Despondency: The Most Temporal Passion? (Taped Lecture)

This past Tuesday afternoon, I had the delightful opportunity to give a guest talk at the Met. Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at St. Michael’s College (University of Toronto). In it, I re-examined the central claim of Time and Despondency, namely the idea that despondency is somehow inextricably tied to a broken relationship to time, in…

“Utter some angry words”: Surprising Advice from Evagrius of Ponticus

Here’s a surprising bit of advice from a desert theologian I came to appreciate in writing Time and Despondency:   When you are tempted, do not fall immediately to prayer. First utter some angry words against the [demon] who afflicts you. Evagrius, The Praktikos 42 The quotation is found nestled into the middle pages of his treatise called The Praktikos, a…

Beyond Punctuality: Being on Time for the Right Time

In Germany, where I’ve lived several times, there is a well-known proverb that translates: “Five minutes ahead of time is exactly the right time.” One of my supervisors there once threatened to dock pay when I showed up on time for work one morning. For her, if I wasn’t ahead of time, I wasn’t on time. And I was setting myself on…