of people say, 'I like Jesus but I have no use for the church'--he's the opposite."
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HASH(0x9b7a454c) von 5 Sternen Profound and Informative 23. Januar 2002
Von Hermenaut - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
As a Roman Catholic graduate student in philosophy of religion/theology, I rarely find books on spirituality/religion that are written for non-academic audiences to be much good. This book, however, is a notable exception. Its exposition of Eastern Orthodox spirituality (especially hesychasm and the Jesus Prayer) is moving and clearly written. Usually, Western Christendom has spoken condemningly (if at all) of hesychasm. This book opens up the deep, Christocentric, ancient practices of Eastern Orthodox monasticism for anyone to see and understand. I found much in this book to challenge me and surprise me. I cannot recommend it strongly enough for anyone who is interested in taking a good, long look at practices of prayer and Easter Orthodoxy. A must-read for Christians.
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