The Philokalia is a collection of texts written between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries by spiritual masters of the Orthodox Christian tradition. First published in Greek in 1782, then translated into Slavonic and later into Russian, The Philokalia has exercised an influence in the recent history of the Orthodox Church far greater than that of any book apart from the Bible. It is concerned with themes of universal importance: how man may develop his inner powers and awake from illusion; how he may overcome fragmentation and achieve spiritual wholeness; how he may attain the life of contemplative stillness and union with God.
This third volume contains works dating from the eleventh and twelfth centuries. Peter of Damaskos, the chief author included, offers a clear an comprehensive survey of the spiritual way, quoting abundantly from earlier writers. Symeon Metaphrastis, in his paraphrase of Makarios, stresses the central place of the Holy Spirit. As in the first two volumes, the editors have provided introductory notes to each of the writers, a glossary of key terms, and a detailed index.