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John Ervin rated it it was amazing Sep 21, Joe Ippolito rated it liked it Nov 30, Luke Smith rated it it was amazing Jun 18, Emma rated it really liked it Jun 15, Frdavid Abernethy rated it it was amazing Nov 14, Scott rated it it was amazing Jul 06, BookDB marked it as to-read Sep 17, Sokrates marked it as to-read Feb 10, Urban Abbey added it Aug 01, Marilyn Hartman marked it as to-read Feb 04, Noelle marked it as to-read Jan 21, Gregory Korbut marked it as to-read Mar 03, Saint Nicholas added it Mar 08, Alan Dupay marked it as to-read Oct 19, Stephen marked it as to-read May 14, Samuel marked it as to-read Jun 24, Bydlo Suka marked it as to-read Dec 09, John Morgan marked it as to-read Dec 10, AJ marked it as to-read Dec 16, Lance Towers marked it as to-read Apr 25, Derek Pillion marked it as to-read Jun 05, Adam Kohlan marked it as to-read Oct 28, A major figure in his own lifetime, he left a small body of writings that contained his conception of the monastic life and continued the traditions of Orthodox asceticism.

After his death his followers turned toward a struggle over the propriety of monastic landholding, eventually losing to the [End Page ] followers of Nil's contemporary, Joseph Volotskii.

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Nil's heritage soon moved to the margins of Russian religious history and was revived only in the nineteenth century, leading to his recognition as a saint in the twentieth. The study of Nil's work has long been burdened with the controversy over his own attitude to monastic landholding.

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Nineteenth-century scholars used the works of his followers and his own preference for hermitage as evidence for his rejection of landholding. This conception was at best a great exaggeration, and Ia.


  1. Nil Sorsky : The Complete Writings.
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Lur'e demonstrated its limits as early as More recently, Fairy von Lilienfeld, G. Prokhorov, and other historians have turned to Nil's ascetic writings, correctly seeing them as the core of his legacy. In this new translation Goldfrank offers two improvements over Maloney's version. One is a much more complete introduction, summarizing and discussing the latest scholarship on the various textual issues, Nil's use of Byzantine monastic writings, and the controversies about his relationship to Joseph Volotskii.

Classics of Western Spirituality: Nil Sorsky : The Complete Writings (2003, Hardcover)

The other improvement is a translation much closer to the original, not mediated by later adaptors and commentators as is the case with the Maloney translation, in Goldfrank's view. Goldfrank also places in italics the many quotations and references to earlier ascetic writers. The result is a version of considerable interest to scholars, if somewhat less accessible to other readers. Goldfrank believes in more literal renderings and thus conveys more of the flavor of the text, its quirks as well as its rhetoric, than other translators.

He takes the reader into the mental world of Russian monastic spirituality, emphasizing to what an extent Nil was part of a living and continuing textual tradition as well as a tradition of practice. He is very careful about the translation of the technical vocabulary, of words for mind and intelligence , and particularly the crucial term pomysl , which renders the Greek logismos.