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The Mountain of Silence: A Search for Orthodox Spirituality Paperback – Nov 19 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Image; Image Books ed. edition (Nov. 19 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385500920
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385500920
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.8 x 20.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 249 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #42,486 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

The spiritual traditions of the Eastern Orthodox Church are all but unknown to most Christians in the West, who often think of Christianity as split into two camps: Bible-based Protestantism and sacramental Catholicism. Yet in The Mountain of Silence, sociologist Kyriacos Markides suggests that Orthodox spirituality offers rich resources for Western Christians to integrate the head and the heart, and to regain a more expansive view of Christian life. The book combines elements of memoir, travelogue, and history in a single story. Markides journeys to a cluster of monasteries on Mount Athos, an isolated peninsula in northern Greece and one of the holiest sites in the Orthodox tradition. He also visits the troubled island of Cyprus, largely occupied by Turkey since 1974, and makes the acquaintance of a monk named Father Maximos, who has established churches, convents, and monasteries. Markides, a native Cypriot, tells the tale of this journey in a tone that's loose and light, with many excursions on Church history and Greek and Turkish politics. But despite the easygoing tone, the importance of this book is potentially immense. The Mountain of Silence introduces a world that is entirely new to many Western readers, and unveils a Christian tradition that reveres the mystical approach to God as much as the rational, a tradition that Markides says "may have the potential to inject Christianity with the new vitality that it so desperately needs." --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Markides, a Maine sociologist who was raised in the Greek Orthodox faith and later drifted into agnosticism, continues his spiritual journey homeward in this collection of captivating conversations with the monk Father Maximos. The book is set on the island of Cyprus, where the author and his monastic mentor spent extended periods of time together due to unexpected circumstances that moved Father Maximos from the "Holy Mountain" of Mount Athos. Markides (Riding with the Lion), his interest piqued by an earlier pilgrimage to Mount Athos, used a sabbatical from the University of Maine to further explore the body of Christian mysticism that Mount Athos's monks have preserved since the ninth century. Here, Markides and others pepper the charismatic Maximos with questions on a wide range of topics from angels, saints and demons to the role of icons in worship and the place of hell in Christian belief. Markides is a skillful and skeptical inquisitor whose queries surely must have tried the patience of his mentor. But Maximos rises to the occasion, providing gentle, thoughtful answers that by necessity often transcend the Western mind's reliance on logic in spiritual matters. Markides's work is an excellent resource for spiritual seekers of all levels, answering questions about Christianity in general and Eastern monasticism in particular. It will be of special interest to those who may be unaware of Christianity's deep roots in mysticism.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Simply a beautiful book which will
open your heart
like a flower
and
reminds us not to equate Christianity with out forms, but to
seek it's living pulse.
reminds us that just as the telescope is the appropriate method for seeing the stars
and
the microscope for seeing the cells of our blood
so is the purified heart the appropriate method for seeing God...
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Format: Hardcover
Although the author seems to be somewhat confused about his own orientation (vis a vis religion), the main character of the book, Father Maximos, is not. Maximos, an Orthodox elder,left the sanctuary of Mt. Athos to re-open a monestary in Cyprus. He clearly presents the major ascetic and spiritual teachings of Orthodoxy in such a compelling way, that I almost booked the next flight there.
The book motivated me to pursue more earnestly than ever, my quest to "see" God.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was sent to me by a friend in December 2002. We had been corresponding for several months about her journey into Orthodoxy. I was dissatisfied with the current state of affairs in the Episcopal Church and was looking for something else. My friend said this book had really helped to correct her misconceptions about what it meant to be Orthodox, and she had bought tons of copies to give out. Two weeks after receiving this book, I visited the Orthodox parish she recommended and become Orthodox just before Christmas 2003.
What is wonderful about this book is that the teaching of Fr. Maximos and his dead elder are interspered with Markides' stories. There is some "deep" stuff here, but it's totally unlike reading dry theology. I heard the author speak on a visit to Chicago last year, and found him as engaging as a speaker as he is in print.
I have bought an extra copy of this book and it is being passed around to inquirers and catechumens at my Antiochian Orthodox parish in Chicago.
This is a great introduction to Orthodoxy for Western readers, especially those who have no knowledge of Orthodoxy, aside from possibly seeing "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"!
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Format: Paperback
What is faith? Does God exist? Is He knowable? Is it truly possible to hear His voice? How do I personally encounter Him? The Mountain of Silence answers these and other questions of the heart.
In a profound yet direct way, Fr. Maximos reveals a time tested method of communing with God, not as a vain theoretician, but as one who regularly communes with God himself. The method he describes is a proven one as demonstrated by the countless Saints it has produced, in ancient and modern times (including the present day). I dare say, Fr. Maximos, a practitioner of the method himself, is on the road to Sainthood, as was his spiritual father (Fr. Paisios) and many of Fr. Maximos' other contemporary practitioners, including Fr. Sophrony and Saint Nikolai Velimirovic (both of blessed memory).
This book is a must read for people who are tired of accumulating head knowledge about God and want to experience Him for themselves. The Mountain of Silence is likely to become a spiritual classic; may it be a blessing to all true seekers who read it.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read Markides' account of his contact with the monks of Mount Athos, and being quite familiar with the literature on the subject of Eastern Christian mysticism/theology, I have to say that this book was a real means of grace for me. To further make my point, one needs only to read who recommends the book on the back cover- Bishop Kallistos Ware, the preeminent spokesman for Eastern Orthodoxy in the West and the retired professor of Eastern Orthodox studies at Oxford University!
I can positively remark that this book accurately depicts the practical outcome of anyone who follows the guidance of the Christian East. Holiness and wisdom are not reserved only for the monks, but for all those who seek Christ with a pure heart. The wisdom of Father Maximos, a main figure in the book, is simply a distillation of the wisdom of 2000 years of prayer and worship as found in the East. If it happens to reflect in some ways current New Age mentalities, it is not, believe me, a sign that the Eastern Church has somehow taken their advice! I have the suspicion that those who understand Christianity through Western Protestant eyes would find this work a bit odd to say the least. Monks who are clairvoyant, can change someone else's perception of time, etc are not common in Protestant Christianity. But then again, they have not had the benefit of a 2000-year-old tradition of spirituality and prayer. This is not to put the Protestants down, it is only the observation that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when the East already has a very succinct and proven method of spiritual development that goes much beyond the non-accountable, individualistic spirit of much of the Christian West.
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By A Customer on June 27 2003
Format: Paperback
Having read Markides' account of his contact with the monks of Mount Athos, and being quite familiar with the literature on the subject of Eastern Christian mysticism/theology, I have to say that this book was a real means of grace for me. To further make my point, one needs only to read who recommends the book on the back cover- Bishop Kallistos Ware, the preeminent spokesman for Eastern Orthodoxy in the West and the retired professor of Eastern Orthodox studies at Oxford University!
I can positively remark that this book accurately depicts the practical outcome of anyone who follows the guidance of the Christian East. Holiness and wisdom are not reserved only for the monks, but for all those who seek Christ with a pure heart. The wisdom of Father Maximos, a main figure in the book, is simply a distillation of the wisdom of 2000 years of prayer and worship as found in the East. If it happens to reflect in some ways current New Age mentalities, it is not, believe me, a sign that the Eastern Church has somehow taken their advice! I have the suspicion that those who understand Christianity through Western Protestant eyes would find this work a bit odd to say the least. Monks who are clairvoyant, can change someone else's perception of time, etc are not common in Protestant Christianity. But then again, they have not had the benefit of a 2000-year-old tradition of spirituality and prayer. This is not to put the Protestants down, it is only the observation that there is no need to reinvent the wheel when the East already has a very succinct and proven method of spiritual development that goes much beyond the non-accountable, individualistic spirit of much of the Christian West.
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