This is a revised and expanded version of a book that has appeared in French, Italian, and Greek. It focuses on themes central to Eastern Christian worship and spiritual life and serves as an introduction to the series of six volumes of Bishop Kallistos' collected works.
The opening chapter recounts the author's journey to Orthodoxy. The next two chapters provide profound and illuminating insights on death, bereavement and resurrection in Christ, and on repentance. Chapters four through seven invite us into the world of the desert ascetics and hesychast monks. Combining scholarly rigor with practical counsels on prayers, Bishop Kallistos makes the wealth of the Orthodox tradition accessible to today's Christians. The next three chapters concern personal vocation, martyrdom, spiritual guidance, and the strange path of the fool for Christ's sake. There follows a brief essay on time and eternity. The final chapter is a challenging discussion of Origen and Ss Gregory of Nyssa, Isaac the Syrian and Silouan the Athonite, and in conversation with them Bishop Kallistos asks, "Dare we hope for the salvation of all?"
A teacher at the University of Oxford who lectures around the world, Bishop Kallistos speaks equally to laypeople and specialists, on both timeless mysteries and urgent contemporary concerns.