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Chryssavgis




Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis’s life and work
This site includes Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis’s biography, photos, online articles, bibliography, and more.
Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis
Rev. Dr. John  Chryssavgis
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Biography of Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis

The Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis, Archdeacon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, was born in Australia (1958), where he matriculated from The Scots College (1975). He received his degree in Theology from the University of Athens (1980), a diploma in Byzantine Music from the Greek Conservatory of Music (1979), and was awarded a research scholarship to St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary (1982). He completed his doctoral studies in Patristics at the University of Oxford (1983).

After several months in silent retreat on Mt Athos, he served as Personal Assistant to the Greek Orthodox Primate in Australia (1984-94) and was co-founder of St Andrew’s Theological College in Sydney (1985), where he was Sub-Dean and taught Patristics and Church History (1986-95). He was also Lecturer in the Divinity School (1986-90) and the School of Studies in Religion (1990-95) at the University of Sydney. In 1995, he moved to Boston, where he was appointed Professor of Theology at Holy Cross School of Theology and directed the Religious Studies Program at Hellenic College until 2002. He established the Environment Office at the same School in 2001. He has also taught as professor of Patristics at Balamand University in Lebanon. A member of the Office of Ecumenical and Inter-Faith Affairs of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, he coordinates the Social and Moral Issues Commission of the Orthodox Churches in America. Currently, he serves as theological advisor to the Ecumenical Patriarch on environmental issues.

The author of over twenty books and numerous articles in several languages on the Church Fathers and Orthodox Spirituality, Fr. John’s most recent publications include Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Holy Cross Press, 2000), In the Footsteps of Christ: Abba Isaiah of Scetis (SLG Press Oxford, 2001), The Body of Christ: A Place of Welcome for People with Disabilities (Light and Life, 2002), Letters from the Desert: A Selection from Barsanuphius and John (St. Vladimir’s Press, 2003), Cosmic Grace, Humble Prayer: The Ecological Vision of the Green Patriarch (Eerdmans, 2nd ed. 2009), Light Through Darkness: the Orthodox tradition (Orbis Books, 2004), John Climacus: From the Egyptian Desert to the Sinaite Mountain (Ashgate, 2004), The Ecumenical Patriarchate: A Brief Guide (Ecumenical Patriarchate, 2005), The Reflections of Abba Zosimas (SLG Press Oxford, 2006), Beyond the Shattered Image: Insights into an Orthodox Christian Ecological Worldview (Light and Life, 2nd ed. 2007), In the Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers (World Wisdom Books, 2nd revised ed. 2008), and Diakonia: Remembering and Reclaiming the Diaconate (Holy Cross Press, 2009). Two volumes with the full correspondence of Barsanuphius and John appeared in 2006-2007 in the Fathers of the Church series of Catholic University Press. He is the editor of three volumes containing the select writings of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew (Fordham University Press, 2010-2012).

He lives in Maine.

Books/DVDs containing the work of Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis

Rev. Dr. Chryssavgis' work appearing in World Wisdom books:


Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis’s Writings Online
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Introduction: Modes of SpiritualityIn the Heart of the Desert, Revised: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and MothersChryssavgis, Rev. Dr. John Christianity
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Quotes on Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis

The following quotes refer to Rev. Dr. Chryssavgis' work in In the Heart of the Desert:

“In this accessible volume Father Chryssavgis allows us to hear the voices of the Desert Fathers and Mothers in such a way that we too may drink from this eternal spring. Not the least attractive feature of the book is the illuminating commentary and sage counsel provided by Father Chryssavgis himself.”
—Harry Oldmeadow, La Trobe University, Bendigo, and author of A Christian Pilgrim in India: The Spiritual Journey of Swami Abhishiktananda (Henri Le Saux)

“A beautiful and sensitive account of the lives and spirituality of the early Christian desert monastics. Chryssavgis’ treatment of these strange, compelling figures is marked by an uncommon depth of understanding; under his discerning gaze, the world of the desert monastics comes alive for the reader. What really distinguishes his treatment, though, is his compassion for these ancient figures, his ability to meet them as fellow human beings who, like us, find themselves caught up in a mysterious and challenging spiritual journey.”
—Douglas Burton-Christie, Loyola Marymount University, and author of The Word in the Desert

“As scholarly astute as he is compassionate and wise, the author of In the Heart of the Desert truly illumines the very heart of the spirituality of the desert saints, a heart that, for all its rigorous asceticism, metaphysical transparency, and lofty attainment, is very much like our own in its brokenness, suffering, desolation, and struggle.”
—Vincent Rossi, Director of Education for the American Exarchate of the Jerusalem Patriarchate of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and founder of the journal Epiphany

“The author succeeds in this masterful work in ways that others have not. He penetrates the spiritual/mystical/psychological depth of the desert contemplatives, the pioneer men and women who forged, through their lives, a vision of holiness in its contemplative dimension. He communicates the spirit of their supernatural, practical Christian humanism, which is always informed by humility, charity, and a keen discernment of human nature. Finally, he understands their commitment to a purified will, one empty of selfishness and grasping, and he is able to see them in the way they regarded one another.”
—Wayne Teasdale, author of A Monk in the World: Cultivating a Spiritual Life

“The desert can be a fearful and imposing place without a guide, and Fr. Chryssavgis takes the reader through the rugged yet beautiful terrain of desert spirituality with clarity and empathy. The fathers and mothers of early Christian Egypt come alive in this fine study, with the added benefit of an original translation of the Reflections of Abba Zosimas. If I were to recommend a single book to introduce the spiritual riches of the desert—solitude, silence, humility, detachment, tears, and the encounter with the living God—this would be the book.”
—Robert Fastiggi, Sacred Heart Major Seminary

“An invaluable guide to the teachings of the Desert Fathers and Mothers. John Chryssavgis eludicates the principles and practices of desert metanoia with exemplary sensitivity and depth. The love of God radiates from every page of this book; one cannot read it and come away unchanged.”
—Philip Zaleski, editor of The Best Spiritual Writing series, author of The Recollected Heart and Gifts of the Spirit, and senior editor of Parabola magazine


Rev. Dr. John Chryssavgis’s Bibliography


Selected Bibliography

Books

Persons and Events: Historical Moments in the Development of Orthodox Christianity, Archdiocese of Australia, 1985

Fire and Light: Aspects of the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, Light and Life Publications, 1987

Ascent to Heaven: The Theology of the Human Person, Holy Cross Press, 1989.

The World My Church (with Sophie Chryssavgis), David Lovell Publishing, 1990, 2nd Ed. 1998

The Desert is Alive: Dimensions of Australian Spirituality, Joint Board of Christian Education, 1990, 1993.

Repentance and Confession, Holy Cross Press, 1990, 1996, 1998

Love, Sexuality, and Marriage, Holy Cross Press, 1996, 1998

The Way of the Fathers: Exploring the Mind of the Church Fathers, Analecta Vlatadon, 1998

Beyond the Shattered Image: Insights into an Orthodox Ecological World View, Light and Life, 1999

Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction, Holy Cross Press, 2000

In the Footsteps of Christ: the ascetic teaching of Abba Isaiah of Scetis, SLG Press, 2001

The Ascetic Treatises of Abba Isaiah of Scetis, Cistercian Publications, 2002

In The Heart of the Desert: The Spirituality of the Desert Fathers and Mothers, World Wisdom Books, 2003 (Forthcoming)


Contributions to Books

"Orthodox Theology and Its Relevance in a University", in Proceedings; 1st Conference of Orthodox Tertiary Students, 1981

"Ministry in the Orthodox Church" in W. Tabbernee, Ministry in Australian Churches, The Joint Board of Christian Education, 1987

"The Greek Orthodox Clergyman in Australia - A personal insight" in A.W. Ata, Religion and Ethnic Identity: an Australian Study, Spectrum Publications, 1988

"Living Prayer: The Way of Prayer in the Church Fathers", in Proceedings; 7th Conference of Orthodox Tertiary Students, 1988

"Purgatory and Tollgates: Eschatological Insights from the 15th Century" in G. Moses and N. Ormerod, Humanity and the After Life, Philosophical Association, 1991

"Transfigured Creation and Transfigured Persons" in G. Lemopoulos, Come Holy Spirit, Renew the Whole Creation, Tertios Publications, 1991, in Greek. [Also appeared in English in The Ecumenical Review, 42, 1990]

"Original Sin - an Orthodox Perspective" in N. Ormerod, Grace & Disgrace, E.J. Dwyer, 1992

"Essence and Energies: Dynamic Anthropology and Cosmology" in G. Moses and N. Ormerod, Human Beings and Nature, Philosophical Association, 1992

"Australia Song - Sounds of Many Churches", in New Song In An Ancient Land, NLMC Publications, 1993

"For the Life of the World: Orthodox Mission as an act of love and life" in G. Lemopoulos, You Shall Be My Witnesses, Tertios Publications, 1993

"An Old Faith in Terra Nova: The Eastern Orthodox Tradition" in D.W. Dockrill and R.G. Tanner, Tradition and Traditions: Prudentia, Supplementary November 1994

"The Orthodox Church and the World Council of Churches" in ed. D.C. Sullivan, Living Ecumenism, The Joint Board of Christian Education, 1995

"Doing Theology in Australia", in A. Murray, Can Theology Be Done in Sydney? A Symposium, Catholic Institute of Sydney, 1995

"Aspects of Spiritual Direction: The Palestinian Tradition" in P. Allen and E. Jeffreys, The Sixth Century: End or Beginning?, Australian Association for Byzantine Studies, 1996

"Exceedingly Beautiful: The Beauty and Sacredness of Creation," in S. Fotiou (ed.), Festchrift for Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Kitium, Larnaca 1999

"The World of the Icon and Creation: an Orthodox perspective on ecology and pneumatology," in D. Hessel and R. Radford Ruether (eds.), Christianity and Ecology: Seeking the Well-Being of Earth and Humans, Harvard University Press, 1999

"Foreword" to J. Allen, Inner Way: Toward a rebirth of Eastern Christian Spiritual Direction, Holy Cross Press, 2000

"Abba Isaiah of Scetis and the Practice of Holiness," in N. Panou et al. (eds.), Festchrift for His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Athens, 2000. [in Greek and English]

"The Ascetic Dimension of Monasticism and Marriage" in Marriage: A Theology, Domos Publications, 2001.

"The World as Mystery: Reflections on an Orthodox Worldview," in ed. S. Fotiou, Jesus Christ- Life of the World (in Greek) Nicosia, 2000

"The Gift of Peace: Liturgical and Patristic Insights," in ed. S. Fotiou, Freedom as Love: Theological Texts on the Life of the Church (in Greek:) Larnaca, 2001

"Paths of Continuity" in ed. J.Cutsinger, Paths to the Heart: Sufism and the Christian East , World Wisdom Books 2002


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