ON A FEW occasions, I've been asked regarding “books about the Fathers.” Here is one title to which I would direct anyone interested in the Fathers.
In The Mystical Theology of the Eastern Church, Vladimir Lossky, a prominent theologian of the 20th Century, and the author of Orthodox Theology: An Introduction and Vision of God, presents an integrated vision of Orthodox theology. His thesis, one which he amply supports, is that theology and spirituality cannot be considered apart from one another. He writes,
Outside the truth kept by the whole Church personal experience would be deprived of all certainty, of all objectivity. It would be a mingling of truth and of falsehood, of reality and of illusion: 'mysticism' in the bad sense of the word. On the other hand, the teaching of the Church would have no hold on souls if it did not in some degree express an inner experience of truth, granted in different measure to each one of the faithful. There is, therefore, no Christian mysticism without theology; but, above all, there is no theology without mysticism.*Lossky starts with “The Divine Darkness” and reaches “The Divine Light,” before bringing his study to conclusion. The study - which is supported by many passages from enlightened saints and teachers - includes an especially helpful chapter on the spiritual life entitled “The Way of Union.”
A word of caution: This is not a light or easy read. However, the very style which makes the book dense, makes it deep and enriching and makes reading it a highly rewarding experience.