The Spiritual Wisdom and Practices of Early Christianity

by Alphonse and Rachel Goettmann


Paperback (September 2006)

ISBN: 1-933275-09-X

Price: $13.95 + S&H (USD)


In this book, we will consider the fundamental practices of the Christian experience. They are backed by two thousand years of history and a sea of witnesses who, down through the ages, have journeyed on this path that has led them to the summits of wisdom and holiness. The difficulty in the presentation of these "methods" is their inevitable and artificial juxtaposition when they only find their internal and organic coherence in the living Tradition. They are all held together as in a living organism; each element comes at a particular stage in a life that gravitates around its axis: the Christ. That is why we will use a method which will make it possible for the reader not to remain on the exterior as a spectator: the repetition of key ideas. This is a teaching in the form of a spiral, an "eating of the word" where, as in liturgical chants and the experiential method of Scripture, we become that which we "eat" continually, we "are" what we have just read rather than merely "knowing" it. Each chapter is a new approach to the unique Reality. Rather than addressing the intellect, it speaks to the heart.



Alphonse and Rachel Goettmann are the directors of Béthanie, a Center for Spiritual Encounter, located in eastern France near the city of Metz. Father Goettmann is an Orthodox priest. They are the publishers of the quarterly journal Le Chemin and have co-authored a number of books, including The Spiritual Wisdom and Practices of Early Christianity, The Beyond Within: Initiation into Christian Meditation, Dialogue on the Path of Initiation: An Introduction to the Life and Thought of Karlfried Graf Dürckheim, The Destructive Passions: Diagnosis and Remedies and Joy: The Face of God within Us. The Goettmanns lead numerous retreats throughout the year at their center.