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  • The Importance of the Evergetinos

    Posted by Justinian of on June 12, 2023 at 11:54 pm

    More about Evergetinos

    The oxford dictionary gives us this information about Paul Evergetinos

    “Evergetinos, Paul (d. 1054), compiler of an influential monastic *florilegium. After founding a monastery called Theotokos Evergetis near *Constantinople, around 1050 he put together a selection of spiritual texts in four books, each containing 50 chapters. It was entitled by him Synagoge, but is usually referred to as the Evergetinon. It draws on a relatively small library of authors (e.g. John *Cassian, *Barsanuphius, *Diadochus, *Ephraem Syrus, *Isaac of Nineveh, *Mark the Hermit, and *Maximus the Confessor), but it is remarkable for the wealth of its anonymous hagiographical material (drawn mainly from the *Menologion and monastic collections) and the solidity of its teaching. Frequently copied in the Middle Ages, its publication by *Nicodemus of the Holy Mountain (Venice, 1783) won for it an immense influence in modern Greek Orthodox spirituality.”

    Cross, F. L., and Elizabeth A. Livingstone, eds. The Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church 2005: 586. Print.

    Louth Notes this about Evergetinos in Greek and Latin West Church History

    The beginnings of the Reform Movement in Byzantine monasticism are to be found in the monastery founded by Paul Evergetinos dedicated to the “Beneficent Mother of God,” the Θεοτόκος Εὐεργέτις. We are extremely well informed about this monastery, having not only the foundation document (the foundation typikon), but also the liturgical typikon, or Synaxarion, setting out the liturgical arrangements of the monastery, and the collection of ascetical texts, the so-called Synagoge, or collection, of “the divinely-tongued words and teachings of the God-bearing and holy Fathers, gathered together from all their divinely-inspired writing,” or Evergetinos, a vast collection of stories and sayings and excerpts from the ascetical tradition, something like a cross between the Sayings of the Desert Fathers and the Philokalia of the Holy Ascetics, collected and published by St Makarios of Corinth and St Nikodimos of the Holy Mountain in 1782 (the year before the first edition of the Synagoge was published in Venice).12 What we do not know is where the Evergetis monastery was, except that it was somewhere in the environs of Constantinople.13

    12 The Theotokos Evergetis monastery is the subject of a major research project, under the direction of Margaret Mullett, at the University of Belfast, Northern Ireland. So far the following volumes have been published: The Theotokos Evergetis and Eleventh-century Monasticism, eds. Margaret Mullett and Anthony Kirby, Belfast Byzantine Texts and Translations 6.1, Belfast 1994; Work and Worship at the Theotokos Evergetis, ed. iisdem, BBTT 6.2, 1997; The Synaxarion of the Monastery of the Theotokos Evergetis, trans. Robert H. Jordan, BBTT 6.5, 2000. The foundation typikon of the Evergetis monastery is translated in Byzantine Monastic Foundation Documents, II, pp. 454–506.

    13 For a discussion of the location, see Lyn Rodley, “Evergetis: Where It Was and What It Looked Like,” in The Theotokos Evergetis and Eleventh-century Monasticism, pp. 17–29.

    Louth, Andrew. Greek East and Latin West: The Church AD 681–1071. Ed. Andrew Louth. III. Crestwood, NY: St Vladimir’s Seminary Press, 2007. Print. The Church in History.

    In Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain: A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel we read

    “The Evergetinos is comprised of sayings of the Fathers. The compilation first was made by a monk named Paul, founder of the Monastery of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Mother of God, the Benefactor. Thus the book was called Evergetinos, that is, dedicated to the Benefactor of the Monastery, the Virgin Mary herself. St. Nicodemos edited texts of the book and published it in Venice in 1783. The last edition in Greek (1957–1966) is comprised of four large volumes. It has become popular among the monks and those who enjoy reading the moral teachings of the Fathers.”

    Bebis, George S. “Introduction.” Nicodemos of the Holy Mountain: A Handbook of Spiritual Counsel. Ed. John Farina. Trans. Peter A. Chamberas. New York; Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1989. 24. Print. The Classics of Western Spirituality.

    Here are some possible discussion topics

    1. What are the key similarities and differences in how the Evergetinos is perceived and utilized among Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant traditions?
    2. How does the Evergetinos contribute to the understanding of spirituality and monastic life across these different Christian denominations?
    3. In what ways has the Evergetinos influenced your personal faith and spiritual journey within your respective tradition?
    4. Can the teachings from the Evergetinos be applied to modern-day Christian life, and if so, how can we incorporate these lessons into our daily practices?
    5. How do the stories and teachings in the Evergetinos align or contrast with the core beliefs and values of Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant denominations?
    6. Are there any specific passages or themes in the Evergetinos that resonate particularly strongly with you or challenge your beliefs within your tradition?
    7. How can the Evergetinos promote dialogue and understanding between Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant communities, fostering greater unity within the broader Christian faith?
    8. In what ways has the Evergetinos shaped the development of monasticism and ascetic practices within each of these Christian traditions?
    9. What other texts or teachings from your respective tradition share similar themes or messages with the Evergetinos? How do they complement or differ from one another?
    10. How can studying the Evergetinos together help us deepen our appreciation for the rich diversity within the Christian faith and cultivate a spirit of ecumenism?

    Justinian of replied 1 year, 1 month ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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