"John Climacus" Non-Credit Course

May 24, 2012
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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Lecture, 7:00pm
Informal Dinner, 6:30pm

Intended for University students, faculty, and recent graduates. Others interested in attending, contact

May 24
“John Climacus: Cleansing, Death, and Resurrection in his "The Ladder of Divine Ascent”
Perry Hamalis (North Central College)

Co-sponsored by the Orthodox Christian Fellowship

John Climacus (ca. 579-ca. 659) uses a number of analogies to describe the dynamics of spiritual development in his famous ascetical work, The Ladder of Divine Ascent. In addition to the image of a “ladder,” embedded in the work’s title, St. John uses a range of medical imagery, appeals to figures and events from the Hebrew Bible, and even compares a monastery to a “laundry” where the dirt, grossness, and deformity of the soul are scrubbed away. Through reflection on several passages from this classic work in Christian ascetical theology, this lecture contends that St. John’s images reveal a deeper, existential focus within his ethical vision–one that links cleansing and the acquisition of the virtues with a passing over from death to a resurrected way of living.