Nilus of Ancyra and John Chrysostom about the monastic life


In this article we have compared the motivations of the anachorese and hesy­chia in John Chrysostom’s writing Adversus oppugnatores vitae monasticae and in Nilus of Ancyra writing De monachorum praestantia. We perceive there a com­mon spirit in their thinking about the monastic life. The authors refer similarly to the contemporary reflection about the human nature, which leads them both to value the isolated life over the life in the world. It echoes the ideal of impassibility, inflexibility, careless and the another com­ponents of the stoic ethos. Several Nilus’ reflections manifest a clear similarity to the Chrysostom’s ideas. Nilus of Ancyra defends the same kind of monasticism as Chrysostom against its opponents. In his argumentation he chooses the similar di­rection as Chrysostom, however, he is independent in the details of his reasoning. Surely, as the Chrysostom’s pupil, he read and knew Adversus oppugnatores vitae monasticae. In spite of this, he has created his own and original work, inspired only generally by the earlier Chrysostom’s opuscule.


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Published : 2012-06-15

Nieścior, L. (2012). Nilus of Ancyra and John Chrysostom about the monastic life. Vox Patrum, 57, 427-435.

Leon Nieścior 
Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie  Poland

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