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The Struggle for Virtue: Asceticism in a Modern Secular Society

Archbishop Averky (Taushev)

“What is ‘asceticism’? What is an ‘ascetic’? Many secular people among the ranks of modern Christians know the words ‘ascetic’ and ‘asceticism’ by hearsay, but very few have a correct understanding of what these words mean and express. These words ordinarily bring about a kind of superstitious horror in modern people who consider themselves Christians but who live far from the spirit of the Church and who are alien to the Church and the spiritual life, being wholly given over to a secular life of distraction. ‘Asceticism’ in modern secular society is normally perceived as being something extraordinarily gloomy, almost sinister, forever removed from ‘normal’ human life. Many understand asceticism to be a kind of fanatical monstrosity or self-torture, akin to walking barefoot over burning coals or to hanging oneself up by one’s ribs—as is done, for example, by Indian yogis and fakirs, to general amazement. Such a distorted and prejudiced attitude towards the notion of asceticism in modern society demonstrates how far modern Christians have departed from a correct understanding of evangelical doctrine, how far they have ‘grown worldly,’ and how alien their understanding has become to the authentic spiritual life to which our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, called not certain selected, exceptional persons, but all Christians in general.”
—“INTRODUCTION: The Essence and Meaning of Asceticism”


Introduction: The Essence and Meaning of Asceticism
1. Self-Asserting Pride and Christian Humility
2. The Importance of Spiritual Discernment
3. Gospel Love and Humanistic Altruism
4. Acquiring Gospel Love
5. Reawakening Our Conscience
6. The Christian Understanding of Freedom
7. Guarding the Heart Amidst the Distractions of Life
8. Resisting Evil
9. Waging Unseen Warfare
10. Christian Struggle
11. The Holy Fathers on Combating the Passions
12. Pastoral Asceticism
Subject Index
Scripture Index

Item Number: BKIPG810
Publication Data: Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Publications, 2014
Format: softcover
Number of Pages: xxiv + 169
Dimensions (l × w × h): 17.7 cm × 12.6 cm × 1.1 cm
Additional Information: black-and-white illustrations
ISBN: 978‒0‒88465‒373‒8

$16.95 (USD)


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