The Gnostic Chapters

A Critical Edition and Translation of Evagrius Ponticus’ Kephalaia Gnostika in Arabic


In the late fourth century, the early Christian monk and author Evagrius Ponticus wrote his magnum opus in Greek—entitled Kephalaia Gnostika (“Gnostic Chapters”)—a spiritual treatise on ascetic contemplation and unity with God. After Evagrius’ death, however, his theology attracted controversy, and many of his writings were suppressed or destroyed. As a result, complete copies of this important work principally survived only in Syriac translations and an Armenian adaptation, until the recent discovery of two Arabic copies at the so-called Monastery of the Syrians in Egypt. The present volume represents the first-ever critical edition and translation of the Kephalaia Gnostika in that language.

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Stephen J. Davis, Ph.D. (Yale University, 1998) is Woolsey Professor of Religious Studies and Professor of History at Yale. Since 2006, he has conducted archaeological and archival field research at Egyptian monasteries. His publications include numerous monographs and editions related to Christian Arabic literature.


A Note on Editorial and Translational Methods

Evagrius Ponticus’ Kephalaia Gnostika: An English Translation of the Arabic Text

Book 1

Book 2

Book 3

Book 4

Book 5

Book 6

Supplemental Chapters

Key to the Supplemental Chapters
Index of Arabic Terms
Index of Biblical Citations and Allusions
This volume is intended for scholars interested in ancient and medieval Christian monasticism and monastic spirituality in the Near East, and in the translation of texts from Syriac into Arabic.
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