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- Table of Contents

- Preface

- Deification As The Purpose Of Man's Life

- The Cause Of Man's Deification

- The Contribution Of The Theotokos

- The Place Of Deification

- How Deification Becomes Possible

- Qualifications For Deification

- Experiences Of Deification

- Failure To Attain Deification

- Consequence Of Guidance For Deification

- Consequence Of Guidance Not Leading To Deification

- Glossary

St. Seraphim of Sarov
Union With God
Hierotheos of Nafpaktos
John Romanides
Robin Amis
History of the Church


The effort or spiritual training waged by Christians to keep the commandments, to purify the heart from passions and to practice the virtues, together with prayer and related activities, so as to bring harmony between the body, soul and God.

The prohibition of women in Agion Oros. A mandated aspect of its autonomous status, which is enshrined in the constitution of Greece.

Diakonia, diakonima, diakonimata (pl.):
Service or ministration, in other words the assigned work tasks of a monk.

A collection of texts, primarily short stanzas and anecdotes from monastic life, illustrating the struggles and rewards of monastic life.


Gerontas, gerontes (pl.):
Also called Elder, or Staretz, an honorific appellation of a spiritually developed monk or a senior monk in a monastery, such as the abbot.

Hesychia, hesychast, hesychastic:
Silence, stillness. Stilling of the thoughts, but not emptiness, whereby the nous may descend into the heart through the Jesus prayer. It is the inner attentiveness in prayer which brings the remembrance of God and the grace of the Holy Spirit.

Kelli, kellia (pl.):
A monk’s cell in a monastery. Also, in Agion Oros, a dwelling, something like a farmhouse with a small chapel, where the monks pray and work out their salvation.

Kingdom of God:
See Reign/Rule of God

Koenovion, Cenobitic:
A monastery where all monks follow the same rules.

A monastery.

Nepsis, neptic:
Nepsis is vigilance of the nous and watchfulness at the gates of the heart, so that every thought that moves in it can be controlled. Neptic is an adjective pertaining to the method used for nepsis.

Nous, noetic:
Often translated as mind. The highest faculty of man, through which, upon purification, he can contemplate God, and the inner essences of created things, by means of direct apprehension or spiritual perception. Noetic understanding is not intellectual, but it comes from immediate spiritual experience.

Faith. The modern idea of faith, based on Aquinas's differentiation of knowledge from blind belief, is not what is meant in traditional Christianity. Although it can be a component of what the fathers of the Church, such as Saint Maximos the Confessor, referred to as "preliminary faith", it can only be considered an initial stage in our ascent towards knowledge and the Word, which is true faith based on experience, a gift of God. At a higher stage, faith (Gr. pistis) leads to
noetic knowledge (Gr. gnosis) that is founded on experience and completed by inspiration and, therefore, cannot be overthrown by reasoned argument. It changes the heart, it causes substantial changes in being, it can move mountains, and it leads to salvation.


Rule/Reign of God:
The commonly used term "Kingdom of God" comes from "Regnum Dei", a Latin mistranslation of the Greek "Basileia tou Theou" (gr. Βασιλεία του Θεού), which means the reign or rule of God. "Kingdom of God" in Greek is "Basileion tou Theou" (gr. Βασίλειον του Θεού), which does not appear even once in the original Greek of the New Testament.
This is very significant, because the uncreated ruling power of God was reduced by this unfortunate mistranslation to a creation, a kingdom.
As John S. Romanides points out "Vaticanians, Protestants and even many Orthodox today, do not see that the promise of Christ to his apostles in Mt.16:28, Lk. 9:27 and Mk. 9:1, i.e. that they will see God's ruling power, was fulfilled during the Transfiguration which immediately follows in the above three gospels. Here Peter, James and John see Christ as the Lord of Glory i.e. as the source of God's uncreated "glory" and "basileia" i.e. uncreated ruling power, denoted by the uncreated cloud or glory which appeared and covered the three of them during the Lord of Glory's Transfiguration.
It was by means of His power of Glory that Christ, as the pre-incarnate Lord (Yahweh) of Glory, had delivered Israel from Its Egyptian slavery and lead It to freedom and the land of promise. The Greek text does not speak about the "Basileion (kingdom) of God," but about the "Basileia (rule or reign) of God," by means of His uncreated glory and power. At His Transfiguration Christ clearly revealed Himself to be the source of the uncreated Glory seen by Moses and Elijah during Old Testament times and who both are now present at the Transfiguration in order to testify to the three apostles that Christ is indeed the same Yahweh of Glory, now incarnate, Whom the two had seen in the historical past and had acted on behalf of Him."

Typically similar in appearance to a small village, where kellia are built around a central Church. Each kelli performs its daily prayers independently except on Sundays and on feastdays, where theygather together in the main Church to worship.

Pertaining to theanthropos, man-god.

The deification of man. According to the Orthodox Tradition, man’s purpose in life is to achieve
union with God, and to become god by grace. Acquisition of the Holy Spirit; self-realization.

The Mother of God (from gr. Theos = God, teko = to give birth). The Virgin Mary.

Note*: Adam was created by God, whereas our Lord Jesus Christ was God himself, as the Nicene creed states: ".. begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God, begotten, not created, of one essence with the Father through Whom all things were made.".

Editing, annotation and glossary of this English translation by
Photius Coutsoukis

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