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 excellent English translation, which takes into account the latest scholarly research into the original works, represents a major 'gift' from the wise men of the East. The fluency of the literary style of this translation and the practical understanding which these writings reveal for the spiritual predicaments facing each Christian in every generation brings the book well within the range of the ordinary reader who seeks spiritual counsel. The complete Philokalia covers the period from the fourth to the fifteenth century. Volume One . . . takes us up to the eighth century and is thus the common heritage of Orthodox and Catholics." - Chrysostom