Scholars of the patristic era have paid more attention to the dogmatic tradition in their period than to the development of Christian mystical theology. Andrew Lough aims to redress the balance. Recognizing that the intellectual form of this tradition was decisively influenced by Platonic ideas of the soul’s relationship to God, Louth begins with an examination of Plato and Platonism. The discussion of the Fathers which follows shows how the mystical tradition is at the heart of their thought and how the dogmatic tradition both moulds and is the reflection of mystical insights and concerns. This new edition of a classic study of the diverse influences upon Christian spirituality includes a new Afterword which brings the text completely up to date.
Andrew Louth is Professor of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, University of Durham.