School of Theology and Seminary Faculty Publications

Evagrius Ponticus on Prayer and Anger

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Arts and Humanities | Christianity | History of Christianity | Liturgy and Worship | Religion


Evagrius Ponticus was the most acute monastic psychologist of the fourth century C.E. He was also a remarkable teacher of prayer. For Evagrius, the workings of the passions had a direct bearing on both the possibility and the quality of prayer. This was especially the case with the passion of anger. Anger is part of the interpersonal terrain of monastic life, remaining an issue even after other passions such as gluttony or lust have been effectively managed. Both perennial and deeply subversive, anger was a passion to be reckoned with over the long haul.