A Pilgrimage to the Heart
of Christian Spirituality
Kyriacos C. MARKIDES
Published by Random House in March 2012
I received the book for free from Image Books for review
This book counts for the following reading challenges:
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
Having already read two previous books by Markides, The Mountain of Silence and Gifts of the Desert, I was thrilled to discover he had just published a new book! Random House was kind enough to send me a free copy of Inner River – and guess what, publishers, I enjoyed this book so much that I BOUGHT it for a friend of mine! Another proof, if there’s still need of it, that free copies for bloggers can be worth it.
Unfortunately, lots of Western Christians are totally unaware that as early as Christianity has existed, it has had a very rich mystical tradition. Lots of Christians have joined Eastern non-Christian religions, because they felt the need for mysticism and thought it did not exist in Christianity.
Markides is one of several current writers who work hard at showing to the Western world that there IS an accessible mystical tradition in Christianity, and that it can definitely help you live your daily life at a much deeper level, in closer connection with Christ.
I always enjoy Markides’ style: here as in his other books, mainly through his interview of his spiritual mentor, Father Maximos, Markides manages to convey a deep spiritual message for our time. His style is extremely accessible, that’s what makes his books so valuable for today’s readers and seekers.
Markides and Maximos do not hesitate addressing major questions we have today towards religion.
There are also lots of very good passages on the Jesus Prayer, certainly one of the most mystical elements of Christianity. Here, you will discover that you can practice it yourself in your every day life, and see what changes can happen in your inner self.
So if you think Christianity is too shallow, you might want to give a try to this book.
I have also personally given conferences on the Jesus Prayer, even to College students recently, so if you are interested, I could send it to you (it’s free).
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
In Inner River, Kyriacos Markides—scholar, researcher, author, and pilgrim—takes us on a thrilling quest into the heart of Christian spirituality and mankind’s desire for a transcendent experience of God. From Maine’s rugged shores to a Cypriot monastery to Greece’s remote Mt. Athos and, ultimately, to an Egyptian desert, Markides encounters a diverse cast of characters that allows him to explore the worlds of the natural and the supernatural, of religion and spirit, and of the seen and the unseen.
Inner River will appeal to a wide range of readers, from Christians seeking insights into their religion and its various expressions to scholars interested in learning more about the mystical way of life and wisdom that have been preserved in the heart of Orthodox spirituality. Perhaps most important, however, is the bridge it offers contemporary readers to a Christian life that is balanced between the worldly and the spiritual. (synopsis on Random House website).
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kyriacos’ areas of interest in teaching and research are: sociology of religion, sociological theory, sociology of mental illness and sociology of violence and international terrorism. Kyriacos’ research has ranged from projects related to political sociology and nationalist movements to the sociology of religion, non-medical healing and Christian mysticism. For the last twenty years he has been exploring the lives and teachings of Christian mystics, healers, and miracle workers and monastics around the world.
In this area he has written several important books published in English and in eight other languages.
= bio on the website of University of Maine, where he teaches sociology
REVIEWS BY OTHERS
“With his engaging blend of travelogue, conversations with a wise and charismatic spiritual father and musing on the big questions of life and death, Professor Markides takes us as companions on his journey of discovery. The insights that he communicates with such enthusiasm are timely ones: here at least is a writer who challenges the seeker after mystical understanding and Eastern spirituality to discover Christianity.”
-Elizabeth Theokritoff, independent scholar & co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to Orthodox Theology
“In Inner River, we journey with Dr. Kyriacos Markides in his quest for a deeper understanding of the mystical path as informed by Eastern Orthodox spirituality. Dr. Markides is a consummate scholar whose writing are so very accessible that his readers are ushered into a world of inquiry that might otherwise remain impenetrable. Like a trusted friend, [he] invites us to his private thoughts as he makes meaning and ponders additional questions that arise. Accordingly, [Inner River] holds the potential to transform one’s very way of navigating life.”
-Marcie Boucouvalas, Ph.D., Professor of Human Development, Virginia Tech/National Capital Region; editor, Journal of Transpersonal Psychology
HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK YET?
OR ANY OTHER BOOK BY MARKIDES?
HAVE YOU BEEN PERSONALLY ENGAGED
IN THE MYSTICAL TRADITION OF CHRISTIANITY?
DO YOU FEEL LIKE READING THIS BOOK?
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