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Sherrard





Philip Sherrard’s life and work
This site includes Philip Sherrard’s biography, photos, online articles, slideshows, bibliography, links, and more.
Philip Sherrard
Philip  Sherrard
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Biography of Philip Sherrard

Philip Sherrard was an English author and scholar educated at Cambridge. Among the works for which he is best known is his collaboration in the complete translation of the Philokalia. The combination of his interests in metaphysics, theology, art and aesthetics led to his participation in the review Temenos, of which he was one of the founders in 1980. He was also recognized as a leading voice in situating modern attitudes and behaviors regarding the environment within a Christian framework.

In all his works, Dr. Sherrard sought to express an all-embracing vision, in which the natural and the supernatural come together in a wholeness that bears witness to the numinous wonder of life. This vision is the leit-motif of his last three books: The Eclipse of Man and Nature: An Enquiry into the Origins and Consequences of Modern Science (1987), The Sacred in Life and Art (1990), and Human Image, World Image (1992). He passed away in 1995.

His essay "Christianity and the Religious Thought of C. G. Jung" is included in the anthology Science and the Myth of Progress . His article "Epilogue" can be found in the anthology, The Betrayal of Tradition .


Books/DVDs containing the work of Philip Sherrard

Philip Sherrard's contributions to World Wisdom books include:


Philip Sherrard’s Writings Online
 TitleSourceAuthor 1Author 2SubjectWW HTMLWW PDFExternal Link
Between the early and late writings of Plato there emerges a contradiction of views regarding the relationship between the divine and the material, or "sensible" world. Plato's earlier writings suggest that the sensible world is inherently evil, man must transcend his natural senses and instincts in order to achieve knowledge of God. However, passages from the Corpus Hermeticum and the Timaeus suggest an view of the world based on an intermingling between the material and the divine, for which the Soul serves as an intermediary. Georgios Gemistos Plethon recognized a significant influence of the former tendency on Christian doctrine, and sought to challenge this condemnation of the sensible world. This criticism was repeated by several prominent philosophers throughout the following centuries, most notably by Friedrich Nietzsche.
The Symbolical Career of Georgios Gemistos PlethonStudies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 8, No. 2. (Spring, 1974)Sherrard, Philip Christianity, Platonism
Modern Science and the Dehumanization of ManStudies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 10, No. 2. (Spring, 1976); also in the book "The Underlying Religion"Sherrard, Philip Christianity, Comparative Religion, Modernism, Science, Tradition
In this article Philip Sherrard explains the theories and writing of Teilhard De Chardin as they apply to the split of science and faith in modern thought and the ways in which Chardin seeks to reconcile this separation. Chardin’s evolutionary theory is fueled by the power of “becoming” and “self creation”. It contains both physical and conscious progression in a personal and collective context. To Chardin, the individual is not responsible for the highest realization of self, but instead the highest form of the universe. In order to reconcile these differences of the personal and the collective, Chardin applies a faith-oriented theory in which he integrates the role of the Omega (or the Christ) in which the personal and the collective potentials are centered on each other and therefore both are fulfilled. Besides the inconsistencies this theory demonstrates in regard to faith, Sherrard also explores the way that it proves science as an incomplete mode of philosophy.
Teilhard De Chardin and the Christian VisionStudies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 4, No. 3. ( Summer, 1970)Sherrard, Philip Christianity, Metaphysics, Modernism, Perennial Philosophy, Science, Tradition
Author Philip Sherrard distinguishes between "sexual love" as it is commonly understood and the "sacramental form of sexual love [which] is not simply a human emotion or impulse or even a created cosmic or elemental force. Still less is it to be identified simply with a bodily or a somato-psychic energy. It is, in its origins, a spiritual energy. It is rooted in divine life itself and its principle, so to say, is placed by God in man and woman in their creation. Hence, to be united in this love is to find oneself returned to oneself, to one's full being and primal condition." Using mostly Christian sources, he shows that the "highest spiritual potentialities" can be unlocked through the sacramentalization of this most physical and natural of acts.
The Sexual Relationship in Christian ThoughtStudies in Comparative Religion, Vol. 5, No. 3. ( Summer, 1971)Sherrard, Philip Christianity, Spiritual Life, Symbolism
A Single Unified ScienceNot of this World: A Treasury of Christian MysticismSherrard, Philip Christianity
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Quotes on Philip Sherrard

   "Philip Sherrard, poet, translator, theologian and scholar, saw it as his mission to try to restore a sense of sacred cosmology to life.
   "Man and the natural world, according to Sherrard, were out of balance and a greater spiritual dimension to life and a greater awareness of man's place in the scheme of things was needed. These and many of his insights into what was wrong with the modern industrialised world were inspired by Greece, where he lived for many years, and the Orthodox Church."
Peter Mackridge, writing in The Independent



"Until his death in 1995, Philip Sherrard was perhaps the most potent and prophetic voice on behalf of the Church’s vocation to heal the earth in Orthodox theology. Sherrard saw this ecological vocation of the Church as grounded in the immanent presence of God in creation and especially in man as God’s image, viceroy, and priest."
Vincent Rossi, author



   "Philip Sherrard's writings are probably the best general introduction in English to the reality of monasticism on the Holy Mountain [Athos]. Philip succeeded in entering imaginatively into the life of the monks. He was far from being a monk himself, but he seems to understand what it means to be one.
   "Much of Philip Sherrard's working life was devoted to propounding the organic unity and deep spiritual roots of the Greek Orthodox tradition.…"
Michael Llewellyn Smith, author of Athens: A Cultural and Literary History and Ionian Vision


Philip Sherrard’s Bibliography

Athos, the Mountain of Silence. London: Oxford University Press, 1960. Athos: The Holy Mountain. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1982; Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press, 1985.

Christianity: Lineaments of a Sacred Tradition. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1998; Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2007.

Christianity and Eros: Essays on the Theme of Sexual Love. London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1976; Evia, Greece: Denise Harvey (Publisher), 1995, 2002.

Church, Papacy and Schism: A Theological Enquiry. London: S.P.C.K., 1978; Evia, Greece: Denise Harvey (Publisher), 1978.

Constantinople: Iconography of a Sacred City. Oxford University Press: London, 1965.

Great Ages of Man: Byzantium. New York: Time Life, 1966 (1970).

The Greek East and the Latin West: A study in the Christian tradition. Oxford University Press: London, 1959; Evia, Greece: Denise Harvey (Publisher), 1992, 1995, 2002.

Human Image: World Image: The Death and Resurrection of Sacred Cosmology. Ipswich, U.K.: Golgonooza (in association with Friends of the Centre), 1992; Evia, Greece: Denise Harvey (Publisher), 2004.

In the Sign of the Rainbow: Selected Poems, 1940-1989. London: Anvil Press Poetry, 1994.

Marble Threshing Floor: Studies in Modern Greek Poetry. London: Vallentine, Mitchell & Co, 1956, 1999; Freeport, N.Y: Books for Libraries Press, 1970; Evia, Greece: Denise Harvey (Publisher), 1992.

Modern Greece. J. Campbell and P. Sherrard. London: Benn, 1968.

Orientation and Descent, with other poems, 1946-1951. Eton: Alden & Blackwell, 1953.

The Rape of Man and Nature: An Enquiry into the Origins and Consequences of Modern Science. Ipswich: Golgonooza, c1987; The Eclipse of Man and Nature: An Enquiry into the Origins and Consequences of Modern Science. West Stockbridge, MA: Lindisfarne Press; Rochester, Vt.: Distributed by Inner Traditions, c1987.

The Sacred in Life and Art. Ipswich, U.K.: Golgonooza, 1990.

W.B. Yeats & the Search for Tradition. Ipswich, U.K.: Golgonooza Press, 1975.

The Wound of Greece: Studies in Neo-Hellenism. London: Collings [etc.], 1978.


Slideshows on Philip Sherrard


Online Resources about Philip Sherrard

There is an excellent author page on Philip Sherrard on the website of one of his publishers, Denise Harvey. The page has a good biography, a partial bibliography, and some good insights into his work.
The June 5, 1995 edition of the English paper The Independent, had a good obituary of Philip Sherrard, written by Peter Mackridge, Emeritus Professor of Modern Greek at Oxford University. The obituary is now on-line.
The author Michael Llewellyn Smith wrote a piece titled "Perceptions of the Holy Mountain," giving an historical view of how Mt. Athos has been seen by the West. One section on this British website devoted to Athos describes Philip Sherrard's writings and perspective on the Holy Mountain (found about four-fifths down the page).


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