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John Climacus: The Ladder of Divine Ascent (Classics of Western Spirituality)

4.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  302 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
John Climacus (c. 579-649) was abbot of the monastery of Catherine on Mount Sinai. His Ladder was the most widely used handbook of the ascetical life in the ancient Greek Church.
Paperback, 301 pages
Published December 1st 1988 by Paulist Press (first published 600)
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(showing 1-30 of 715)
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Darrick Taylor
One of the most revered works of theology and devotion in the Eastern Christian world, it is read in monasteries in the Eastern Churches every Lent, and is one of the most compelling, beautiful works of its type I have ever read. St. John takes you into the heart of the Christian mystery, and despite the fact that it was written for monks, its wisdom is really for everyone.
Apr 10, 2012 Nicholas rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read during the Lenten season as John Climacus guides monastics on their ladder of theosis.
Samantha Penrose
Nov 18, 2010 Samantha Penrose rated it did not like it
Recommended to Samantha by: R.K.
ugh. It's taking me sooooooo loooooonnnngggg to read this --- BECAUSE IT SUCKS SO HARD!
This man's philosophy on how to live your life (if you are a monk that it) is the antithesis of everything I believe! He promotes good intentioned shaming, he is down on family, he advocates silence and detatchment...

The man who really loves the Lord, who has made a real effort to find the future Kingdom, who is really pained by his sins, who is really mindful of eternal torment and judgement, who rea
Matthew Burden
Jan 22, 2016 Matthew Burden rated it really liked it
In the Western Christian tradition (Roman Catholicism and Protestantism), there are a small handful of classic books that have radically shaped the way we perceive the Christian life--and this is true for you even if you haven't read them. Our Christian culture and self-understanding has been deeply shaped by Augustine's Confessions and City of God, and, if you're an evangelical, by Pilgrim's Progress. The Eastern Christian tradition, however, was largely shaped by other works, and these have pl ...more
William white
Mar 31, 2013 William white rated it it was amazing
This cannot be titles or surnamed a book..
This work is a way of Life...meant for monks,but as Christians
are we not all to live as religious?
In an upward ascent i read this daily to instill what is not or to ask for perfection
in something that has been hardened by sin...
St John Climacus i feel put his life into this work as it is one of few he wrote.
I HIGHLY SUGGEST THIS especially for all Christians

Daily reading
Sep 24, 2011 Scott rated it it was amazing
Meant for monks, it is nonetheless full of helpful advice and encouragement for anyone on the path. A true masterpiece that deserves to be read many times. The further you progress the more it will mean to you - and I would dare even suggest that the more this work rings true and speaks to you, the further along you are. At any stage, though, this is profitable reading!
Ephraim Lawson Bowick
Jan 15, 2013 Ephraim Lawson Bowick rated it it was amazing
PHENOMENAL! If one wants to truly dissect ones' sins and see how our fallen humanity inclines itself, I would highly suggest this book. Metropolitan Timothy Ware has awesome insight in his preface as well. In the Orthodox Church, this is the second Bible for monastics. Get this book.

Forgive me a sinner,

Aug 13, 2011 Charles rated it it was amazing
One of the greatest spiritual manuals out side the holy Scriptures, read with care, remember this was written for monks not lay people but the greatest of treasure may be detected from these pages.
Christopher Neill
Apr 09, 2013 Christopher Neill added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Monastics and people reading under guidence
This is a great book but frankly not recommended for idle study. It is aimed at monastics in the context of Orthodox living, it is not a western self-help manual.
Sep 16, 2008 Eric marked it as to-read
I'm actually reading a version by the monks of Holy Transfiguration Monastery (Boston, 1979).
Apr 10, 2016 Matthew rated it really liked it
I read this book in Eastertide 2015. I've been meaning to write about it for about a year, now! Sorry about that. I felt today would be a good day since it is his commemoration in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Anyway, The Ladder of Divine Ascent is one of the most popular works of spiritual writing in the Eastern Orthodox tradition. Its popularity in the Christian East is similar to St Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ -- this latter being the most copied, printed, and translated book of w ...more
Maryam Kd
Feb 25, 2015 Maryam Kd rated it it was amazing
The ladder of Divine Ascent is manual for those seeking purification, a book to be referred back to often and be meditated upon. It brings to light the many flaws of the secular/modernized human.

"Those of us who wish to go out of Egypt and to fly from Pharaoh, certainly need some Moses as a mediator with God and from God, who, standing between action and contemplation, will raise hands of prayer for us to God, so that guided by Him we may cross the sea of sin and rout the Amalek of the passions.
Apr 15, 2014 Ben rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Written in humility and simplicity, this book is meant to be read slowly and reflectively. It is an exhortation to every Christian; a manual to find out and expel the demons lurking in your heart.
Rebeeeka Fragonard
Apr 01, 2016 Rebeeeka Fragonard rated it really liked it
I didn't read all this but I read most of it. It was turning into something that I didn't want to read anymore but I enjoyed most of what I read.
Thomas Stama
This book was written in the 600's AD. It has much to think about but overall the book should not be read by most without adequate background into monasticism and history. What was prevalent concepts and ideals for the 7th century can be easily misunderstood today.

This book is a standard of Orthodox monasticism to be read during Lent.
David Withun
Jun 21, 2013 David Withun rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion
A classic of Orthodox Christian spirituality, The Ladder is essential reading for anyone interested in spirituality, mysticism, or theology, particularly within the Western tradition. I found this version particularly good as the introduction itself is terrific reading on the subject.
Oliver Bateman
Sep 13, 2009 Oliver Bateman rated it really liked it
Parts of this rather dated manuscript are inapplicable to secular life, but it contains many inspired passages. Useful for those of us who seek to justify our lonely, ascetic existences.
Mar 06, 2013 NormaCenva rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Orthodox Christians, priests, pastors, deacons, preachers
there will never be a time when this book will become boring to me! I try to read it at least once a year, not always possible but even reading bits of it is very beneficial.
Brian Glass
Jun 12, 2013 Brian Glass rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is of such great value that to review it would be audacious to say the least. It would be like a mouse trying to evaluate Shakespeare.
Dcn Peter Markevich
...or, I should say, listened to over several years of First Week services in Jordanville. Valuable spiritual advice, but not for everyone.
Sep 23, 2013 Anam rated it really liked it
In a study group for this book. Proceeding at less than 1 chapter per week. This will take some time.
Oct 07, 2010 Stranniki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
after many years still cannot get past step 1
Mar 28, 2012 Derek rated it it was amazing
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Saint John Climacus (Greek: Ἰωάννης τῆς Κλίμακος), also known as John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites, was a 7th-century Christian monk at the monastery on Mount Sinai. He is revered as a saint by the Roman Catholic, Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic churches.

We have almost no information about John's life. There is in existence an ancient Vita, Life of th
More about John Climacus...

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