Moses’ encounter with God on the summit of Mount Sinai, as told in the biblical book of Exodus, contains a number of peculiarities and paradoxes. Early Christian mystics seized on these as clues to the spiritual understanding of Moses’ experiences, and as guides to the practice of contemplation. In this course we will examine five moments in Moses’ ascent of Mount Sinai. We will explore how these intriguing passages inspired four early Christian writers – Gregory of Nyssa, Evagrius of Pontus, Pseudo-Macarius and Dionysius the Areopagite – as they reflected on such topics as the unknowability of God and the state of a mind at prayer. In doing so, we will discover the influence of scripture on the development of the Christian mystical tradition.
4 hours 8 minutes
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