For the last thirty years Kyriacos C. Markides has been exploring the lives and teachings of Christian sages and healers around the world. In his latest book Inner River: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christian Spirituality (Random House/Image Books 2012) he continues his exploration of Christian spirituality through his participant observation work with charismatic monks, hermits and celebrated living saints of Eastern Christianity. He has shown that there is a distinct experiential spiritual path within Christianity that many westerners assumed existed only in Hinduism and Buddhism. He will expose us to this mystical Christian spirituality that has been practiced for hundreds of years in ancient monasteries and convents, yet is little known to Western seekers. We will explore this tradition in depth and explore its relevance for contemporary living. We will examine topics such as the way to know God according to the teachings of the great Christian saints; the attainment of an inner silence as a prerequisite for an experiential knowledge of God; the obstacles that prevent us from knowing God; the spiritual laws that govern human existence; the nature of the “gifts of the Holy Spirit” as outlined by St. Paul; the destiny of the human soul; and the different stages one must go through before attaining union with God. We will learn about the power of prayer and how to protect ourselves from negative thought forms. Professor Markides will also share his experiences during several pilgrimages to Eastern Christian sacred centers, such as Mount Athos and the Monastery of St. Catherine in the Sinai Desert.
Kyriacos C. Markides, is a Professor of Sociology at the University of Maine and author of nine books published by leading publishers in the United States and the UK. Six of his books, including “The Mountain of Silence” and “Gifts of the Desert” are on Christian mystics spiritual guides and elders of Eastern Christianity. His books have been translated and published in twelve other countries and languages. He has given regular lectures and workshops around the United States, Canada and overseas and appeared on national and international television and radio programs. His latest book INNER RIVER: A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Christian Spirituality has just been published by Random House/Image Books. Professor Markides is the recipient in 2002 of the best professor award in Arts and Sciences at the University of Maine and he was awarded the 2006 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award of the University of Maine. He lives in Stillwater Maine with his wife Emily J. Markides, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Peace and Reconciliation Studies at the University of Maine.