A Tree Full of Monkeys

Why the Soul Needs Silence

In the earliest years of Christian teaching, dogma was proclaimed only when a denial of something (Jesus’ humanity or his divinity, for example) made it necessary. The articulated doctrine of the Trinity emerged slowly, from the more important domain of silence into the lesser domain of words. Words, even at their best, are inadequate and prone to misunderstanding, leading to concepts and imaginary constructs that can get in the way of participation in the mystery.

We need words, but...

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About the Author

John Garvey is an Orthodox priest and columnist for Commonweal. His most recent book is Seeds of the Word: Orthodox Thinking on Other Religions.