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Ascetic Pneumatology from John Cassian to Gregory the Great$
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Thomas L. Humphries, Jr.

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685035

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685035.001.0001

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Cassian’s Ascetic Synthesis: The Spirit in Love and Contemplation

Cassian’s Ascetic Synthesis: The Spirit in Love and Contemplation

Chapter:
(p.27) 2 Cassian’s Ascetic Synthesis: The Spirit in Love and Contemplation
Source:
Ascetic Pneumatology from John Cassian to Gregory the Great
Author(s):

Thomas L. Humphries

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685035.003.0002

The second chapter closes the argument about Cassian’s ascetic pneumatology by demonstrating that Cassian understands the Holy Spirit as the divine agent who reforms human affections, thoughts, and desires, and is the giver of ecstatic contemplation. Cassian offers a unique synthesis of ascetic theories which blend the intellect-centered and heart-centered anthropological systems that were common in his day. Cassian’s ascetic pneumatology articulates a role for the Holy Spirit in reforming both intellectual and affective elements of human life. The crowning experience in Cassian’s ascetical system is an ecstatic contemplative state. Cassian’s ascetic pneumatology teaches that this is a special gift from God to the ascetic who is completely permeable to the Holy Spirit.

Keywords:   John Cassian, Holy Spirit, love, desire, thoughts, ecstatic contemplation, Evagrius, Origen

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