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Wrong John Chryssavgis?

Fr. John Chryssavgis

HQ Phone: (617) 731-3500

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Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

50 Goddard Avenue

Brookline, Massachusetts 02445

United States

Company Description

Holy Cross Bookstore is located on the campus of Hellenic College Holy Cross in Brookline, Massachusetts. It is the bookstore for the school and the distributor of Holy Cross Orthodox Press publications. Holy Cross Bookstore is dedicated to the disseminat ... more

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Background Information

Employment History


Divinity School at Duke University


Theological Provincial Seminary

Deacon and Theological Advisor On Environmental Issues
Orthodox Church

Theological Advisor
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America

Environment Office



Divinity School


School of Studies

Brookline , MA



University of Athens


Byzantine Music

Greek Conservatory of Music

doctoral degree


doctoral degree


University of Oxford



University of Oxford

Web References (198 Total References)

Fr. John Chryssavgis, ... [cached]

Fr. John Chryssavgis, Professor of Theology, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, Massachusetts

Fr. John Chryssavgis, ... [cached]

Fr. John Chryssavgis, Professor of Theology, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, Massachusetts

Abba Isaiah of Scetis: Ascetic Discourses [cached]

John Chryssavgis

John Chryssavgis is a Professor of Theology at the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Boston. He completed his udergraduate studies in Athens and earned his doctoral degree at Oxford. Recent publications include The Way of the Fathers: Exploring the Minds of the Church Fathers (1988), Beyond the Shattered Image: Insights into an Orthodox Ecological Worldview (1999), and Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction (2000).
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Letters from the Desert [cached]

John Chryssavgis

Two monastic elders - the "Great Old Man" Barsanuphius, and the "Other Old Man" John - flourished in the southern region around Gaza in the early part of the sixth century.
The authority of John may be described as more institutional, responding as he does to problems of a practical nature; the authority of Barsanuphius is more inspirational, responding to principles of a spiritual nature.
Father John Chryssavgis studied theology in Athens and Oxford. He taught at St Andrew's Theological College in Sydney and at Holy Cross School of Theology in Boston. His writings have focused on the early ascetic literature of Egypt, Palestine, and the Sinai peninsula.
Letters from the Desert is part of the POPULAR PATRISTIC SERIES.
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Spirituality – Welcome [cached]

2. John Chryssavgis. Ascent to Heaven. Holy Cross Orthodox Press. Brookline 1989 3. GEH Palmer.

The final term of this process is the reception of the undeserved and incomprehensible deifying gift of divine participation (cf. 2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 1:1-4), bestowed upon us by 'the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God [the Father] and the communion of the Holy Spirit' (2 Corinthians 13:13). All we experience and accomplish along this process of spiritual becoming - sacramental regeneration, faith initiation, ecclesial participation, prayer, ascetic discipline, contemplation, sheer generosity etc. - cannot be taken as ultimate achievements. More precisely, they do not represent ends in themselves, but means in order to attain the goal. As such, everything we experience in our journey is subsumed to the ultimate purpose of accessing the fullness of life here, now and ever, according to the promise of the Lord (cf. John 10:10).
And we are writing this that our joy may be complete (1 John 1:2-4).
I can speak of the place that St. Polycarp sat and disputed, how he came in and went out... the discourses which he made to the people... how he reported his influence with John and with the others who had seen the Lord."
A well-known anecdote recounts the story of John the Dwarf, who, upon entering the desert, was told, by his spiritual elder to continue watering a dry stick2, which had been planted into the ground, and to keep on doing this until it bore fruit. Indeed, the story is intensified when we are told that the novice had to travel throughout the whole night to collect water, something, which, besides being irrational would have been physically and mentally exhausting. The pinnacle moment of the story is reached when we discover that one morning, in the third year, upon going to water the "dead" stick, John found that it had flowered and produced much fruit. It is said that his spiritual elder took it to the community and told the brothers: "Take and eat the fruit of obedience!"3
Another story relates the perfect obedience of a disciple, who, having been called by his spiritual father, responded immediately, not even completing the letter of the alphabet that he had been writing whilst copying a manuscript.4 From this, we can see that all sayings in the Gerondikon seek to emphasize, in the strongest of terms the importance of obedience for a person setting out to live a monastic life.
PG 88:680 and 717 cited in John Chryssavgis, Soul Mending: The Art of Spiritual Direction (Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2000), 102.
4. For a more extensive reflection on the spiritual elder as a guide, physician, teacher and sponsor see John Chryssavgis, Ascent to Heaven (Brookline, MA: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 1989), 211-230.

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