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Evagrius Ponticus - A study into his asceticism



Type of Spiritual Experience


Number of hallucinations: 1


A description of the experience

Psychol Rep 2011 Oct;109(2):461-520.
Brain and psyche in early Christian asceticism - Bradford DT  dtbrad@flash.net

This study is an 11-part investigation of the psychology and neuropsychology of early Christian asceticism as represented by Evagrius Ponticus (AD 345-399), the tradition's first ascetical theologian and possibly its most influential.

Evagrius's biography is reviewed in the first section.
The living circumstances and perceptual consequences of desert asceticism are considered in the second.
Penitence, dispassion, and the mysticism of "pure prayer" are discussed in the third.
Austerities are addressed in the fourth section, particularly fasting, prostrations, and prolonged standing.
Ascetical perspectives on sleep, dreams, and the hypnogogic state are analyzed in the fifth.
The depressive syndrome of acedia is discussed in the sixth.
Evagrius's reports of auditory, olfactory, and visual hallucinations are analyzed in the seventh
Multiple complementary interpretations of demonic phenomena are developed in the eighth section.
Evagrius's psychotherapy for anger is reviewed in the ninth.
Interpersonal relations among ascetics are considered in the tenth section.
The study concludes with a summary.
PMID: 22238853


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Other religious person

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Activities and commonsteps